South Korean video game holding company KRAFTON has invested 164 Cr (~£16.18m) into Indian esports solutions company NODWIN Gaming.
According to the press release, the minority investment by KRAFTON is expected to help accelerate NODWIN’s development in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
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The additional funding will allow NODWIN to support talent, strengthen gaming infrastructures and technology, and organise a multitude of tournament IPs at a national and international level.
KRAFTON is largely known as the creators behind intellectual properties and games such as PUBG, TERA, Golf King, and Castle Burn, among others.
Speaking to Esports Insider, NODWIN Gaming’s Co-founder and Managing Director, Akshat Rathee, and Sidharth Kedia, the company’s CEO, explained the importance of providing more regionalised content to these regions.
“English works to a certain extent, but the moment a game or a broadcast has to get democratised. You have to lean into local languages,” said Kedia
“Especially for a live broadcast, relatability is really important. That’s why if you see in India, even in traditional sports, Star Sports has launched multiple language channels where they do the commentary of cricket in the local regional channel. It’s not English, it’s not Hindi, it’s that local channel and that has seen a much bigger viewership.”
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The company, primarily known for its work and influence in mobile esports, has secured partnerships with the likes of ESL, Valve, Tencent, Riot Games and Blizzard to provide Indian gamers with esports experiences. NODWIN Gaming’s new investment also follows on from the firm opening its first international office in Johannesburg, Africa last year.
Rathee highlighted that as part of NODWIN’s expansion into other regions, the company will have a particular focus on community management.
“If you’re an English speaking caster, in India, you end up competing with the rest of the world. But if you’re a Hindi speaking caster in India, your extremely influential.” He explained. “You’ll still build a bigger community because you’re not going head to head against the rest of the world, you’re building your own identity, and that that’s such an important thing.”
NODWIN Gaming has confirmed that the South Korean holding company will gain one seat on its board, Moreover, all previously investors of the Indian firm have remained. This includes the likes of JetSynthesys Private Limited and Nazara Technologies Limited, with the latter maintaining its 50 per cent stake in NODWIN Gaming.
Changhan Kim, CEO of KRAFTON added: “KRAFTON is excited to partner with NODWIN Gaming to help foster the promising esports ecosystem and engage with our fans and players in India.
“Taking the momentum from this partnership, we will explore additional investment opportunities in the region to uphold our commitment and dedication in cultivating the local video game, esports, entertainment, and tech industries.”
Esports Insider says: This is a huge figure that has been invested. KRAFTON has shown a lot of faith in NODWIN’s expansion plans and further development in esports globally. Mobile esports is a hot topic right now, particularly with its rise in viewership and growing interest worldwide. As such, it’s no surprise to see the South Korean firm partner with a company that has established itself as a major player in this market.