The gaming and esports industry in India has been booming like never before. According to Statista, an average gamer in India spends about 672 minutes a month on games, largely due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown restrictions. The report predicts that the Indian gaming industry is worth $2.4 billion in market opportunity, as of 2020.
Founded in 2017 by Arvind Balakrishna and Archit Narayan, Pacific Gaming is one such startup that is riding the industry boom, and has amassed over five million followers who play its games. The team includes Kshitij Anilkumar, Rajesh Dembla (investor), and Dharmendra Saxena as co-founders who have experience in varied businesses. It is being operated by 20 game developers.
The team wants to solve for real-money games through innovations from their gaming studio and by offering instant cash-outs rather than making customers wait for their money.
“Real-money games like poker and rummy have always been in the grey area when it comes to being classified as a sport, especially in India. Pacific Gaming launched its first P2P poker platform PokerSaint, in its founding year. The game was designed to give players an online poker gaming experience with ease-of-play, complete transparency, and assured real money rewards” Archit Narayan, Co-founder of Pacific Gaming, tells YourStory.
“We managed to receive a good response to bothPokerSaint and GullyRummy from India’s new-age gaming enthusiasts, both amateur and professional players,” he adds.
Why real-money games?
Archit is an engineer who pursued Supply Chain Engineering from VTU Bangalore in 2008. He worked in companies like Burberry and Inner Space. Arvind Balakrishna has been an avid gamer and game strategist, and runs all the strategy behind the game.
Pacific Gaming was conceptualised as a gaming studio when Arvind Balakrishna and Archit Narayan realised the need to create a one-stop gaming platform. They theorised that by introducing the ‘Instant Cashout’ feature, they could enable users to claim their winnings into their accounts within 60 seconds, all year round. While existing operators used to process winnings within three to six days, they were able to reduce this wait time drastically, which attracted many users.
The Bengaluru-based startup uses quantum random number generators (QRNG) to manage bets, which means there needs to be randomness in managing safe transactions. For example, in games like Poker and Rummy, a player should not be able to increase the chances of winning by discovering certain patterns and outcomes in the game. The randomness removes any biases.
Besides using QRNG, Pacific Gaming has also implemented multi-layered advanced security measures to ensure users’ safety.
What makes Pacific Gaming stand out?
Pacific Gaming’s aim has always been to become India’s largest multi-platform gaming studio that can cover all the aspects of online gaming with technology which is driven by state-of-the-art practices for research, game development, game testing, coding, branding, marketing, and sales.
Apart from PokerSaint and GullyRummy, the startup recently launched freemium games like Casino143, Bingo143, and Slots143, and will open a development studio by the end of this year.
“Pacific Gaming follows a systematic approach to all the solutions that we provide in the gaming space. All transactions on the platform pass through a minimum of three layers of checks on both deposits and withdrawals. This is how we ensure payment security to consumers and offer safe, secure and seamless gaming experience to our consumers,” says Archit.
Starting out small, the platform engaged only around 50 users in the beginning who gave positive feedback for the ‘Instant Cashout’ feature.
“Even today, Pacific Gaming focuses on unit metrics on all its games as it is a proven method to success. Like any other startup, we too faced some crucial challenges like financial management and team building during the initial stage of setting up the business,” he says.
The business model
The founders do not want to reveal their financial performance of the last two years, or the total amount invested. However, Archit adds,
“Today, we have proven that businesses can be established without huge funding rounds from VCs or investment houses.”
Pacific Gaming’s revenue comes from handling fees – processed during the checkout – and subscription fees. The games on their platform operate on three different revenue models – ‘free’, ‘freemium’, and ‘money-in money-out’. They also make revenues from tech development and distribution.
The startup wants to continue introducing games regularly, and ensure that the gaming studio becomes apart of the ‘Make in India’ campaign.
“We eventually aim to export our tech to the global market by building great games,” he quips.
The startup is betting on its poker platform because of the instant cash out feature and India’s love for poker real-money games.
The founders believe that the USP of their games PokerSaint and Gully Rummy lie in their high-engaging user interface and safe gaming experience.
Over the next 18 months, the company plans to foray into the global market. It also plans to venture into the freemium and hyper-casual game space. It competes with Dream11, Fan Fight, and MPL.
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