Meet the independent studios powering the Bangladesh mobile games industry

Illustration: Zarif Faiaz


Illustration: Zarif Faiaz

The market for mobile games in the country is growing every day. Bangladesh ranks 7th in terms of global population and the local market is an important market for the global mobile gaming industry. New jobs are constantly being created in this field as foreign investment flows in.

In the latest round of foreign investment in the local mobile gaming scene, Stillfront Group, a Sweden-based mobile game maker, recently acquired a 100% stake in Moonfrog Labs of India and its Bangladeshi subsidiary Ulka Games Limited to approximately Tk. 750 crores.

Bangladesh’s independent mobile game studios

In recent years, Bangladeshi companies have made unremitting efforts on their own to capture this huge market. But unfortunately our contribution to this potential market is well below 1%.

However, some young entrepreneurs are representing Bangladesh in the international gaming market through their own efforts. Games like Ludo Club, Tin Patti Gold, Adda and Carro from Moonfrog Labs and Ulka Games Limited have become very popular around the world with over 16 crore downloads worldwide.

Alpha Potato, another renowned game studio in Bangladesh, has already created several popular games in association with their publisher Lion Studios. Battle Ballet, Cake Master 3D, Icecream Run, Pon Shop Master, and Prank Master 3D are just a few. The games have already been downloaded at over 14 crore.

Another well-known studio Hamba Games has released three popular joint venture games with their publisher Tasty Pill. Pick Me Up 3D, Line Color 3D, and Road Race 3D have all been downloaded around 200 million times.

Rise Up Labs was the first to hit the market with their tap dance set. They are currently working with Robi on a game called Treasure Island and a Mina game with UNICEF.

Free Pixel Games is the oldest studio in Bangladesh that has been working well with fantastic games for a long time.

Among the newcomers, Thunder Games and PlaySense are working with well-known foreign publishing houses and trying to come up with new games.

On monetization

Ershadul Haque, Founder and CEO of Rise Up Labs, said game studios make money with their games through advertising, subscriptions and in-app purchases. “A certain amount is earned through different types of ads during the game. In addition, all mobile games usually have a virtual store. Players buy virtual products or subscriptions from this store to enhance their gaming experience. C This is where the game makes the most money. The more popular a game, the more its virtual products or subscriptions are purchased. “

Jamilur Rashid, CEO of Ulka Games Ltd, said: “Games created in our country are now monetized through online and offline distribution. This revenue comes mainly from game announcements, subscriptions and in-app purchases. National listed companies pay VAT to the government on these revenues.

According to Jamilur, in fiscal year 2019-2020, Ulka Games Limited paid a total of Tk 4.98 crore to the government of Bangladesh in VAT; he hopes he will receive $ 100 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Jamilur Rashid said policies are needed to move the video game industry forward. With proper care and patronage, many more game studios will contribute to the country’s foreign exchange earnings. In addition, foreign game studios could be encouraged to establish local offices and development centers in the country.

Robert P. Miller