Gaming industry looks at licensing to monetise
Gaming industry looks at licensing to monetise

Growing by leaps and bounds, the Indian mobile market has not only helped eCommerce beef up, but other domains are also benefitting from it, mobile gaming being one of them. With genesis in late 90s, when companies like Dhruva Interactive and Indiagames started developing and publishing games, at the moment India has more than 250 gaming companies, mostly start-ups aiming to develop the next Candy Crush or Angry Birds. While there is no dearth of games oriented at X-box, PSP, PS2 etc. mobile gaming is what has been the flag bearer, given the increasing smartphone market in India. 

Gaming is all set  become a Rs 4,580-crore sector by 2019, with mobile gaming leading the growth, says a FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry report for 2015. The mobile gaming market in India grew from Rs 820 crore in 2013 to Rs 1,070 crore in 2014 and is further projected to grow at a compounded annual 20 per cent to reach Rs 2,620 crore by 2019. The increase in the usage of smartphones and tablets is expected to encourage more users to access games on mobile web and app platforms.

Why is brand licensing crucial for gaming industry?

While gaming developers are dime-a-dozen in digital landscape of India, the competition is not going to be easy. When developing and publishing a game on digital platform, entry barriers are low, which has resulted in a significant growth of 138 per cent in the Indian gaming segment between 2013 and 2014. However, gates to platform have literally come down crashing and a flock of developers has flooded in, only to find that once they are inside, there is endless shelf space with new games launching every now and then, this makes a not-so-good-news leading to crunch of visibility in the arcade.

So, it’s no secret that getting a game noticed and downloaded (user acquisition) is the biggest challenge confronting any developer publishing their games on digital platforms these days, which is against this backdrop that developers embark on creating and publishing their digital game. The majority of developers still rely on a game publishing strategy that centers on “build it and they will come.”

This is where brand licensing has a crucial role to play. Acquiring the rights of a brand and leveraging the consumer awareness for that brand is a great strategy that has been used by developers for consumer acquisition.

"Since the brand/ fictional characters are already popular with the users, the discoverability of the game becomes easy. Consequently, the game downloads go up," asserted Ashish Gupta, Country Manager - India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh, Gameloft.

“An IP which is hugely mass with great fan following at the bottom of the pyramid will help Nazara meet its target of reaching out to 100 million monthly active users on its product offerings,” said Manish Agarwal, CEO of Nazara technologies that has been developing mobiles games for Chhota Bheem.

In words of Anila Andrade, AVP – Operations at 99Games, “If you look at gaming itself as a market, it is very over-saturated at this moment. There are players all over, discoverability is a problem and how would any consumer pick up your game out of that lot is not easy at all. There are companies who have hoards of marketing budget to promote their game and move up the chart and even if your game has quality content, it fails to stand in competition. Consumers may not really notice your game in such a case.”

The economics of developing game on a licensed content can be more cost effective than consumer acquisition by spending a bomb on marketing. “A good brand will have a ready market of consumers who already know the brand and the licensor can market to this audience for your game,” asserted Chitra Johri, VP of Bradford License India.

The fillip to licensing in Indian gaming industry        

Citing brand licensing as an effective retail strategy, Andrade adds, “Creating a game out of a licensed brand, for instance Dhoom in our case, solves the problem of discoverability. The consumers are familiar with the franchise, given the movies released in past. The brand name gives credibility and visibility to the game which in turn drives the number of downloads.”

The strengths of this genre in licensing lie in cross-platform, mainly iOS and android based games, increasing exposure to internet and zero dependence on channels  like theatricals or TV properties. Once the popularity spreads and fans get hands on, the addiction traverse to buying licensed merchandise including stationary, accessories, collectibles etc. while apparel being the hot-selling products.

"In majority of the cases, licensed games perform better than the non-licensed games, since the characters are already popular with the users. For instance: Our licensed games like Despicable Me: Minion Rush, Spiderman Unlimited, UNO & Friends are some of our popular games with high number of downloads," added Gupta of Gameloft. 

