Gamersí New Paradise

Growing popularity of video games and gaming consoles is driving international studios to officially launch games in India.

An assassin dressed in colonial attire is helping George Washington in the American war of independence. In another one, an agent called "47" goes on a silent killing spree against his own organisation and the people who have wronged him. These are the plots of the video games Assassin's Creed III and Hitman: Absolution respectively. While the former had an official India launch ó in Delhi and Mumbai ó on October 30, the latter was showcased in Mumbai at a pre-launch event on November 9. Earlier, most video games would be directly introduced in the Indian market; now, there are proper India launches along the line of international ones.

When Assassin's Creed III was launched in two separate midnight events held at Games: The Shop in Mumbai, and Federation of Gamers in Delhi, buyers also got a chance to win authentic merchandise such as

T-shirts, wrist bands and key chains. Ajinkya Bhonsale, a software professional and an avid lover of the series, who was present for the launch in Mumbai, is elated at the deal he bagged. "I got the Playstation 3 version of the game besides a T-shirt and a bracelet as gifts," he says.

Atindriya Bose, country manager of Sony Playstation India, says that gaming studios across the globe have started to recognise the vast potential the Indian market presents. "Older games such as God of War and Grand Theft Auto not only became very popular in India, but also garnered a loyal fan following. Given this, it only makes sense for most of these studios to release their games here in India."

Other titles to be launched here include God of War:Ascension, Devil May Cry and Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Bose adds that they even relaunched two new versions of Playstation 3 for Diwali. "We are now working on developing India-centric games in tandem with developers and designers here, not just for India but for the global market," he concludes.

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