Excel Entertainment, the film production and distribution house founded by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani has formed a joint venture with Dubai based Riva Group of Companies to launch content creation unit called Excel Media, which will focus on developing original content like Games and Webisodes, as well as animation for TV, reports Business Standard. The JV has released a game called Rooftop Runner, for Excel’s movie Fukrey, which appears to be based on the running games franchise made popular by Temple Run. Note that the Google Play page for the game states that it has been published by Riva Digital FZ LLC, not Excel Media.
The Riva Group has three companies under its banner: Riva Arch is a theme part and resorts company, Riva America is a brand and IP franchising company, while Riva Digital is a 3D Animation and visual effects company that does 3D Animation, Visual Effects, among other things. Since the business already does animation, they already have some of the resources required for a gaming business, and the creative inputs and content can come from Excel Entertainment. Like the films business, the games business is a hit-or-miss kind of business.
The game features five playable characters, says it has random generated levels, progressive difficulty, cloud saving, and in-app purchases starting at $0.99. As a result of randomly generated levels, the game can offer a different gameplay with each use.
Reliance ADAG is the other group with an interest in both films and gaming – it is in films with Reliance Entertainment, and has three gaming businesses: online gaming with Zapak, Mobile gaming with Jump Games and Console games with Codemasters. While it doesn’t produce webisodes like Excel is planning to, it does have BigFlix, for online movie streaming. The other studio which ventured into the web and movies was UTV, with UTV Indiagames (mobile and tablet games), UTV New Media (online and mobile publishing of tech news, TV and cinema related content), UTV Ignition Entertainment (console gaming) and UTV True Games (MMOG). UTV was bought by Disney.
Note to Riva and Excel: Flash websites are so 2002.
Update: a Reliance Entertainment representative informs us that Jump Games is now called Reliance Games. That said, for some inexplicable reason, the Jump Games website is still live, and RelianceGames.com appears to have some issues on my connection (MTNL Delhi + Chrome) (screenshot), and the images have an invalid certificate alert (screenshot). Reliance Games would do well to fix their website, and redirect Jumpgames.co.in to Reliancegames.com.