Pixel P&L: Is India the Next Frontier for Roblox?

Vignesh Raghuram
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Pixel P&amp;L</p></div>
Pixel P&amp;L


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Good Morning, it’s Wednesday, June 19. In today’s edition, we delve into why Roblox, one of the world’s most popular games, is setting its sights on India. We also highlight the transition of former NODWIN CEO Siddharth Kedia to Jio Games, and the GTA Trilogy hitting 30 million downloads on Netflix, plus other key stories.

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Why India is Roblox's Next Big Play

Roblox, the popular gaming platform tailored for children, is making a significant strategic pivot towards the burgeoning Indian market. In its Q1 earnings report, Roblox revealed a remarkable 58% year-on-year growth in daily active users (DAUs) in India, surpassing the growth seen in key markets such as Japan. This pivot aligns with the platform's achievement of over 77 million DAUs globally, marking a 17% increase from the previous year.

What’s driving Roblox to shift its focus to India? Our latest feature delves into the multifaceted factors behind this strategic move. We explore the demographic trends highlighting India's youthful population, the substantial monetization potential within this vast market, and the broader landscape that makes India an appealing target for Roblox.

Additionally, we examine how Roblox has already begun optimizing its game to overcome challenges endemic to the Indian market. As the platform bets big on India, the implications for both the company and the broader gaming industry are profound.

Former NODWIN CEO Siddharth Kedia Joins JioGames as SVP

Siddharth Kedia has taken on the role of Senior Vice President and Head of JioGames at Reliance Jio. Kedia, who left his CEO position at Nodwin Gaming in November, will now lead Jio’s ambitious gaming platform expansion.

Kedia’s career spans significant positions, including roles at Viacom18 and Network18. His return to Reliance Industries, after nearly a decade, underscores a strategic move by the company to enhance its gaming division. Kedia had previously contributed to the early stages of Jio’s development and launch in 2015, a period he recalled with pride on LinkedIn, emphasizing Jio’s transformative impact on India's digital landscape.

At NODWIN Gaming, Kedia navigated the company through a period of impressive growth. During his tenure, NODWIN Gaming’s revenue multiplied eight times and its valuation soared. The company also expanded internationally and secured substantial investments from the likes of Nazara, Sony Group and Krafton, solidifying its position in the esports market.

Quick Bytes

FaZe Banks Acquires 25.5% Stake in FaZe Media for $9.5M

Publicly traded esports company GameSquare Holdings announced Tuesday the sale of a 25.5% interest in FaZe Media for $9.5 million to an entity controlled by CEO Richard “FaZe Banks” Bengston. The transaction values shares at $1.66 each, with proceeds earmarked for growth and working capital. Despite the sale, GameSquare retains a 25.5% stake in FaZe Media and maintains voting control over the transferred shares for two years.

Post Malone Collaborates with Backbone for Limited Edition Mobile Controller

Popular rapper and avid gamer Post Malone is teaming up with Backbone to release a limited edition version of the Backbone One mobile controller. Launching on June 25, the bold, green, semi-transparent controller reflects Malone's personal design preferences and gaming passion. Only 500 units will be available worldwide, sold exclusively on Backbone’s website at 9:30pm IST

GTA Trilogy Hits 30 Million Downloads on Netflix

Rockstar’s GTA Trilogy, consisting of Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas, has surpassed 30 million downloads on Netflix. Introduced in December, these titles boosted Netflix's gaming endeavors, nearly tripling monthly mobile game downloads to 28 million in December. Data from Appmagic, compiled by mobilegamer.biz, reveals San Andreas accounted for 20.5 million downloads, Vice City 6.5 million, and GTA III 3.3 million. Most downloads occurred on Apple devices and were from the U.S., making GTA the most successful game series on Netflix to date.

Banana Game Surges to Second Most Played on Steam

Banana, a game where players endlessly click on a banana, has become an unexpected hit since its April launch. With a peak concurrent player count exceeding 860,000, Banana currently ranks as the second most played game on Steam, just behind Counter-Strike 2. This rapid rise is notable, given it had only 100,000 players a week ago. Banana is poised to surpass Baldur's Gate 3, which has a peak count of 875,343 players. The game's popularity stems from its unique mechanic where persistent clicking can yield rare, valuable bananas, tradable on the Steam market. Some rare bananas have fetched over $1,300, turning this simple clicker into a lucrative pseudo-NFT trading card simulator.

Did You Know

Did you know that Nintendo's iconic Mario character was born from a series of accidents and creative improvisations? In the early 1980s, Nintendo was struggling to find success in the U.S. market. Their arcade game, Radar Scope, had failed to gain traction, leaving the company with a surplus of unsold units. Faced with potential disaster, Nintendo assigned Shigeru Miyamoto, a young artist with no programming experience, to develop a new game using the existing hardware.

Miyamoto's original concept was a Popeye game, but due to licensing issues, he had to invent new characters. He created Jumpman, a carpenter tasked with rescuing a damsel in distress from a giant ape, in what would become the game Donkey Kong. Jumpman's distinctive look – overalls, a red cap, and a bushy mustache – was a product of technical limitations. The cap avoided the challenge of animating hair, the mustache eliminated the need for a detailed mouth, and the overalls made his arm movements more visible.

The character was later renamed Mario, after Mario Segale, the landlord of Nintendo's warehouse in Washington. From these unplanned beginnings, Mario evolved into the beloved mascot of Nintendo, starring in games that would define a generation.

Quote of the Day

I sit in my cubicle, here on the motherworld. When I die, they will put my body in a box, and dispose of it in the cold ground. And in all the million ages to come, I will never breathe, or laugh, or twitch again. So won't you run and play with me here among the teeming mass of humanity? The universe has spared us this moment."
- Anonymous, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

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Vignesh has been covering the esports industry for nearly 5 years starting with the early days of the DPC. His industry expertise includes experience in Dota 2, CS:GO and Mobile Esports coverage.