Nazara acquires OpenPlay for ₹186 Cr.

By – Arun Shekhar Jawla

On 27 August 2021, Nazara Technologies Ltd has acquired a 100% stake in a gaming company named OpenPlay Technologies for ₹186.4 crores. It was Hyderabad-based skill gaming and sports media company. It used to promote and boost the real money gaming segment.

OpenPlay was a gaming platform under the ‘Classic Games’ brand which hosts skill-based games.

This acquisition of Nazara marks the eighth acquisition to date this year and the second after the company went public in March. It’s the 2nd time when a company has acquired a skill-based-real-money game after the Halaplay purchase of 2019. Presently, real-money gaming contributes 2-3% of overall revenue for Nazara Technologies. The firm has been choosing not to aggressively bet real money and skill gaming in the past due to regulatory uncertainties. This is also giving us the confidence to look at this segment and build a sizeable real-money gaming business.

Manish Agarwal, CEO, Nazara Technologies during his interview with the Mint said that we will look to scale our skill and real-money gaming business with this acquisition and we are confident that soon we will come up with a strong product innovation with the help of OpenPlay.

Earlier this month, the Madras HC, struck down an amendment to the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, which had banned online betting games like rummy and poker with stakes. Also, the Supreme Court in July dismissed a petition that alleged game format offered by fantasy sports platform Dream11 amounted to gambling. “OpenPlay’s technology complemented by Nazara’s positioning in the gaming industry in India is the perfect combination for this endeavor,” Sreeram Reddy Vanga, founder, OpenPlay Technologies.

Before OpenPlay, Vanga founded CozyGames and scaled it to become one of the largest Bingo networks in the UK. In 2017, it was bought by multinational sports betting and gaming group, Entain.

OpenPlay has an annualized gross gaming revenue run rate of ₹80 crores, and its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Ebitda) are positive, the company said.

Nazara is now betting on creating a software-as-a-service-based product for real-money gaming which will allow any platform to integrate and offer real-money games to its user base. It will also take this proposition to the US market as it looks to gain market share in North America.