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Gaming and sports media company Nazara Technologies is betting big on real-money gaming and hopes to achieve 100 crore in revenues by the end of FY22, said Nazara chief executive Manish Agarwal.

In the past year, real-money gaming has been fraught with regulatory bottlenecks with states, including Tamil Nadu, introducing changes to their laws to ban real-money gaming platforms.

Agarwal said the Madras High Court judgment favouring real-money gaming platforms and global opportunities could help ramp up the business, as it gears up to make acquisitions in the space.

“The fact that real-money gaming contributes 80% to all e-gaming revenues and recent positives coming from various court judgments is giving us confidence. Considering the positives emerging from the space, we are looking to scale this business... We want to touch 100 crore of revenues for every gaming segment we operate in. And skill-based gaming only contributes to 15 crore of our overall revenues, at present, which is insignificant. We want to scale this segment to over 100 crore in revenues this year," said Agarwal in an interview. Nazara offers gamified learning, e-sports, free games (freemium), telecom subscriptions and fantasy or real-money gaming.

On Friday, the company announced the acquisition of OpenPlay Technologies for 186.4 crore, its second acquisition in the real-money and skill-based gaming space, after the 2019 purchase of Halaplay.

Nazara’s future strategy entails building a plug-and-play, software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering for real-money games which will allow any platform or individual to offer the service to their users.

Through the OpenPlay acquisition, the company is also targeting online influencers, while allowing them to host online skill-based games, by developing a plug-and-play tech and marketing stack.

“The idea is to help influencers become game show hosts and have their fans play these real-money games. Providing game hosting solutions will help influencers monetise further. The idea is to help a long-tail of individuals to participate and partake as game operators," added Agarwal.

Nazara’s world view on real money gaming is not restricted to the India market, it looks to take its offerings to the US this year.

“Close to 43 states in the US have allowed real money gaming and that is a big opportunity for us. We would like to take real-money gaming to the US markets," said Agarwal.

As of now, more than 80% of Nazara's revenue comes from North America and India.

For the quarter ending June, Nazara has reported a net profit of 13.5 crore compared to a loss of 21.7 crore in the year-ago period. The company saw its operating revenues grow 45% year-on-year during the quarter to 131.2 crore.

Apart from real-money games, Nazara’ will also focus on scaling its free games business this year through new acquisitions in the coming months.

“Amongst our business lines, we believe that two of them (free games and real-money gaming) need further augmentation. We will look at a pipeline of acquisitions for these segments in the next six to eight months," Nazara’s chief said.

Nazara owns majority stakes in Paper Boat Apps, a kids gamified learning platform; Nodwin Gaming, an e-sports company; Absolute Sports, owner of multi-sports content platform Sportskeeda; Nextwave Multimedia, developer of cricket simulation game World Cricket Championship (WCC); Halaplay, a fantasy gaming platform; and Sports Unity, creator of quiz game Qunami.

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