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Studio Sirah has raised $830,000 for its midcore, India-first cell video games. India-focused sport enterprise capital fund Lumikai led the spherical.

The Bangalore-based Studio Sirah will use the cash to make its first sport, Kurukshetra: Ascension, a card battler based mostly on India’s 5,000-year-old epic myths.

It’s the primary title from a crew of two brothers, Abhaas Shah and Prateek Shah, who grew up enjoying video games akin to Age of Empires, Civilization, and Hearthstone.

Moreover Lumikai, different buyers included angels akin to Akshat Rathee (founder, Nodwin Video games), Alexis Bonte (chief working officer, Stillfront Video games), Piyush Shah (cofounder, Inmobi), Roshni Rathi (companion, BCG), and Sameer Pitalwalla (Epic Video games).

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“The thesis to construct midcore video games leveraging India’s deep cultural and mythological heritage resonated with our view of the fast-changing actuality on the bottom,” mentioned Salone Sehgal, a companion at Lumikai, in an e mail to GamesBeat. “Now we have witnessed first-hand the early trajectory of unique IP-based video games in different Asian markets and the success in unlocking worth. We see the same trajectory for India accompanied with a rising want for development/immersion by the maturing Indian gamer.”

Above: Abhaas Shah is a cofounder of Studio Sirah.

Prateek Shah has a technical background from Georgia Tech and labored at corporations akin to Nvidia. Abhaas Shah went to highschool on the College of California at Berkeley and labored at Bain. However he went dwelling in the course of the pandemic to be with household. And whereas sheltering in place, he and his brother determined to start out a sport firm.

“We grew up enjoying a ton of video games, from Contra on Atari to Age of Empires on the PC,” Abhaas Shah mentioned in an interview with GamesBeat. “It’s at all times been a bonding level, a connection level for the 2 of us. Now we have very totally different backgrounds. When the pandemic hit, it gave us time to really get again collectively as a household and speaking about our childhood and gaming. We didn’t see any good Indian content material that we want to play as players. There are quite a lot of hypercasual and informal video games, however these aren’t the video games that attraction to us.”

Above: Prateek Shah is a cofounder of Studio Sirah.

Picture Credit score: Studio Sirah

A few 12 months in the past, they based Studio Sirah on the assumption within the rising sophistication of the Indian gamer and the whitespace of culturally resonant Indian content material in video games. Studio Sirah was constructed to deal with midcore video games (these have hardcore themes that may be performed in a short while on cell gadgets). They mentioned their first title will deal with strategic gameplay, immersive artwork, and a deep development system. Whereas they’re concentrating on cell first, they mentioned the primary sport will likely be out on each cell and the PC.

They got here up with the concept of creating significant Indian content material in a core sport. That led them to an concept, a paper prototype, a Python textual content sport, and a Unity minimal viable product.

Indian content material

After they have been rising up, the brothers had entry to an “historic PC,” and so they used it to play video games like Age of Empires and the Civilization sequence. They suppose that their sport could possibly be very interesting to the various Indians. However in addition they imagine that Indian content material deserves to be delivered to the world, very like what has occurred with Greek myths.

The world and characters of Kurukshetra: Ascension are impressed by two of India’s best epics — the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, historic poems with tales of gods, heroes, and fantastical creatures. One may evaluate them with the Iliad and Odyssey of Greek delusion, however these are even grander, with thick strands of philosophy and spiritual thought weaved in, Abhaas Shah mentioned. On the similar time, they’re including their very own tales and characters to inform a extra trendy story.

“The Indian mythological metaverse is simply one thing that’s unexplored. It’s this stunning assortment of tales which interrelate with one another,” Abhaas Shah mentioned.

Above: Studio Sirah has seven folks in Bangalore.

Picture Credit score: Studio Sirah

Furthermore, these epics have continued to keep up their relevance in all components of India (in numerous languages). Their TV serial variations smashed all viewership information each in 1987 and 2020. Indian mythology consists of a dense metaverse the place characters and tales regularly overlap and seamlessly mix into each other. The intention is to modernize and introduce this wealthy world of lore to players across the globe.

“Traditionally, each main gaming nation underwent a collectible card sport (CCG) growth — Japan (2010–2015), China (2012–2017), and the U.S. (2014–2019). This class is severely under-penetrated within the Indian market with no market chief,” Sehgal mentioned. “By mixing in deep philosophical ideas of ‘karma’ and ‘dharma’ of their gameplay, the founders are charting an extremely thrilling path for Indian players. Abhaas and Prateek exemplify the new-age Gen-Z Indian gaming founder, they’ve a daring imaginative and prescient, execution capabilities and deep want to construct world-class leisure for India and the world, from India.”

Future titles will mine content material from India’s mythos and historical past and outline a brand new era of global-quality Indian-content video games for each Indian and overseas gamers, Abhaas Shah mentioned. As for bringing content material to cell and the PC, the brothers mentioned they may think about extra platforms sooner or later. The crew has seven folks and it’s hiring.

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