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Krafton India launches gaming incubator to boost local startups; upto Rs 1.24 crore on offer

Krafton India

Krafton India has launched a gaming incubator in India, with the goal of supporting young talent entering the fast expanding gaming sector. This initiative, dubbed the Krafton India Gaming Incubator (KIGI), aims to aid six to ten teams per year, with program lengths ranging from six months to a year. Participants who are chosen will receive coaching, mentorship, access to Krafton’s resources, and financial support ranging from $50,000 (Rs 41.26 lakh) to $150,000 (Rs 1.24 crore), depending on their needs.

Krafton India, best known for relaunching the popular smartphone game BGMI, has stated an interest in identifying early-stage Indian entrepreneurs, those in the conceptualization stage, student teams, and independent developers for KIGI. These participants will receive mentoring from gaming industry experts from South Korea and India, as well as access to Krafton’s internal resources, including as market research and data, to help them build products for the Indian and global markets.

Unlike other gaming businesses’ incubation programs, Krafton’s is not bound to any specific game engines or platforms. This implies that incubating teams can create games for a variety of platforms, including PC and consoles, rather than being limited to mobile, which now dominates the market.

However, because recent government guidelines and state-level prohibitions have hindered such initiatives in India, the program will not consider developers or businesses working on real-money gaming (RMG) or gambling material. Following the completion of the incubation, participants will be able to collect funds from institutional investors, and Krafton will be able to fund them through its allotted investments for the Indian market.

Krafton India

Krafton has previously invested almost $50 million in the Indian gaming business, including Nodwin Gaming, Loco Interactive, Nautilus Mobile (creator of the Real Cricket game brand), and Lila Games, as well as the gaming-focused venture capital firm Lumikai firm. The funding for the incubator, on the other hand, will be distinct from these past pledges.

Niko Partners forecasts a 21.2% year-on-year increase in India’s video game revenue across all platforms, reaching $868 million in 2023. India is predominantly a mobile gaming market, with over 97% of gamers using smartphones or tablets. The country is also seeing a large increase in the number of gamers, with a predicted 12.1% year-on-year increase to 444 million players in 2023, with an additional 641.2 million expected by 2027.

Individuals and teams participating in Krafton’s incubator will be mentored and guided by key specialists such as Dave Curd, creative director of PUBG Studios, and Harns Kim, game producer at Krafton. The program will be delivered remotely and will include lectures and community activities to assist participants create networks while working on their projects.