Hyderabad-based gaming company Gameshastra has sold one of its studios to Disney Interactive Media Group. The studio was providing back-end support for the popular Disney game, Gardens of Time, on Facebook. Although the financials of the deal were not available as of now, the deal was closed in the second half of May this year.
In Gardens of Time, the player uses a time machine to locate hidden objects throughout history and protect the world from evil forces. It was conceptualised and developed by Gameshastra and presented to Disney for approval in early 2011. Once approved, the game was developed and delivered to Disney and it went on to become the top game on Facebook, according to Gameshastra.
Although Disney owned the game, one of Gameshastra’s studios was still handling the development work for the game, like providing upgrades for Playdom, the social games product group of Disney Interactive Media Group. Hence, Disney approached the company and acquired that studio, which had started its operations in the first half of 2011 in Hyderabad and had a team size of 45.
At the time of acquisition, the studio was solely focused on Gardens of Time. Post-acquisition, the studio is no longer a part of Gameshastra and instead reports to Playdom, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company and part of the Disney Interactive Media Group. This means the team is not part of Indiagames, the digital gaming unit of UTV, which is controlled by Disney. Indiagames is one of the top digital gaming firms in the country.
Gameshastra continues to manage a few more studios that develop games on a third-party basis for Sony, Disney, Activision and Ubisoft as well as on its own. Some of the working titles include Bee Wars, Cart Kings and Don 2. The company, founded in 2006, has Prakash Ahuja as its CEO. It initially offered gaming services to international studios, but over a period of time, it also started developing its own IP. The company claims to be profitable as of now.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)