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OnePlay’s vision is clear: to offer unrestricted access to immersive gaming experiences, anytime, anywhere, without the need for expensive hardware.

Harshit Jain and Abhik Saha (Co-Founders at OnePlay)Harshit Jain and Abhik Saha (Co-Founders at OnePlay)

As the co-founders of OnePlay, Harshit Jain and Abhik Saha set out to tackle a pressing issue in the gaming landscape: accessibility and affordability. Their journey began with a simple observation: the demand for gaming was soaring, especially in India, driven by factors like fast internet and the rise of mobile gaming during the pandemic. Yet, many enthusiasts were held back by the hefty price tags of top-tier gaming hardware. Abhik and Harshit saw an opportunity to bridge this gap.

Enter OnePlay, a decentralised, open-source cloud gaming platform designed to empower gamers worldwide. Their vision was clear: to offer unrestricted access to immersive gaming experiences, anytime, anywhere, without the need for expensive hardware.

But how does OnePlay work, you may ask? It’s simple. By streaming games directly from remote servers to users’ devices over the internet, OnePlay eliminates the need for high-end hardware. This approach not only makes gaming more accessible but also ensures seamless performance on devices with limited specifications.

Looking ahead, OnePlay envisions a future where cloud gaming dominates the Indian market. Their strategy? A combination of innovative features, strategic partnerships, and community-building efforts. From expanding its game library to establishing servers in key cities, OnePlay is committed to making cloud gaming accessible to all.

Here’s Harshit Jain, CEO and co-founder at OnePlay
answering some of our burning questions.

PD: What motivated you to start OnePlay? What problem are you trying to solve?

Harshit Jain: Abhik and I shared a passion for gaming and technology. We identified a growing trend in the gaming landscape, particularly in India, where there was a rising demand for cloud gaming. Factors like fast internet, affordable smartphones, and the surge in mobile gaming during the COVID-19 pandemic fueled this demand. However, we also observed that many gamers were limited by the high cost of hardware required to get top-notch gaming experiences.
Our focus with OnePlay was to address this problem of accessibility and affordability in gaming. We wanted to offer a decentralised, open-source cloud gaming platform, that empowers gamers globally. We sought to build a platform that grants unrestricted access to immersive gaming anytime anywhere, eliminating the need for expensive gaming hardware.

PD: How does OnePlay work? What is the technology behind it?

Harshit Jain: OnePlay is a revolutionary decentralised and open-source cloud gaming platform that empowers gamers worldwide with limitless access to immersive gaming experiences – all without the need for costly hardware. Our core vision lies in streaming games from remote servers directly to the user’s device over the internet. When users subscribe to OnePlay, they unlock a rich game library where users can access games from different genres and effortlessly stream them to their devices. Rather than depending on the user’s device for rendering and processing game graphics, OnePlay’s servers take on these responsibilities. It also allows devices with limited specifications to enjoy gaming with impressive graphics and seamless performance. By leveraging cloud gaming technology, OnePlay eliminates the need for users to invest in expensive gaming hardware. This approach makes gaming more accessible and affordable for a wider audience, democratising the gaming experience for enthusiasts across the globe.

PD: What is OnePlay’s vision for the future of gaming in India? How do they plan to achieve it?

Harshit Jain: We envision a future where cloud gaming becomes the primary gaming solution in the Indian market, and we are equipped with a strategy to make this vision a reality. Our initial action involves establishing a dedicated gaming community through the integration of live streaming, a game store, and a distinct standalone cloud gaming platform. We aim to provide functionalities like game price discovery, seamless live streaming on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch, and official support for Mods and DLCs. These efforts are geared towards crafting an immersive gaming environment that nurtures camaraderie among our users.  Additionally, we plan to expand our game library to over 500 titles by bundling games from other developers. We also aim to cater to gamers on multiple platforms, including Linux, iPhone/iPad, and LG TVs, to ensure accessibility for all players.

In the long term, we’re committed to addressing technical challenges such as designing low-cost gaming servers and deploying edge servers globally. We plan to form strategic partnerships with telecom providers, collaborate with companies like Samsung, and host cloud esports events to further establish ourselves in the market. Our vision for the future of gaming in India is to make cloud gaming accessible to a wider audience through innovative strategies, partnerships, and community-building efforts

PD: I have my accounts like Steam, PSN etc. logged into OnePlay. How do you ensure round-the-clock security of your network and your user’s data?

Harshit Jain: We use individual user-level multilayer encryption to store user data, including login sessions and game saves, directly on the cloud, ensuring that only the real user has access to them. Simultaneously, we actively monitor the infrastructure and network 24/7.

PD: What are some key milestones/achievements for OnePlay so far? Any major partnerships?

OnePlay has made remarkable progress in the cloud gaming industry, reaching several significant milestones and fostering crucial partnerships, showing its commitment to providing top-notch cloud gaming experiences to its users.

