US gaming firm to quadruple operations in Hyderabad

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Pole To Win president (Americas and India) Kasturi Rangan (from left) at the launch of Orange Rock’s Esports Division, with CEO Deborah Kirkham in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Hyderabad: US-based Pole To Win International (PTW), a games, digital entertainment and interactive media solutions provider, with 16 offices in 10 countries worldwide, is planning to expand its operations in Hyderabad. The company with a workforce of 7,000 globally, is planning to quadruple its base in Hyderabad in the next 2-3 years.

PTW International CEO Deborah Kirkham told Telangana Today, “We forayed into Hyderabad in October 2016 and are completing three years of our operations here. We first entered in Bengaluru in 2009. We have 600 people working in Bengaluru now and 250 in Hyderabad. We are out of space in Hyderabad already and we need to take additional space here. We plan to double the workforce in Hyderabad to 500 next year and to 1,000 by next 2-3 years. We could also look at a third location in India soon.”

Deborah added, “Growth of mobile, 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and streaming are driving growth in the gaming market, globally. We see cross-platforms will be the future. We are spreading our presence. We work with 23 out of top global gaming publishers and four of the top ten Fortune 500 companies in the gaming space. We also work with many top e-learning companies. Our culture has remained a key differentiator in the segment.”

PTW provides quality assurance, localisation, customer experience, engineering and development services, and audio production services to its clients in the gaming, e-learning and a variety of digital services. The company hires and trains its team across the areas.

In terms of talent availability, Kasturi Rangan, president, Americas and India, PTW International, said, “Gaming talent is hard to find globally be it in testing, localisation or translation. We make an effort to train the gamers and game developers to meet our needs. We are today working on disrupting technologies and projects, using artificial intelligence, machine learning and a lot of testing tools. We have launched 350 games last year and every year we keep developing at least a hundred games.”

Rangan added, “We help gaming companies develop, test and launch them globally. With 30-plus locations globally, we understand culture, people and markets better. We have analytics teams that help on what we should implement. We have also significantly invested in automation and R&D. We are also creating cyber security capabilities to prevent cyber-attacks and we are helping our clients in this direction.”

On the acquisitions, Deborah says, “We have done acquisitions in the past. We had acquired a company in London to foray into audio business. We are looking at acquisitions this fiscal as well. We constantly evaluate the market to understand what our priorities should be.”

Esports foray

PTW International has launched Orange Rock Esports, an esports team, which is qualified for the ESL championship in Milan. The Orange Rock Sports team is currently undergoing an exclusive bootcamp in Hyderabad. They will be undergoing the training for the next two months. The team will have its first competition during late September, having qualified for Vodafone 5G PUBG finals in Milan, representing India.

Esports market globally is valued at about $1.1 billion this year, registering a growth of 27 per cent year-on-year. Korea, North America, China and Europe (Germany being the major market) are the top markets globally. It is predicted that there will be 557 million esports enthusiasts by 2021 and PTW is eager to capture a major pie in the esports viewers.

India is fast picking up. Brazil and Russia are also in the race to be among the top markets for gaming, due to smartphone penetration, noted Ravi Mantena, director of products, PTW International.