MPL or Mobile Premier League as it’s also known, is working on a battle royale game. Several sources familiar with the company’s plans tell us that it’s tentatively slated for an October 2021 release window for Android and iOS. Usually known for its prowess as a real-money gaming aka gambling behemoth, it appears to be taking concrete steps to be seen as an actual video game company. Reason being, this move follows its acquisition of esports startup Gaming Monk and helping Mumbai-based game developer Lifelike Studios launch its shooter Rogue Heist.
It’s unclear if Lifelike Studios is working on this. The developer has kept an awfully low profile since the launch of its shooter Rogue Heist. Though it will be interesting to see if MPL’s own battle royale game development and subsequent roll out has any impact on its existing relationships with developers on its platform such as Garena whose own battle royale title Free Fire, let gamers earn cash on MPL.
So Why Is MPL Building a Battle Royale Game?
It’s a confident move, to get into making and running a battle royale game. Particularly in a market like India that’s dominated by three major shooters — Battlegrounds Mobile India aka PUBG, Free Fire, and Call of Duty. In India alone, the three games have roughly 100 million users according to industry estimates.
For what it’s worth the company has the inclination to go beyond its real money endeavours, sources tell us. More importantly, it has the funds to take on such a task. MPL is valued at $945 million after picking up $95 million in a Series D fund raise in February 2021. According to Entrackr, a site that tracks Indian companies, the company is well on the way to have a $2 billion valuation.
And that’s before you consider that MPL already has the tech and expertise to roll out events and tournaments already. This would allow the company to profit directly from every aspect of the game as it would essentially own every piece of the ecosystem, right from in-app purchases to distribution and broadcast rights, quite possibly giving the likes of Krafton and Epic Games a run for their money.
Considering MPL’s scale and scope is global, we won’t be surprised to see its battle royale effort being an international one. The company set up shop in the US in June 2021 to get a slice of the world’s biggest mobile gaming market.
It helps that CEO and co-founder Sai Srinivas has ample experience in the video games business, cutting his teeth at Zynga India and later at Bharti Softbank, launching the polished Indian trivia game, Songquest before founding smartphone startup Creo.
Nonetheless, we’ve reached out to Srinivas for comment and will update this story if we hear from him or the company.