Cricket is the most popular sport in India, bar none. It is almost considered a religion in the country, with almost every young kid having played the game at some point while growing up, and millions harbouring a dream to put on the blue jersey of the Indian cricket team at some point in their lives.
The national team is revered, with the likes of Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni having huge fan-followings, but at the same time, losses are scrutinised to an agonizing level, with the team often having to face adverse reactions upon particularly galling defeats. This environment has led to the Indian Premier League (IPL) becoming the hottest and most lucrative T20 tournament in the world, with cricketers from around the world trying to make it to a spot on one of the eight IPL teams.
However, this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the IPL has been indefinitely postponed, and there is a decent chance that it may not be held at all. In such a scenario, cricket fans all over the world, not just in India, have been deprived of one of the showpiece events on the cricket calendar. However, they can make up for this in a small way virtually, with a variety of mobile cricket games available to pass the time and stay connected with the sport. Of all of these games, World Cricket Championship (WCC) is by far at the top of the pile, and it recently announced a ‘signing’ which will take it to the next level.
Nextwave Multimedia, the group which owns the WCC franchise, has signed a deal with Aakash Chopra, former Indian Test opener and now a commentator, to provide commentary on the newly-launched WCC3 game, the next iteration of the WCC franchise. This marks a notable milestone, as it will be the first time that a professional cricket commentator will be providing commentary for a cricket game in India.
This move is expected to drive even more fans towards the game; not that WCC needs it, with 2.5 million daily active users and 10 million monthly active users from the likes of Pakistan, Bangladesh, UAE, UK and even the USA, besides India of course. Since the pandemic and lockdown situations began, WCC has seen a 20% rise in its revenue, with in-app purchases growing by over 100%, and active users also increasing by 25%.
This illustrates just how people are going online and turning to mobile games as an alternative form of entertainment during the lockdown, with even other forms of mobile entertainment, such as online casino games, growing in popularity during this time.
WCC is now on track to go past 110 million downloads, and this provides a huge opportunity for many brands to get onto the game as well, as there is a large captive audience, as seen by the daily and monthly active user numbers, and cricket-focused brands can do especially well on a game like this, which has become the leader in this space.
Chopra himself has said that he is extremely excited to get on the platform, and it will be a test of his skills, as commentating on a live game is completely different to calling the shots on a virtual cricket match, where literally anything can happen on every ball and there is no sense of a narrative or momentum being seen.
WCC3 has even more features, with more shots, better controls, better graphics and animations, motion-capture of some of the leading cricketers, and better AI to create a more balanced and better gaming environment for fans. It promises to be one of the best cricket games out there yet again.
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