Pixel P&L: The Brief Reign of Fantasy Stock Gaming in India

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


AFK Gaming

Good morning. It's Thursday, July 4. In today's edition, we explore India's regulatory approach to Fantasy Stock Gaming apps. Additionally, we examine a new report indicating that Nazara Technologies may move forward with a full acquisition of Kiddopia. Plus, we bring you the latest on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang’s return to Vietnam with a new gaming publisher.

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How Fantasy Stock Gaming Went from Thriving to Vanishing

Imagine making money from the stock market without ever investing in it. This might sound like a far-fetched fantasy, but for thousands of Indian consumers, it was a lucrative reality. We're not referring to traditional financial instruments like derivatives, mutual funds, or options trading. Instead, we're delving into a more unorthodox, and indeed peculiar, avenue: Fantasy Stock Gaming.

Several mobile applications emerged allowing users to engage in simulated stock market trading. These platforms enabled participants to profit from the fluctuations in stock prices without incurring typical costs such as broker fees, stock exchange fees, or taxes. By predicting whether a stock listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) or the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) will rise or fall within a short time frame—sometimes as brief as 60 seconds—users could earn money based on their forecasting prowess.

These apps rapidly amassed a significant user base, with some boasting over 500,000 downloads on the Google Play Store. Their popularity did not go unnoticed by investors. Venture firms such as Accel and Dream11’s investment arm Dream Sports have poured substantial investments into these platforms.

However, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently issued a directive that has effectively ended the industry. Join us as we explore the rise and abrupt fall of Fantasy Stock Gaming in India.

Nazara Reportedly Set to Acquire Remaining 49% Stake in Kiddopia for ₹300 Crore

India-based Nazara Technologies is reportedly poised to acquire the remaining 49% stake in learning app Kiddopia for ₹300 crore ($36 million). According to a CNBC-TV18 report, the deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the month. Nazara had initially purchased a 51% stake in Kiddopia, developed by Paper Boat Apps, in 2020.

Kiddopia, which offers educational content for young children, faced a challenging year with an 18% year-on-year decline in subscribers, dropping to approximately 250,000 by the end of March 2024. Despite this setback, Nazara remains committed to expanding its footprint in the edutainment sector.

This acquisition aligns with Nazara's aggressive growth strategy. In March 2024, the company announced a $100 million fund for mergers and acquisitions over the next two years, aiming to enhance its global presence and diversify its portfolio.

Quick Bytes

Niko Partners Report: 62% of Chinese PC Gamers Increase Spending

Niko Partners' latest research reveals that 62% of PC game spenders in China are outpacing their 2023 expenditures, with 19% reporting at least a 30% increase. Detailed in the 2024 China Gamers Behavior and Market Insights report, these findings suggest robust growth in the PC gaming segment. Lisa Hanson, CEO of Niko Partners, attributes this to emerging game discovery methods and continued access to Steam. The comprehensive report underscores key trends, including the rise of short video content for game discovery and increasing interest in AI-Generated Content (AIGC) technologies.

NBA 2K League to Undergo Major Revamp

Fans of the NBA 2K League are expressing concerns following an update that suggests a major shift away from traditional esports. Esports personality Jake Lucky tweeted that the league’s CEO conducted an “eight-minute Zoom call” to lay off the entire staff. Earlier, NBA and Take-Two announced a complete reimagining of the league into a "global digital entertainment business," focusing on pop culture and basketball, featuring NBA players and celebrities instead of top esports competitors. This shift aims to attract younger fans through entertainment-focused content and playful live events, drawing mixed reactions from the esports community.

Spy x Family CODE: White to Hit Indian Theatres on July 19, 2024

PVR Inox Pictures announced Monday that the highly anticipated anime film Spy x Family CODE: White will debut in Indian theatres on July 19, 2024. The announcement follows a June 11 teaser celebrating the success of Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle and promising fans a major anime reveal. Directed by Takashi Katagiri and supervised by manga creator Tatsuya Endo, Spy x Family CODE: White presents an original storyline featuring Loid, a spy, and Yor, an assassin, whose telepathic daughter Anya's unintended actions threaten global peace.

Funtap Games Revives Mobile Legends: Bang Bang in Vietnam with New Publishing Deal

Vietnamese game company Funtap Games will publish Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) in Vietnam, taking over development and organizing esports tournaments. Funtap Games will collaborate with the Vietnam Entertainment Esports Association (VIRESA) to create an esports ecosystem, including grassroots initiatives and tournaments for semi-professional and professional teams, as well as opportunities for women to compete internationally. The partnership will also involve selecting Vietnam’s national team for regional and international MLBB tournaments. This move follows VNG's withdrawal of support for MLBB in January 2024 due to market competition. The game will be re-released in Vietnam as part of the new partnership.

Did You Know?

Did you know that Dragon Quest games are always released on a Saturday. 

In Japan, the release of a new Dragon Quest game is nothing short of a national event. Historically, these releases have led to a noticeable uptick in absenteeism from both work and school, creating a cultural phenomenon. This issue became so prominent that it spawned a widely believed rumor: the Japanese government had enacted a law mandating that Dragon Quest games be released exclusively on Saturdays to prevent truancy. While this tale isn't entirely accurate, it does contain a nugget of truth.

Contrary to the rumor, Japan never legislated game release dates. Instead, the responsibility lies with Square Enix, the developer behind Dragon Quest. The company adopted an internal policy to release all major titles on Saturdays. This strategy was aimed at mitigating the disruptions caused by weekday launches. Dragon Quest series executive producer Yuu Miyake explained in an IGN interview, "It was generally accepted practice in the industry to release games on a Thursday, but we noticed kids skipping school to buy the games. So, we arranged with Nintendo to release Dragon Quest on a Saturday as a special exception." This tradition continues unbroken, with the most recent installment, Dragon Quest XI, adhering to the Saturday release strategy.

Quote of the Day

Ignorance isn't bliss. Ignorance is weakness. Ignorance is a sin.”
- Loid Forger, Spy x Family

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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.