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Friday, July 28, 2017

Fitness start-up BookYourGame raises funds

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Bengaluru: Fitness start-up BYG (BookYourGame), which lets users book fitness centres for sessions without a membership, on Friday said it has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a round led by Sanjay Verma, former chief executive officer (CEO), Cushman & Wakefield, Asia Pacific, and Amit Khanna, managing partner, Antuit-Europe.

The deal was conducted through deal-making platform LetsVenture.

The start-up, run by Bookyourgym Fitness Pvt. Ltd, was launched by two former Goldman Sachs employees in February this year, and plans to use the funds for marketing expenses.

Using the app, available on Android operating system, users can book classes and sessions at fitness centres near them, with the sessions being priced between Rs.50 and Rs.400.

The firm also sells a software-as-a-service solution for fitness providers that helps them engage with their members, and gives access to data and analytics.

In the future, the plan is to gamify the process so that users can compare their fitness levels with their friends or colleagues and proactively identify how users can meet their fitness goals with the help of sessions that are available near them.

“We had our idea validated almost immediately post launching in February 2016 and saw great initial ‘interest’. However our fund-raising efforts started in March, right after Flipkart’s valuation correction, and we saw very few investors ready to lead. We reached out and presented to roughly 55 investors before we got Amit Khanna to lead the round. Over the last 90 days, we reached a stage when we were 9 days from being bankrupt, had to borrow money from family, friends and their friends, while working 24×7 to preserve the dream,” said Devi Prasad Biswal, chief executive officer, BYG, in a statement.

“I believe there is tremendous scale opportunity in the space BYG is operating. The business model is scalable and provides real value to both the consumers and fitness service providers. I like the founders’ vision and their ambition to create a robust product and a global platform,” said lead investor Verma.

Other start-ups operating in this space include Fitternity, which raised $1 million, and Gympik, which raised $135,000 in seed funding.

Sultan: The Game Now Available on Google Play

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Udupi, Karnataka, India
High-Quality Visual effects, Sleek controls, action-centric game play, exclusive combat experience all this and more in Sultan: The Game. Developed by 99Games in collaboration with Yash Raj Films (YRF), Sultan: The Game will be available on Google Play today and will shortly be available on other stores.

“The release of Sultan: The Game has further cemented our relationship with Yash Raj Films. We’ve attempted to do something different this time with Sultan: The Game. We’ve opened up pre-registrations for the game and have seen a tremendous response so far,” said Rohith Bhat, CEO, 99Games. “Sultan: The Game by itself will not disappoint consumers and will put their nimble fingers to test” he added.

Manan Mehta, Vice-President of Marketing and Merchandise at Yash Raj Films, said, “At YRF, we are very particular when it comes to our partnerships and firmly believe that film-themed games are not just another avenue to market our film. We treat games as a massive opportunity to engage with cinemagoers as well as widen our audience base. In 99Games, we found a strategic partner who understands this ideology and can bring to table their expertise. Sultan: The Game is one of the best developed film-themed games to have come out and will allow the audience to step into the shoes of the titular character.”

To be a Sultan, all you need to do is download the game on Google Play here: http://bit.ly/prsultan

About 99Games

99Games is India’s leading Developer and Publisher of games of international standards for Global & Indian consumers. It takes pride in creating India’s most successfully monetized game ‘Star Chef’ and India’s most downloaded game ‘Dhoom:3 The Game’. 99Games has published over 17 game titles since launch in 2009 and has clocked in 31 Million downloads globally till date. It has a unique growth strategy of addressing the Global and Indian market. With a highly experienced & stable management team working collaboratively for over 5 years, 99Games is considered as thought leaders in the Indian gaming industry. 99Games has raised $5MM to date from quality institutional investors – Kalaari Capital and Ascent Capital.

More details at http://www.99games.in

About Yash Raj Films

Yash Raj Films [YRF] is one of India’s oldest and most respected story-tellers. A 4 decade old film & entertainment company with a fully integrated presence across the entire value chain covering everything from production, worldwide distribution, marketing, home entertainment & brand partnerships to design, licensing, consumer products, interactive media & talent management with offices across India and in US, UK & UAE differentiates it from all studios in the country.

Flipkart is hosting a month-long online gaming championship

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Flipkart has is taking a step into the field of competitive gaming, organising a month-long tournament from June 3 to July 9.
Titled the “Flipkart Online Gaming Championship” (FOGC), the tournament will feature FIFA, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and DotA 2. The entire series will take place online, and will be live-streamed on Twitch.
“Globally, gaming is considered as one of the key pillars of Internet economy. In India, gaming is a niche but a fast evolving and growing segment especially in the metros. At Flipkart we have witnessed close to 50 percent growth in this category in the last six months alone. Our goal is to become the largest destination for both gamers as well as gaming product brands,” said Adarsh K Menon, Vice President of Electronics and Auto at Flipkart, in statement to the press. The company cites a 50 percent growth in gaming related sales in the last six months as the reason for this surprise move.