Further, the popularity spreading fast at digital platform also adds to the value of IP. There is a dedicated digital audience at hand, who the property owners can communicate with in no time, about new products, promotions and also gain marketing insights from directly.

What’s in trend in India?

While celebrity licensing dominates there in west following by TV properties, Indian scenario is quite different with Bollywood movies ruling the rooster. Of late, Salman Khan starrer movie ‘Sultan’ has been licensed out by Yash raj Films to Udupi based mobile game developer 99Games.

Further, a plethora of players have been developing games around Bollywood movies such as Bajarangi Bhaijaan movie game that was downloaded 1 million times, Happy New Year: The Game (downloaded 1 million times).

Abhinav Chokhavatia, Founder & CEO, Zatun says, “Normally what happens is that when a lot of movies come out, games also come in market around those movies, which help promote the movie as well. But most of the times, games are released just an addition and not much thought is given into it. While in west, when a movie is released – for instance ‘Lord of the rings’, the game is given equal treatment as the movie is. So, the licensing deal for gaming takes place almost at the time when movie production begins.”

Addressing the bottlenecks

While exclusivity is the advantage in mobile gaming, shorter shelf life is a concern. As Andrade says, “One month before the release of movie to a month after the release is the maximum life span of a movie based game. However, the cross promotions happening endure that the game gets enough visibility. Moreover sops like a chance to meet movie cast act as factors to drive success.”

Also low cost handsets also act as impediment to the industry as a majority of population owns smartphones between price range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000 that do not support games with high-end graphics due to crunch of space. Hence the developers have to restrict themselves to develop games worth 5 or 8MB.

“For global games, our size is 500-600 megabytes; in India, it is five Mb. We want to focus on games that are in 30-40 Mb,” says Amit Khanduja, chief executive, Reliance Games. Despite a big market, the quality of games has been low, due to low-cost handsets and slow data.

Future ahead

With rising smartphone and tablet penetration, the mobile gaming industry in India is expected to touch Rs 2,620 crore by 2019, with a year-on-year growth of 20 per cent, according to a recent report by FICCI-KPMG. “Smartphone penetration in India assures that mobile gaming will be huge, with major growth drivers being the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities,” said Arpita Kapoor, co-founder, Mech Mocha.

However, the sector must do its bit to stay on top as it requires constant innovations and additions to not just grow the market share, but to keep the fans engaged, it needs marketing innovations to stay top of mind in the ever-changing digital world and from a licensing perspective needs a strong programme and strategy.

 
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11 Must-Have Whiskies Under Rs 10,000 to Elevate Your Collection
11 Must-Have Whiskies Under Rs 10,000 to Elevate Your Collection
 

Whisky, with its rich heritage and complex flavors, has long held a revered place in the hearts of connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. Whether it’s a smooth single malt savored in a quiet moment of reflection or a bold blend enjoyed in lively gatherings, whisky has a unique way of marking moments and creating memories.

In recent years, the appreciation for this storied spirit has seen a remarkable surge, particularly in regions where its consumption was traditionally limited. This rise in popularity is coupled with an expanding market that offers a wide range of options, from high-end collector’s editions to more affordable, yet quality, selections.

For whisky enthusiasts or newcomers looking to build a collection without breaking the bank, there's good news. The world of whisky presents a plethora of excellent options under Rs 10,000. This price range is a sweet spot, offering access to some of the finest whiskies, each boasting its own unique history, crafting process, and flavor profile.

In this guide, we'll explore 11 such whiskies that deserve a place in your collection. From the smoky peat of a classic Islay to the smooth sweetness of a Speyside malt, these selections promise to take you on a journey through the rich and varied landscape of whisky at a price that’s hard to beat.

1. Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old 

Origin and History

Glenfiddich, Gaelic for “Valley of the Deer,” is synonymous with Speyside whisky and has been a cornerstone of this whisky-producing region since 1887. Pioneered by William Grant, this distillery has remained family-owned for generations, a testament to its commitment to tradition and quality.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

The Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old is matured in Oloroso sherry and bourbon oak casks, a process that gives it a distinctively rich, mellow flavor, and a golden hue. This single malt is renowned for its beautifully balanced nose and complex palate.

Tasting Notes

On the nose, it offers a bouquet of pear and subtle oak. The palate is greeted with orchard fruit flavors, particularly pear and apple, with a hint of oak and a touch of honey. The finish is long, smooth, and mellow.

Awards or RecognitionsThis expression has won numerous awards for its consistently high quality, including a Gold at the 2018 International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Food Pairings
Its light and fruity character makes it a perfect accompaniment to seafood, particularly smoked salmon, or simply enjoyed on its own or with a dash of water to unlock its flavors.

2. Jameson Irish Whisky

Origin and History

Founded in 1780 by John Jameson in Dublin, Ireland, Jameson has become one of the most recognizable and popular Irish whiskies globally. The brand has a rich heritage, and its story is deeply intertwined with the history of Ireland itself.
Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

Jameson Irish Whisky is known for its smoothness, which is achieved through a triple distillation process, a tradition of Irish whiskies. It's a blend of pot still and fine grain whiskies, aged in oak barrels that previously held sherry, bourbon, and Spanish Malaga.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: A light floral fragrance, peppered with spicy wood and sweet notes.
  • Palate: Perfect balance of spicy, nutty, and vanilla notes with hints of sweet sherry. The smoothness is remarkable, with a gentle warmth leading to a lingering, flavorful finish.
  • Finish: A smooth and sweet finish with milk chocolate and butterscotch.

Awards or Recognitions

Jameson has been lauded in several international spirits competitions, reflecting its consistent quality and popularity.

Food Pairings

  • Pairs exceptionally well with ginger ale, enhancing its smoothness without overpowering its distinct character. It's also versatile in cocktails and can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. Perfect with apple pie or chocolate desserts for a contrasting flavor experience.

3. Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch

Origin and History

Monkey Shoulder, named after a term used for temporary injury workers suffered in the whisky industry, is a relatively new brand that has quickly gained popularity. It's a blend of three of Speyside's finest single malts.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

This whisky is a mix of three different Speyside single malts, matured in bourbon casks. The focus is on creating a rich, smooth, and approachable flavor profile, making it a favorite among new whisky drinkers and connoisseurs alike.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Delicate floral notes intertwined with zesty citrus, honey, and spiced oak.
  • Palate: Smooth and creamy with hints of mellow vanilla, sweet spices, and a touch of oak. The presence of malt is evident, providing a nice depth.
  • Finish: Long and smooth, with a lingering taste of honey and a hint of spicy oak.

Awards or Recognitions

Monkey Shoulder has won multiple awards for its innovative approach and quality, making it a staple in bars worldwide.

Food Pairings

Its versatility shines in cocktails, especially those requiring a robust malt flavor. It also pairs well with chocolate and rich desserts due to its vanilla and spiced oak notes.

4. Talisker 10 Year Old

Origin and History

Talisker, produced on the Isle of Skye, is known for its maritime character, owing to its coastal location. Founded in 1830, it's the only distillery on the island and is revered for its unique character.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

This single-malt Scotch whisky is aged for 10 years in American oak casks. Talisker is known for its deep, peaty taste, combined with a smoothness and complexity that is often attributed to its island origins.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Powerful peat-smoke with just a hint of the seaweed and a salty, sea-breeze character.
  • Palate: Rich and full-bodied, it brings forward flavors of dried fruits, smoke, and barley, complemented by a rich sweetness.
  • Finish: Long and warming, with an intense smokiness and a hint of licorice.

Awards or Recognitions

  • Talisker 10 Year Old has garnered acclaim in various international whisky competitions for its distinctive and robust flavor profile.

Food Pairings

  • Perfectly complements seafood, especially oysters or smoked salmon. The smoky flavor also pairs well with spicy and flavorful meat dishes.

