Participating in a quiz has its own experience. It brings to fore the curiosity in you to gain more knowledge on a variety of topics. Quizbee, a real money gaming app, is one such platform that drives your desire to enhance your general awareness, by enabling you to play quiz to answer few simple questions along with a group of peer to win cash prizes. The sooner you answer, the higher you score and the higher you score, the higher is the amount you win. Amit Khaitan, CEO, Intelligence Game which owns Quizbee, speaks more about this quiz platform, in a conversation with Ramesh Kumar Raja. Excerpts:
How do you look at the emerging trend of online gaming which has undergone a massive change, especially in the wake of COVID-19 lockdown?
Online gaming was biding its time and that’s when COVID gave it the push it needed. People sitting at home with nothing to do were looking for good ways to spend their free time. Challenge is something that everyone likes but will relish only when you have enough time to get better at something and have a chance of winning. People have tasted the fun and challenge of the online gaming industry even after the COVID-19 phase with more strong mental capabilities and vast potential moving forward.
Can you please tell us about the whole business of gaming in India and how is Quizbee contributing to this technological revolution?
It’s not much different from any other business, in a sense you have to find something that people like and then create a scenario where some cash prize makes the users enjoy the setup more. The advantage of gaming is that we all loved playing games as a kid and it brings out the child even among the senior citizens in the family. Most gaming sectors include a specific category of audience and that you need to make sure to reach out to that category. Otherwise, the progress will be steady and slow.
We wanted Quizbee to be a part of the gaming space but with a unique approach. We wanted to focus more on general knowledge rather than being specific to sports or arcade games.
Let’s analyze it with a simple example- Since we have a large population buying newspapers, most of them don’t buy it to read the news stories instead they just play and enjoy the crossword section in it.
Now, if you can create a crossword puzzle game with an entry fee of, say 1 rupee, you can reach out to the type of people just mentioned above that carry something that can scale up your crossword gaming section.
What sorts of games do you offer on your platform and how have been their responses?
We offer knowledge-based quizzes, which include study subjects like Maths, General Knowledge, and more. We also intend to add science and even some technical subjects like Java, PHP, and so on. For more fun subjects, we have Bollywood and Cricket theme-based quizzes. We are also looking forward to add more to this section and finally ensuring that we have the whole spectrum covered. We are also adding some simple fun arcade games, if you feel taxed enough after a few quiz games.
Why is Quizbee still not available on Google Play and Apple App Store? Do you have any plan to land on these platforms?
We are a real-money gaming app and Google Play has some policy that doesn’t allow real money gaming apps. We are on the Apple Store as they don’t have any such reservations. We hope that Google will pretty soon do away with this policy and we will be able to go up on store, but while we are waiting for it, we also intend to create a version of our application that will be created for students and will be hosted on Google store. I can’t share more details but we will let everyone know once it’s there.
|“We are a real-money gaming app and Google Play has some policy that doesn’t allow real money gaming apps… We hope that Google will pretty soon do away with this policy and we will be able to go up on store, but while we are waiting for it, we also intend to create a version of our application that will be created for students and will be hosted on Google store”|
What is your revenue model? How has been the business so far for Quizbee?
Every room has a fee associated with it. When someone joins a room to play the game, they pay the fees which get added to the prize kitty of the room for that game. We take a certain percentage of that prize amount as our platform service charge and distribute the rest to the players who performed well in that game. There is quite a few more revenue models planned as we will keep improving our app with more such features but that information will be coming out slowly over the next year or so. As we are in the early stages of our launch, our main goal is to bring more and more players to the game. On the business side, we see traction in the sense that more and more games are being played on our platform and we will hit a critical mass soon.
What are your expectations now, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic is going down?
There are two things to be noted. One, I don’t think COVID-19 is going down so easily, with a variant coming every month but the positive person in me wants it to go down tomorrow if possible, but I don’t see any adverse effects of it on the gaming industry as of now. Once a rolling boulder has gained speed on a slope you generally can’t stop it and that is the stage of the gaming industry. It is now getting up, so let’s just wait and watch and enjoy the ride.
What do you do to increase the recall value of your brand among gamers?
We keep adding new types of games and new features to the app. Along with that, we give free tickets to our players to join games without paying a joining fee. We have quite a few more things in the pipeline.
What innovations and diversifications you are doing to stay ahead of the curve in India, which is a highly competitive market?
It is competitive, yes, but as of now, it has a lot of space similar to what the ecommerce industry had 7-8 years back. A lot of people came into this industry but some of them weren’t able to make it to the last point, while others are growing with more strength now.
In gaming, you just have to stay in touch with your players and keep evaluating what they like and what they don’t. Also in the early phases, most of the competitors are helpful for each other in that they help you understand good and bad features by just tracking them. We are trying to see the patterns emerging around us and are also trying to ensure being a part of every good pattern.
What are your thoughts on the gaming industry becoming more of a social media platform for millennials?
With the metaverse coming into the picture and our progress towards sci-fi gaming movies is becoming a reality, it will not become a social media platform. It has the power to become an alternate universe and that path will go through the intermediate stage where games will form their own social media setup and there could be specific applications that will come or the games themselves will provide the opportunity inbuilt.
How has the model of gaming on the cloud been one of the biggest boons of the industry which has helped handle the sudden upsurge?
Cloud makes it easier to manage and upscale very fast when the time comes. Imagine the fact that the only thing you are working for is a lot of users and suddenly one day millions of users show up and you can’t serve them because your infrastructure is not ready. That will be a plain suicide and that’s where the cloud comes in and helps you avoid that suicide and ensures it’s not big on your pocket allowing even small players to stay in the game. We don’t need to forget that this is India, where we are talking about billions of users. Therefore, we can figure out what would be the scary outcome if the cloud weren’t there.
|“Cloud makes it easier to manage and upscale very fast when the time comes. Imagine the fact that the only thing you are working for is a lot of users and suddenly one day millions of users show up and you can’t serve them because your infrastructure is not ready. That will be a plain suicide and that’s where the cloud comes in and helps you avoid that”|
What are the challenges you see in India from a gaming point of view?
First and foremost, gaming is considered a distraction from your main path in our country. Therefore, there is a need to avoid that thought in the country, doing what we are good at (making sure it doesn’t hurt others) and enjoying it, and also making a living out of it is a dream come true and not a distraction.
Once this is taken care of and the mindset changes, I believe that the government policies will make it easier for the gaming industry to become more progressive. These laws in the gaming industry space will help us become much bigger than what we are today. There are more clauses to it but we can discuss them later when these two are taken care of.
How do you look at the future of online gaming in India? What are your plans for the next year i.e. 2022?
It’s very bright. We are on the verge of a gaming revolution; it’s just a matter of time. The only thing that we as an industry need to make sure is that we don’t take this for granted and there’s a lot of sweat and patience that we still need before we make it to the big.