It’s interesting to note, however, that while FIFA is included in the tournament, it’s sale rights are exclusive to Amazon in India. In addition, Dota 2 and League of Legends are free-to-play, available worldwide and as digital downloads only. This leaves just CS: GO as a game actually available on Flipkart
The championship prize pool is currently set at Rs 3,00,000, clearly indicating this is trial run for Flipkart, and not necessarily a confident push toward a long-running professional gaming series. The FIFA set is currently in progress, and will continue until June 9. You can find the brackets and winners below.

This will be followed by a League Of Legends set from June 14 – 20, CS: GO from June 25 – 29, and DotA 2 from July 5 – 9. The prizes for each are set as follows:
FIFA (PS4) (1v1)
1st prize – Rs 20,000 EGV
2nd Prize – Rs 15,000 EGV
3rd prize – Rs 10,000 EGV
LoL (5v5)
1st prize – Rs 50,000 EGV
2nd Prize – Rs 25,000 EGV
CS:GO (5 vs 5)
1st prize – Rs 50,000 EGV
2nd Prize – Rs 25,000 EGV
DotA 2 (5 vs 5)
1st prize – Rs 50,000 EGV
2nd Prize – Rs 25,000 EGV
It’s important to note though, Flipkart’s Facebook post on it’s page states the prizes will be doled out in “Gift voucher”, which likely seriously deflates the original excitement you probably felt.

Bad news fans; No Man’s Sky launch delayed to July

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Well anticipated sci-fi space exploration game No Man’s Sky looks like it could be pushed back a couple of months, after one store started replacing its June release date with “Coming Soon” notices. Citing two sources, one of which came from inside a prominent US retail chain, Kotaku reports that No Man’s Sky is being rescheduled from June to July or August at the earliest.

The game has always been a significant departure from the small UK studio’s earlier work — the slapstick action of 2010’s Joe Danger and 2012’sJoe Danger 2: The Movie — but was a massive word of mouth success from the moment it was first shown in public. Debuting at the televised VGX awards on December 7, 2013, the soaring ambition of No Man’s Sky proved to be the show’s high point as it exploded across gaming sites and social networks.

Players would be able to explore a vast universe, naming and discovering fully inhabited planets as well as the plants and creatures that live on them. While it would be theoretically possible for two human pilots to meet, the sheer size of “No Man Sky” makes it more likely they’d find only traces of existence instead.

Also read: Watch: No Man’s Sky PS4 gameplay is a thing of beauty

Work continued even after storms battered the UK’s southern counties at 2013’s end, when flooding submerged the Hello Games offices and wiped out the team’s initial progress. Behind the scenes, Sony had demonstrated keen interest, and later unveiled No Man’s Sky as a PlayStation 4 title at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3); a version for Windows PCs would launch at the same time, it later emerged.

Since then, increasingly high-profile engagements have led to increasing mainstream recognition. Studio co-founder Sean Murray told talk show host Stephen Colbert that the game would feature 18 quintillion planets to explore. The New Yorker learned that he viewed its primary inspirations — the work of Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein — as being inherently optimistic, in contrast to contemporary trends. At last, a June 2016 release was aired at Paris Games Week, October 2015, and later narrowed down to the week of June 21. But now, according to Kotaku, fans may need to wait several months more.

Two sources, one from within retail chain GameStop, indicated that No Man’s Sky would be missing its June date, the site understanding that it wouldn’t arrive until “at least July or August.” That would bring its release closer to that of PlayStation’s virtual reality headset; it is, of course, possible that the delay is partially to do with the PlayStation VR’s October 2016

Naughty Dog cut a scene from Uncharted 4 to release a finished game on time

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Uncharted 4 will be releasing exclusively on the PS4 May 10 but, according to some of the voice actors from the game, it might be missing some amazing things.

Troy Baker, the voiceover artist for protagonist Sam Drake (brother to the last protagonist Nathan Drake) revealed that a scene was cut from the game, in the interest of releasing a finished product on time. In an interview to GamersFTW, Baker said, “Games are a very iterative process, and the same thing can be said for pretty much every game that comes out. There was a huge set piece in Uncharted 4 that I was massively in love with, that had to get cut. Because it was either the game shipped broken and that scene is in there, or we put out a better game and that scene isn’t there. No one will ever miss what they didn’t know.”

Set pieces, in Uncharted, refers to a scene in the game where your typical mechanics are thrown out the window in favour of something different, forcing you to play the game a different way. One great example of this is Uncharted 2, where a particular gunfight has you dodging fire from enemies and an attack chopper., all while traversing the length of a running train.

Despite the bad news, this is actually a plus point in developer Naughty Dog’s favour, showing their willing to cut content in order to not release a broken game. It shows they have confidence in their finished product, despite the missing scene, although there is a possibility they’ll find a way to work it into a later DLC.

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