In August last year, freelance software developer Arun Devanathan and oncologist Huren Sivaraj, who knew each other since their school days, met over dinner to discuss at length their first love - involved gaming.
"During our discussion, we imagined a game that we would have played in current times that would have revolved around the characters, stories and lessons of Indian epic Mahabharata. The idea to create a collectible card game (CCG) took root on the instinct that such a format would bring to life the characters, stories and messages that make the Mahabharata," recalls Devanathan.
With a vision to establish Indian mythology across traditional and modern gaming platforms, targeting the next-gen audience in the age group of between 14 and 30, the two friends in January 2015 founded Vansh Games Pte Limited in Singapore.
Vansh Games, which had rolled out its first CCG Legend of Vyas (LoV) in Singapore in June 2015, is planning to launch it in India during the two-day Comicon, scheduled to kick-off in Hyderabad on September 12.
CCG, also called a trading card game, is a genre of game that consists of specially-designed sets of playing cards. A $4-billion industry globally, two-thirds of this is dominated by the US and European markets.
"We see India as a major market for CCG, and are in the process of setting up an Indian subsidiary and a development centre here during this year. Plans are also afoot to partner local manufacturers and ecommerce players such as Flipkart and Amazon," Devanathan says, adding that LoV, which is currently available for 45 Singaporean dollars, will be offered at Rs 2,000 in India.
Initially bootstrapped, Devanathan and Sivaraj had so far spent Rs 1 crore on developing LoV. According to Devanathan, they are in active discussion with investors in India as well as in Singapore to raise around Rs 3 crore in a couple of months.
At present, LoV is available in two-player physical card sets. The proposed funds will be deployed to introduce multi-player card sets, besides moving to other platforms like online and mobile in due course, he says.