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Now, Sholay games, comics!

September 24, 2004 09:12 IST

Mumbai-based Sholay Media and Entertainment has a clear-cut mandate. Reach out to the younger generation and market Sholay as a brand.

The company, a subsidiary of G P Sippy Entertainment Group, has just tied up with mobile gaming company Mobile2Win (M2W) to market screensavers, ringtone dialogues, wallpapers, movie clips and games based on the film. And this is just the beginning.

Says Sascha Sippy, co-director of Sholay Media and Entertainment: "We are in talks with a global animation major to come out with an animated version of the classic, and an Indian publisher to come out with Sholay comics. The Sholay franchise is all set to have an online presence as well, where Sholay games will be played and talks are on to develop a console video game."

Sippy informs that merchandising of Sholay characters and a full-fledged documentary on the Sholay phenomenon and possibly a novel of the film script, is definitely on the cards. And he is confident that Sholay will always be a money spinner. When the film premiered on DD National in 1996 its spot rate was an astounding Rs 250,000 per 10 seconds.

Rajiv Hiranandani at M2W hopes that the magic will repeat itself in the mobile space as well. "Games based on a film like Lakshya have commanded 40,000 downloads till date. For Sholay, we expect to cross 100,000," he says.

The price of a Sholay mobile game will cost Rs 50 to Rs 99 per download across operators. This is more than double the usual price of game downloads.

Sholay games and other downloads will also be available in South Africa, the United States and Europe through tie-ups with operators there. The revenue share is usually a 50-50 split between the cellular operator and M2W, who again share revenue with the brand owner.

And to ensure proper handling of the Sholay properties, the Sippys have registered "Basanti Tangewali", "Gabbar Singh" and other characters of the film as trademarks.

Will a nearly 30-year-old film be able to attract younger viewers? Says film trade analyst Taran Adarsh, "A multiplex owner informed me that the only film still doing roaring business is Sholay, proving that the film is more than just a cinematic experience. And while merchandising hasn't done too well in the context of Indian films, Sholay toys could just push the envelope and open up a revenue earning area for the industry."

Soumik Sen in Mumbai