Vodacom recently launched its new PlayInc gaming platform, offering subscribers access to a large gaming library for a subscription fee.
The platform was announced during the network’s annual results presentation, and it has deployed its initial systems as part of a soft launch.
PlayInc offers over 2,000 mobile titles without any microtransactions or advertisements – and is priced at a R5 per day or R25 per week.
It includes titles from the Google Play Store, its own exclusive games, as well as free titles with microtransactions disabled, removing the payment barrier common in many freemium games.
To find out more about Vodacom’s plans for its PlayInc gaming service, MyBroadband spoke to Vodacom Portfolio Head for Gaming Marco Lopes.
“We have ambitious plans and crazy ideas for the evolution and development of PlayInc,” Lopes told MyBroadband.
He said the base subscription service was just a single offering from the platform, and that users could expect additional access models as the service adds more features.
For its soft launch to consumers however, Lopes said PlayInc’s subscription service aimed to offer value to mobile gamers who did not want to be limited by microtransactions or to watch adverts.
“We really wanted to go to market with something that allows people to get the full value of what these games offer,” Lopes said.
Lopes said the PlayInc team is also looking at personalising the platform, learning what games users like to play and recommending new games.
Many of the service’s features are implemented in basic forms at the moment, but Lopes said the service had an aggressive roadmap for the implementation of new and exciting features.
When it comes to confirmed upcoming features, Lopes said that PlayInc aims to open its platform to users on other networks in the near future.
The team is also looking at commissioning the development of local games and working with South African game developers to offer them a platform for the distribution of their titles.
Mobile gaming is a growing market internationally and Lopes said that this trend is also true for South Africa.
The PlayInc team is currently working on creating a strong foundation for its platform and the user experience, and after that expand its capabilities aggressively with new features.
“Once we have the core basics right, we want to be able to throw all of these other crazy ideas at it which we are planning,” Lopes said.
He did not elaborate on these ideas, but said that the PlayInc team was learning from the successes and failures of Vodacom’s previous mobile game offerings to offer a user-friendly value offering.