Now, Indian characters on PlayStation

When Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) representatives met Indian game developers at the Game Developers’ Conference in Mumbai last year, they were confident that characters and themes from Indian mythology, Bolly-wood and cricket were perfect material for console games. Less than a year later, SCEE published Hanuman – Boy Warrior, the first game ever to be completely developed by an Indian game development studio for the PS2 console platform featuring Indian mythology’s super hero, Hanuman. The game, created by Hyderabad-based Aurona Technologies, becomes the first console game to be playable in English and Hindi.

“The launch of this game has marked a significant milestone in the Indian game development industry,” said Atindriya Bose, country manager (PlayStation), SCEE. With the launch of this game, priced at Rs 499, Bose is hopeful of achieving two things — increasing the sale of PS2 consoles in India and expand the market beyond metros to tier-II and tier-III cities.

In India, PS2 cost Rs 6,490 and games for PS2 are priced between

Rs 400 to Rs 1,000. According to Bose, since its launch in India, close to 4.5 lakh PS2 consoles have been sold. While PS3, the seventh generation video game consoles that competes with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii, cost Rs 25,000 and have so far sold close to 40,000 units in India.

Before Diwali this year, SCEE will release another set of Indian games that will feature traditional Indian sports such as Kho Kho, Kabaddi and Gulli Danda.

Aurona Technologies, the creator of Hanuman – Boy Warrior, is a subsidiary of the Pyramid Saimira Group. According to Santosh Pillai, its chief executive officer, the cost of developing this game was close to Rs 2.5 crore.

Gamers have called it a good entry-level game for an age group between seven to fifteen years. But this could hardly excite those hardcore gamers who play games both on PS2 and PS3. Games for the PS3 platforms are developed overseas and they are either imported or replicated in India. As a result, price for PS3 games range from Rs 1,600-2,700.

rejijohn@mydigitalfc.com

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