5. Chivas Regal 12-Year-Old

Origin and History

Chivas Regal, with its roots going back to the 1800s, is one of the world's best-selling blended Scotch whiskies. The brand is known for its smooth, rich, and versatile profile.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

This 12-year-old blend is a mix of many different malt and grain Scotch whiskies. The key to its taste lies in the careful blending, which ensures a consistent and balanced flavor profile.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: An aromatic infusion of wild herbs, heather, honey, and orchard fruits.
  • Palate: Rich and smooth, Chivas 12 opens with the taste of ripe, honeyed apples, and notes of vanilla, hazelnut, and butterscotch.
  • Finish: The finish is rich and lingering, with hints of toasted oak and buttery caramel.

Awards or Recognitions

Recognized and awarded globally, Chivas Regal's 12-Year-Old is celebrated for its extraordinary blending and aging process.

Food Pairings

  • Complements a range of dishes, from savory steaks to rich, creamy desserts. Excellent with dark chocolate or as a sophisticated after-dinner drink.

6. Johnnie Walker Black Label

Origin and History

Johnnie Walker Black Label, with over two centuries of blending expertise, is one of the most iconic blended Scotch whiskies. It's known for its unique blend of whiskies from all four corners of Scotland.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

Aged for 12 years, it's a blend of around 40 whiskies, each aged to perfection. The result is a deep and complex flavor, a hallmark of the Johnnie Walker brand.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Rich and tropical with hints of vanilla, sweet spice, and peat.
  • Palate: Smooth and complex, with dark fruits, vanilla, and smoky flavors.
  • Finish: Long and lingering, with a smoky and spicy character.

Awards or Recognitions

Johnnie Walker Black Label has received numerous accolades and awards, solidifying its status as a premium blended Scotch.
Food Pairings

Versatile in pairing, it goes well with grilled meats, rich chocolate desserts, or strong cheeses.

7. The Glenlivet 12 Year Old

Origin and History

The Glenlivet, originating from the Speyside region of Scotland, has a prestigious history dating back to 1824. It's known for setting the standard for the Speyside style of whisky.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

Aged for 12 years, this single malt Scotch is matured in a mix of European and American oak, which imparts distinct flavors to the whisky. The Glenlivet is celebrated for its smoothness and floral elegance.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Aromatic and floral, with hints of summer fruits and a subtle creamy sweetness.
  • Palate: Smooth and fruity, with flavors of vanilla, honey, and orchard fruits, particularly pear and apple.
  • Finish: Long and gentle, with a lingering sweetness and hints of nuts and spice.

Awards or Recognitions

The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old has won several awards, reaffirming its status as a classic example of Speyside single malt whisky.

Food Pairings

Pairs beautifully with light seafood dishes, creamy cheeses, or fruit-based desserts.

8. Aberlour 12 Year Old

Origin and History

Aberlour, located in the heart of Speyside, is known for its rich, complex whiskies. The distillery was founded in 1826 and has a strong reputation for quality and craftsmanship.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

This 12-year-old single malt is double cask matured in traditional oak and sherry casks, which contributes to its deep flavor and amber color.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Rich and fruity, with aromatic spices and subtle oak.
  • Palate: Full-bodied, with a balanced mix of sweet and spicy flavors, showcasing notes of chocolate, toffee, cinnamon, and ginger.
  • Finish: Long and warm, with lingering spice and a touch of sweet sherry.

Awards or Recognitions

Aberlour's 12-Year-Old is frequently recognized in international whisky competitions for its exceptional balance and depth.

Food Pairings

Ideal with rich desserts like chocolate cake or as an accompaniment to a cheese platter featuring aged cheeses.