Seed Funding: OnePlay secured $1.8 million in seed funding from Baring Capital, Inflection Point Ventures, and prominent angel investors like Kunal Shah of CRED, Suraj Nalin of PlaySimple Games, Amit Shrivastav of Gupshup, and Jitendra Gupta, CEO of Jupiter. This injection of capital will fuel OnePlay’s growth and innovation in the cloud gaming sector.

User Base and Downloads: Since its establishment in 2019, OnePlay has achieved an impressive registered user base of over 50,000 players and has garnered over 100,000 downloads, highlighting the platform’s notable traction and popularity among Indian gamers.

Expansion Plans: OnePlay’s reach extends across key cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chennai, and Kolkata. The team envisions comprehensive coverage of India and plans to establish servers in Noida and Chennai within the next 3-6 months, further enhancing accessibility for users.

Telecom Partnerships: We are actively collaborating with telecom partners in India to ensure smooth connectivity for users during cloud gaming sessions. These partnerships aim to boost the user experience by providing a consistent network connection, which is crucial for cloud gaming.

Samsung Collaboration: OnePlay has partnered with Samsung, a global leader in consumer electronics, to bring seamless cloud gaming experiences to millions of Indians through Samsung Smart TVs. This collaboration enables users to access OnePlay’s services directly on Samsung Smart TVs, transforming them into gaming powerhouses without the need for a console or PC.

NVIDIA Inception Program: Recently, we also joined the NVIDIA Inception program, a leading accelerator for AI startups. This partnership provides access to NVIDIA’s cutting-edge technical resources, including GPU infrastructure, to innovate and grow in the cloud gaming space. The collaboration promises to push the boundaries of what’s possible in cloud gaming, further solidifying the company’s position as a pioneer in the industry.

PD:What are the challenges of building a gaming startup in India? How is the gaming ecosystem evolving?

Harshit Jain: Building a gaming startup in India comes with several challenges due to various factors affecting the gaming ecosystem.

Here are some of the key challenges faced by gaming startups in India:

Infrastructure obstacles: Indian game developers often encounter infrastructure challenges, such as limited access to high-speed internet, reliable hardware, and advanced programming tools. This can hinder the seamless execution of creative visions and slow down the development process.

Access to funding: Securing funding is a consistent challenge for Indian game developers, impacting the scale and scope of their projects. Limited financial resources may force developers to compromise on the quality and scale of their games, affecting their competitiveness in the market.

Talent retention: Despite a growing talent pool, retaining skilled developers is challenging due to global opportunities and a competitive landscape. Hence, nurturing a workplace environment that fosters positivity, coupled with competitive compensation and accessible learning opportunities, are all crucial components for retaining top talent.

Educational gaps: Bridging the knowledge gap is essential to prepare the next generation of Indian game developers. Collaboration between educational institutions and industry partners can lead to curriculum improvements and skill-building initiatives to meet the evolving needs of the gaming industry.

Despite these challenges, the gaming ecosystem in India is evolving rapidly. The Indian gaming landscape is witnessing significant growth, with opportunities for emerging companies to capitalise on untapped market segments. However, addressing the challenges of infrastructure, funding, talent retention, cultural representation, and education is crucial for the sustainable growth of the gaming ecosystem in India.

PD: Who are the major players in cloud gaming in India and where does OnePlay stand among them currently and where do you see its future?

Harshit Jain: Currently, OnePlay is positioning itself as a significant contender in the Indian cloud gaming space. It differentiates itself by focusing on providing a simple and cost-effective gaming platform, eliminating the need for expensive hardware and addressing challenges such as latency, infrastructure, and security. Additionally, we aim to build a comprehensive gaming universe by integrating features like live streaming, a diverse game store, and a unique cloud gaming platform.

In terms of its current standing among competitors, OnePlay boasts a diverse portfolio of games, surpassing Jio Games Cloud in both quantity and quality. It also emphasises community building and plans to reach gamers on multiple platforms. As for the future, OnePlay has ambitious goals to establish cloud gaming as the mainstream gaming solution in the Indian market. With its focus on addressing technical challenges, expanding its game catalogue, and forming strategic partnerships, OnePlay is poised for significant growth and could potentially become a leading player in the Indian cloud gaming industry. However, success will depend on its ability to execute its plans effectively and adapt to the evolving dynamics of the gaming market.

PD: What advice would they have for young entrepreneurs looking to get into gaming?

Harshit Jain: I recommend gaining exposure and immersing oneself in gaming to find hooks that keep you interested, and from there, beginning a career. Certainly, the gaming market is huge, probably as big or bigger than the entertainment market, and with ten times more interesting things. In the future, as more of the internet becomes interactive media, gaming will expand beyond its traditional boundaries.

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