Interview: Rajat Kulshrestha from PlayUp, a social gaming platform

Social gaming is a sought-after platform, taking into account how we can’t go about indulging into our favorite sport for hours due to a hectic schedule. PlayUp, a sports-based gaming app for mobile, recently released a web beta version, too. It aims at bringing like minded sports buffs under one roof, and users can form private gaming rooms and get involved in their favorite sport. Although Indian cricket fans may be annoyed over the recent turn of events, cricket remains the most followed sport in the nation. So, will PlayUp put to fore other local Indian games? Would people get involved in other sports, too, except Cricket, and what exactly is in store for socially active Indian sports fans? To know it all, we spoke to Rajat Kulshrestha, CEO, PlayUp India.


Check out excerpts from the interview below:

If you could point out unique features that set PlayUp apart from other gaming applications?

We believe live sport is the ultimate social experience. But, disconnected from our friends and hidden behind our individual screens, we rarely experience the richness of the experience. PlayUp looks to change that. PlayUp is the world’s first mobile-based social network for live sport. The app offers unrivaled coverage of over 30,000 live games a year from across 19 sports with live scores and stats and allows users to engage with other fans within public and private chat rooms to cheer their team on and discuss the finer points of the game.
PlayUp is available for iPhone and recently a beta version was released for the web. Can we expect PlayUp for other platforms like Windows Phone in the near future?

Absolutely! Versions for Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS are slated for imminent release.
What improvements/changes can we see in the PlayUp platform in the coming months for India?

The PlayUp App is constantly evolving and making the user experience richer. February will see the launch of the Android version and the iOS version, too will add the ability to share rich media like images and video with friends. The Android launch will also make the app accessible to more sports fans in India. At the other end, we are continually adding more sports and live games to the app and every sports fan can expect to see his/her favourite sports under the PlayUp banner.
Tell us the current number of downloads and the number of active users for PlayUp in India?
The PlayUp app has seen phenomenal success on the iTunes store. It is the #3 most popular app in India (since October 2011) and the PlayUp Cricket Facebook community is 16 lac strong and saw over 30 percent active users last month.
As PlayUp has a web version and it’s also available on mobile, what kind of syncing features are available?

Full functionality is available across the iOS and the Web versions. Fans can log-in on either platform and no persistent data is maintained across sessions, so there is no need to sync devices.
Can we expect Indian local games on PlayUp?

We are very interested in following and promoting local games and we are exploring these options aggressively.
Apart from Cricket, do you think getting audiences for other sports in India would be difficult?

Not at all. While Cricket does dominate the headlines and sports fans in India are very aware and attached to other sports as well and tend to be connoisseurs in their own right. The challenge lies in providing these sports with an equal footing as Cricket. PlayUp, the app, is sport-agnostic and treats all sports equally and, we hope, it is the best medium to take these sports to the fans.
So will PlayUp limit itself to social gaming, or are there other social segments in the pipeline?

PlayUp is built around live sport. Our social games are also centered around sports and we plan to retain our focus, as we go along.