9. Laphroaig 10 Year Old

Origin and History

Laphroaig, hailing from the Isle of Islay, is famous for its intensely peaty and smoky whiskies. Established in 1815, the distillery has a long-standing tradition of using local peat and water for distillation.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

The 10-year-old expression is matured in ex-bourbon barrels, which gives it a distinctive smoky flavor, typical of Islay malts, coupled with a touch of sweetness.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Bold and smoky, with a strong peat presence accompanied by hints of seaweed and a slight sweetness.
  • Palate: Rich and full-bodied, showcasing deep smoky flavors, along with hints of vanilla, malt, and a touch of the sea.
  • Finish: Long and peaty, with an enduring warmth and slight saltiness.

Awards or Recognitions

Laphroaig 10 Year Old is a highly acclaimed whisky, particularly among lovers of peaty and smoky single malts.
Food Pairings

Best enjoyed with strong flavors like blue cheese or smoked meats, which complement its robust character.

10. Balvenie 12-Year-Old DoubleWood

Origin and History

The Balvenie distillery, located in Speyside, Scotland, has a rich history dating back to 1892. Known for its traditional craftsmanship, Balvenie maintains a high level of hands-on production, including growing its own barley and maintaining its own cooperage.

Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

The 12-year-old DoubleWood gains its distinctive character from being matured in two wood types. It starts in traditional whisky casks, and American oak ex-bourbon barrels, and finishes in European oak sherry casks, which contributes to its rich, mellow flavor.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Sweet fruit and Oloroso sherry notes, layered with honey and vanilla.
  • Palate: Smooth and mellow, with beautifully combined flavors of nutty sweetness, cinnamon spiciness, and a delicately proportioned layer of sherry.
  • Finish: Long and warming, with a pleasant, lingering sherry tone.

Awards or Recognitions

The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old is a highly acclaimed whisky, praised for its depth and balanced flavors.

Food Pairings

Pairs well with caramel desserts or rich, creamy cheeses, complementing its sweet and smooth profile.

11. Glenmorangie The Original 10-Year-Old

Origin and History

Glenmorangie, one of Scotland's most renowned distilleries, has been producing whisky since 1843 in the Highlands. It's famed for its use of the tallest stills in Scotland, which contribute to its distinctively smooth and elegant character.
Distillation Process and Unique Characteristics

The Original 10-Year-Old is matured in first and second-fill American white oak casks. These casks are known for imparting a natural sweetness to the whisky.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose: Aromatic with floral notes, hints of peach, and vanilla.
  • Palate: Creamy and fruity, with flavors of peaches and cream, citrus, and a hint of nuttiness.
  • Finish: Gentle and lingering, with subtle notes of orange and vanilla.

Awards or Recognitions

Glenmorangie The Original is celebrated worldwide for its refined smoothness and elegant profile, winning numerous awards in international competitions.

Food Pairings

12. Indri-Trini

Excellent with light seafood dishes or fresh fruit desserts, enhancing its delicate fruity character.

At the heart of Piccadily Distilleries is Indri, a one-of-its-kind single malt made in India. Launched in 2021, Indri-Trini is India's first triple cask single malt bottled at 42.8% abv. Indri or Indriya in Sanskrit refers to the 5 senses - smell, taste, touch, sight and sound. Trini literally alludes to the three coveted casks that the single malt is matured in—ex-bourbon, ex-French wine and PX Sherry. Having won more than 14 global awards so far, Indri Trini has put India on the world map of premium single malts like never before. The smooth single malt carries a deep amber colour and notes of caramelized pineapple, vanilla, black tea, raisins, honey and a long aftertaste of sweet fruity flavours that leave you wanting for more.

Conclusion

Each of these 11 whiskies offers a unique experience, catering to a range of palates and preferences. Whether you are drawn to the peaty punch of an Islay malt like Laphroaig, the smooth elegance of a Speyside whisky like Glenfiddich, or the balanced richness of a blended Scotch like Johnnie Walker Black Label, there’s something in this list for every whisky enthusiast. At under Rs 10,000, these selections provide an accessible entry into the world of premium whiskies without compromising on quality and taste. As you explore these diverse and exquisite whiskies, remember to savor each sip and appreciate the craftsmanship and history in every bottle.

 

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