Airtel, India’s largest carrier, are in an interesting place. India is experiencing rapid growth both in terms of the adoption of smartphones and of consumers accessing the Internet. India’s networks are rapidly expanding as many parts of the country have either no coverage or limited (2G) coverage. Both 3G and 4G LTE services are being expanded out of the cities and into rural areas, and India’s smartphone market is benefiting from this. India benefits from both home grown Indian smartphone manufacturers and considerable investment from other manufacturers around the world thanks to the “Make in India” government policy.
Part of being the leading carrier means that Airtel are bringing additional features and benefits to subscribers and to this end we’ve seen Airtel release Wynk Music and Wynk Movies. Airtel have now unveiled their latest Wynk branded service: Wynk Games, which allows customers to access a range of premium games on their smartphone via a monthly subscription. However, Airtel’s range is not limited to a few dozen titles but instead includes over two thousand global and local games from across a number of categories, and the team behind the service are adding new games every day. Not all of these games are paid-for and it is not clear the mix between free and premium, but once subscribed customers benefit from an ad-free experience. Games may be downloaded onto the device (and there are no download restrictions) they may be played offline as well as online. Wynk Games’ infrastructure has been established with Playphone, an American social gaming network. Playphone’s advantage is that developers need only add ten lines of code in order to make their application compatible with the gaming network.
Kartik Sheth, the Chief Executive Officer of Wynk, Bharti Airtel, said this on the matter: “…customers can enjoy a host of games at no additional cost – this includes many games that are typically found as ‘paid’ elsewhere. Also, though customers download various games for free, they often can only play a few levels of the game before hitting locked levels and getting prompted to make coin purchases to continue. ‘Wynk Games’ does away with all these challenges and allows customers to enjoy complete games.” As far as costs go, Wynk Games is free for Airtel customers for the first month, then costs INR 99 (around £1 or $1.50) a month, although during the beta rollout it’s available for just INR 29 a month. Customers can pay for it via their Airtel account (both prepay and postpay), Payym or iPayy.