[ludo king paytm cash]A winner: How Ludo became the king of games during the pandemic

  Mumbai-based Narmeen Kazi, 49, was usually fond of playing Ludo in the traditional manner using a physical board with four multicolor pieces and a dice until someone suggested her to play the game on her smartphone during the lockdown.

  It didn’t take her long to get comfortable with the virtual version of the game and she soon found herself playing the game every day with friends and family.

  “I don’t exactly remember the name of the app, my daughter downloaded it in my phone, but I enjoy playing it a lot. As you keep playing the game, you cross levels and gain coins. I think I have crossed some 20 levels as I recently got the notification for the same,” Kazi proudly told ET Digital.

  Some 1000 kilometers away in Gurugram, 27-year-old Yogesh Tayal too joined the bandwagon of the Ludo rage during the lockdown. “Since a colleague suggested the game, I have been playing at least 2-3 games every day post lockdown,” he said.

  When asked why Ludo particularly became famous during the period, he said, “Anyone can play Ludo, be it your family members, friends or strangers. It is an old childhood game for many and people feel an emotional connection towards the game.”

  Just like Kazi and Tayal, a sizeable number of people in the country have rekindled their relationship with the age-old game. Confined in homes with friends and family, the lockdown was no less than a nostalgia trip for many, where people rediscovered the joy of watching Ramayana and Mahabharata on television. A game familiar to all generations, Ludo once again found its momentum, this time through digital means.

  Raging numbers

  An indication of this rekindled friendship is the booming user base of Ludo King, whose tagline itself reads ‘Recall your childhood’. According to Vikash Jaiswal, founder and CEO, Ludo King, the firm’s active user base of 1.5 crore before the lockdown increased to 5 crore users per day from all across the globe after the lockdown began.

  However, Jaiswal and his team had not anticipated such a huge spike. “We were not prepared for that,” he told ET Digital.

  ludokingVikash Jaiswal, founder and CEO, Ludo King.

  He added that before the lockdown, they were using 8 servers, but to make the platform work smoothly without crashes and lags, they had to increase the number of servers to 200 after the lockdown began.

  “While the daily average time spent on the game increased from 32 minutes to 49 minutes, there is a considerable amount of people who play the game for 4-5 hours daily,” he said.

  Witnessing similar results, Afsar Ahmad, co-founder, GameBerry Labs- maker of Ludo Star, saw 300% jump in daily user engagement after the lockdown kicked off with the average daily time spent being 1.5 to 2 hours.

  The average age group of the majority of Ludo players as per Ahmad and Jaiswal is between 18-34.

  “Even I play at least one game per day. In fact, I like to play high risk, high stake games,” Jaiswal said. However, for Ahmad, who has been working on the game for the past three years, Ludo is now more work than leisure.

  Not ‘just a game’

  While Ludo can be all fun and entertaining, it can, at times, get on people’s nerves. Since the whole game is ruled by a dice, a winning move for one player can wipe off the hard work of another in seconds, making the latter feel frustrated. In the online platform, especially when playing with unknown players across the globe, leaving the game in the middle after repeatedly getting cut is a common scene.


  Both Ludo King and Ludo Star are highly rated apps, but the comment section in Google Play Store and Apple Store tells another story of angry users who strongly believe that the game is rigged.

  In the Apple store, a user’s comment for Ludo King read, “the game is so biased that you tend to lose most of the games you play, you struggle to get the numbers and there’s always one opponent who gets all the good numbers.”

  Another wrote, “The game is a total fake game. In most of the matches your last token will be stuck at 1 and that 1 will never come.”

  “A lot of people complain that the game is rigged. We use a complete random dice number, but people always feel that the system is against them,” Ahmad said.

  The Ludo King team had also come across many such comments in the form of emails from disgruntled users who are convinced that a group of hackers run the game.

  “We see a lot of angry and frustrated comments on our app with people claiming that the game is rigged. Comments such as ‘Only green color wins’ or ‘Always yellow color wins’ can be seen again and again. There are also comments such as ‘Only Higher advanced players always win’ or ‘Only Indonesians always win’,” Jaiswal said.

  Interestingly, these comments have come even after Ludo King does not provide the option of getting three sixes, which can usually be very disappointing and also snatches away a turn of the player.

  Clarifying the misconception, he said these comments are very common in gaming apps and the team does not control the game in any manner.

  “We play no part in the game, it is completely random and purely based on luck and not on any color or country,” he said.

  While the remarks by the indignant players certainly reflect their frustration, it is also an indication of the game’s popularity and the growing addiction towards it.

  To make it more engaging, Jaiswal said that the Ludo King team is working on some interesting new features and will soon introduce a 5 and 6-player Ludo game.

  It is also soon going to bring an audio chat feature in the game. Trash talking through the game is not uncommon in Ludo and both Ludo King and Ludo Star have provided a chat platform with in-built comments such as ‘Play Fast!’, ‘I will eat you!’, and ‘Today is my day’. An audio chat feature is likely to increase the user engagement.