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Xbox aiming to bridge the mobile-console gap in India

Microsoft’s gaming arm is hoping to capitalise on both India’s thriving mobile industry and nascent console scene
Xbox aiming to bridge the mobile-console gap in India
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India is one of the fastest growing markets in the mobile space, quickly evolving into one with the potential to overtake China as the leader of the industry. Now Microsoft’s Arjun Varma, manager of Xbox’s Global Expansion Incubator (GXI) team, has revealed the company’s plans to foster the country’s gaming scene not just on Xbox consoles, but on mobile devices.

"The idea behind GXI is to engage and connect with the local developer community in India," Varma told Gamesindustry.biz. "We want to support and enable this ecosystem to find success. We're looking at how we can get these titles published on Xbox in addition to other platforms. The gaming industry has boomed in the last few years and India is a really interesting market for us. There's a lot of cool content coming out and we want to build on the potential that we're seeing."

As part of Microsoft’s plans to foster the country’s game space, the company intends to give indie developers, including those working on mobile games, “the same tools and resources that Microsoft’s biggest partners have access to.”

The GXI team is currently investigating how it can leverage Microsoft’s ID@Azure program for Indian indie developers, which can give developers access to up to $150 thousand worth of credits on computational program Azure, which Varma says “will lower the barrier of creating games.”

Brimming with potential

Varma states that India remains a “predominantly mobile market,” and the GXI team are hoping to leverage this, bringing mobile gaming in line with other platforms, with cross platform tools cited as a key factor in this aim.

“We’re telling these devs to include mechanics that enable easy porting from or to consoles and PCs,” said Varma. “Cross-platform is the right way to go for a market in India. We encourage that and I’ve been seeing mobile devs include mechanics that simplify the porting process to consoles and PCs.”

Varma further stated that developers hoping for success in the program can get a boost to their prospects by doing their research into what genres do well on different platforms. This can help developers avoid common pitfalls from both a gameplay and marketability perspective.

Even considering prospective release windows can help games succeed, with Varma noting that “Many free-to-play titles launch in January, which means the period between February and July is a better slot for indie titles.”

Earlier this month, Google took the first steps towards allowing alternative app stores in India.