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Game developer Nazara invests in London firm

Mumbai-based Nazara, one of India’s largest mobile game developers and publishers, has taken a 26% stake in London-based mobile gaming studio Mastermind Sports.
Mastermind Sports was founded in 2013 by London sports gaming entrepreneur Tom McCall and Bengaluru-based tech entrepreneur Prateek Shah. The firm will use the funds primarily to strengthen its core team for their flagship game, CricBet. CricBet is a real time prediction game where users stake virtual coins on what they think is about to happen during a match.”India has a huge loyal fan base for cricket and it is a big market for us to reach,” Tom McCall, founder and CEO and former sports bookie, told TOI. He said there are no breakthrough games that really touch cricket. “Our focus is the ‘second screen’ experience. We aim to use our sports & technology insights to create mobile games that engage fans during live matches, enhancing experience with their friends & family without geographical constraints,” he said.
In the game, one can try and predict where the next boundary would be scored; guess the number of runs off the next over; whether a batsman will score over 50 runs. Mastermind sports also has a developer team in Bengaluru.
“The second screen experience via mobile phones would convert a passive activity of watching TV into a highly interactive activity. So this is a strategic investment not just a financial one. Sports in India is huge and through the increasing smartphone penetration, this platform will enhance the game watching experience,” CEO of Nazara Games, Manish Agarwal, said. Agarwal led various gaming companies like Zapak and Reliance Games, before joining Nazara as CEO in 2015.
This is Nazara’s second investment this month. Last week, it put an undisclosed amount in London-based Truly Social. Nazara is present in 41 countries and reaches more than 2 billion consumers across emerging markets. Its customers include mobile carriers as well as handset manufacturers.

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