The Chinese online and mobile publisher Youzu Interactive has made its first move into the growing Indian games market, opening an office in one of the country's main tech hubs, Pune.
Youzu India will be led by Anuj Tandon, who has joined the company as CEO after a period at Nazara Technologies. Tandon was the co-founder of Rolocule Games, also based in Pune, before moving on to become head of mobile game publishing and marketing at Nazara.
"We are looking to create and publish local as well as international content for India's growing smartphone population," Tandon said in a statement. Youzu India will also make, "strategic investments in the overall entertainment industry."
This is another sign of Youzu's intent to expand across the globe, the most prominent recent example being its €80 million acquisition of the German free-to-play publisher Bigpoint. Youzu, which was founded in Shanghai in 2009, is a public company, with a market cap of $3.7 billion.
A solid financial base may be necessary in the Indian market. GamesIndustry.biz has attended Nasscom GDC, the country's leading industry event, for the last two years, and the abiding impression was of a market that will take years to properly mature.
Nazara Technologies' Manish Argawal advised any international company entering the local market to be patient. "They come to India thinking there are 500 million people with their purses out, and they're going to spend money," he said, whereas Nazara is making bets today on the market it is certain will exist in five years time.
Mark Skaggs, a former Zynga exec who joined the Bangalore-based Moonfrog Labs, was similarly cautious. India, he said, is "a long term thing... It'll be an overnight success that took a decade to happen."