The ongoing pandemic has led to a lot of innovation and development of online technologies and apps to allow people to access the services they need from the safety of their homes. At the same time, many products have also moved online, as restrictions mean that physical stores and locations cannot stay open. Therefore, it has been seen that many online services have become immensely popular over the last few months. For example, streaming services like Netflix have reported hundreds of thousands of new users signing up, while gaming sites have also seen many new users. In fact, many game studios and developers have been giving away games at heavily discounted rates or even for free, to encourage more people to sign up during these times, as well as to provide an easy way for entertainment. Elsewhere, new methods of entertainment have also gained traction, with online casino games in India proving to be very popular, for example.
Sticking with India, one of the most successful and popular mobile games in the country, World Cricket Championship 2, recently won the Digital India Atma Nirbhar App Innovation Challenge in the gaming category. This was a government-driven initiative for Indian citizens to vote for their favourite Indian apps and games, and the cricket game won by a whopping margin, netting 74% of the overall votes, with the next best app following at just 13%. It also placed second in the overall app category, while the jury verdict round saw it come in at 3rd place. Thus, the game was one of the best performers in this award scheme, and showed just how popular it has been for cricket fans in the country.
This cricket simulation game, developed by Nextwave Multimedia, has over 130 million downloads, with users from the likes of the USA, UK, Australia, UAE, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, other than India, of course. There has been a surge in its popularity as well, as it added over 20 million downloads since March 2020. This can be attributed partly to the lack of live cricket being played, as cricket tours and tournaments were suspended due to the pandemic. The Indian Premier League (IPL), the most popular cricket tournament in the world, was also postponed, and is only now in line to take place in the UAE, from September onwards. Thus, this absence of live cricket drove a lot of fans to the virtual world instead, and here it was WCC which was the most popular game.
This surge in popularity has been beneficial for the game developers as well, as it saw revenue growth of 20% and in-app purchase growth of 100%. Daily Active Users have also increased by 25%. The Indian government’s Atma Nirbhar Challenge also brought to light the fact that WCC had exceeded the Chinese game Clash of Kings in terms of number of downloads. Many Chinese apps and games have recently been banned by the Indian government as part of its response towards Chinese military aggression in the north of the country.
WCC is certainly one of the best Indian apps out there, especially as sports simulation games are not easy to build. The complex symmetry of mathematics, physics, animation, art, data science, game design and game economy needed to deliver a quality product means that a lot of time and investment is needed. However, Nextwave Multimedia is not resting on its laurels, and recently launched a beta version of WCC 3, which features commentary in Hindi and English by ex-cricketers Aakash Chopra and Matthew Hayden respectively. The beta also promises better gameplay, new controls, improved animations and advanced AI, giving cricket fans even more reason to download this excellent game.