Netflix’s Squid Game had a phenomenal cultural impact. From social media memes to artwork to third-party video games, it has clearly established its place. Even gaming platforms like Roblox, which have always been known for modding and creating free variations of popular games, have decided to dip their toes into the craze. One of those companies to do the same and bring the experience of deadly stakes to mobile devices would be an Indian game studio – SuperGaming.
Based in Pune, the company has worked on a handful of popular mobile games namely MaskGun, Tower Shooter and Silly World – a real-time online multiplayer game inspired by InnerSloth’s Among Us. Recently, SuperGaming announced the addition of a mode inspired by Squid Game in Silly World.
Dubbed âSquid Royale,â the mode has already received 600,000 pre-registrations and is currently offering plenty of in-game currencies to players as part of the celebration. Indianexpress.com sat down with Roby John, CEO and Co-Founder of SuperGaming to talk about the project, its inspirations and the wider gaming scene in India. Here are some edited excerpts from the interview.
About Squid Royale, its exit strategy and response
Squid Royale in Silly World will be available for a limited time to everyone when it goes live, with pre-registrations granting in-game currency. At launch, only the âRed Light Green Lightâ level inspired by the game Squid from Netflix will be available, while other modes such as Tug of War, Marble Game, Dalgona Cookie, and Glass Bridge will be playable across the board.
Since going live, Silly World’s Squid Royale pre-registrations have surpassed 600,000. It is encouraging to see that our audiences, new and old, are willing to give this a try. As for the journey that created this, at SuperGaming we’re huge fans of Netflix’s Squid game and how it fit into the Silly World philosophy – the ability to express yourself with over-the-top, wacky designs.
Standing out from other third-party Squid Game inspired games such as Roblox:
Our intention is to make Silly World a destination where people can socialize around games and make new friends, through our social features such as voice chat and emoticons. It serves to reflect our culture, whether it’s the use of memes or events that help players bond. From that point of view, Squid Game has turned out to be a welcome inspiration.
On the similarities of Silly World to Among Us:
Well, Inner Sloth’s Among Us was a huge motivator, and as you can see with Squid Royale, we’re not particularly shy about what inspires us to make games better. That said, the underlying thinking helped answer the question: what if games could be the new social network? We combined this with the idea that Among Us would codify the gender of social deduction. Much like the Call of Duty franchise has a blueprint in place for what defines a first-person shooter.
What challenges do you see for Indian games to stand out in the market? MaskGun, for example, has reached 50 million users, but has it been difficult to reach that number?
The challenge is to make sure we’re on par with our global counterparts in the mobile gaming space. Gamers, in India or elsewhere, are used to more sophisticated and immersive games with a cohesive deployment of content in terms of events and modes. It’s not the easiest thing to master and there is a lot of iteration, trial and error. This is something we learned firsthand with MaskGun. It started out similar in appearance to Counter-Strike before settling into the dynamic look and user experience you see today.
Granted, we were fortunate to have over five million installs in our first month, although the growth of that base forced us to focus on areas that other major titles missed. For example, until recently MaskGun was the only game celebrating Diwali with bespoke content. Additionally, we have paid obsessive attention to the community playing the game to make sure their feedback and needs are considered. This is how MaskGun’s 1v1 mode was born – born from player feedback.
What do you think of the game development scene here in India? What would be the right path for an aspiring game developer?
I firmly believe that we have all the talents in the world to create original games with all three aspects of our market, our gamer ecosystem and our thriving designer ecosystem. Having said that, most of the global companies want to use India simply as a low cost outsourcing destination. And while it is okay to learn the early years while doing outsourced game development, there is a need to evolve beyond that.
The simple act of outsourcing game development leads to piecemeal work, stifled creativity, and generally burnout. Creators need an outlet for their skills, ambition and creativity, hence the potential of Indian game studios to create original games that represent their identity and individual aspirations.
In our experience, the only âright wayâ is to get down to business. We have earned our stripes by creating educational and hyper-relaxed games for nearly ten years before MaskGun, Silly World and the official PAC-MAN game which runs on June Engine, our made in India gaming technology.
What other projects are you working on right now? Do you plan to work on PC games or consoles in the near future?
In addition to our existing games, we are working on an Indian-made battle royale game for the world called âIndusâ for mobile. The console and PC space is exciting and would be the natural next step for us, however, we have nothing to reveal at this time.
Where do you see the growth of the Indian gaming market?
This is an interesting question, especially considering the relationship of the Indian game development industry with the games market in the country. As an industry, we are moving away from work-on-demand projects towards more original intellectual property. And as we see the results of this strategy taking hold, especially in the casual genre with games like Ludo King on mobile, we believe the opportunity lies in delivering deeper and more immersive 3D experiences by putting the spotlight on the game. ’emphasis on standing out as we compete with world games. .
This will likely be the next step in the evolution of the gaming market here. The mobile gaming ecosystem has been around for over 10 years at this point. There is a whole generation of gamers who have grown up playing games made by top international studios and have sufficiently understood what they expect from a great experience.
We are a country of over a billion people with over 350 million players who will soon grow to 500 million. Outside of China, it is the largest ecosystem of gamers in the world that has accelerated growth after the pandemic.
Silly World is available for free download on Android and iOS.