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Dhruva Interactive was an Indian video game developer based in Bangalore. The company was founded by Rajesh Rao in March 1997 as the first game company in India. In December 2016, Dhruva was majority-acquired by Swedish developer Starbreeze Studios. Starbreeze sold its stake in May 2019 to Rockstar Games, which merged Dhruva into its Rockstar India studio.

Dhruva Interactive
IndustryVideo game industry
FateMerged into Rockstar India
Founded15 March 1997; 22 years ago (1997-03-15)
FounderRajesh Rao
Defunct22 May 2019 (2019-05-22)
Key people
  • Rajesh Rao (CEO)
  • Ajit Pillai (CFO)
Number of employees
320 (2016)


Background and foundation (1995–1997)Edit

Prior to founding Dhruva Interactive, Rajesh Rao was a programmer and engineering student.[1] His final assignment in engineering was in multimedia, wherein he created his own multimedia engine, which he used as the foundation of a new multimedia company he then founded in 1995.[1] His father provided him with seed money for a bank loan with which he acquired a computer and 14.4 kbp modem, and Rao began his company as a one-man operation on 15 March 1995.[2] By 1997, the company had grown to five people.[2] In February 1997, Rao's company was approached by Intel, who proposed them to develop software for their new Pentium II chip; the two companies signed an agreement in March and Rao's company developed a rendering engine for the Pentium II.[1][2] According to Rao, this deal marked the end for "Dhruva 1.0" and the beginning of "Dhruva 2.0", with the company reinventing itself as a video game company through its deal with Intel.[2] Rao formally founded Dhruva Interactive on 15 March 1997.[1][3] Thus, Dhruva was first game company in India.[3][4]

As a subsidiary (2016–present)Edit

In December 2016, Swedish video game developer Starbreeze Studios announced that it had acquired a 90.5% stake in Dhruva for US$7 million in cash and $1.5 million, including an earn-out agreement of $800,000.[5] At the time of the acquisition, Dhruva had 320 employees distributed across three studios: two in Bangalore and one in Dehradun.[5] In May 2019, Starbreeze, suffering from financial issues, agreed to sell Dhruva off to Rockstar Games, an American video game publisher.[6] For a payment of US$7.9 million, Rockstar received Starbreeze's stake in Dhruva (then increased to 91.82%), with the deal expected to close later in the first half of 2019.[6] Dhruva employees were transferred to Rockstar India, Rockstar Games' existing operations in the country.[6][7] The acquisition closed on 22 May.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d Takahashi, Dean (9 March 2017). "Dhruva's Rajesh Rao is still bullish on India's game market — after two decades". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on 17 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Friedman, Thomas (5 April 2005). The World Is Flat. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  3. ^ a b Takahashi, Dean (30 March 2014). "Dhruva CEO explains how India's game industry is coming of age (interview)". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on 17 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  4. ^ Handrahan, Matthew (23 October 2015). ""You pay a heavy price for being a pioneer"". Archived from the original on 19 May 2019. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b Takahashi, Dean (18 December 2016). "Sweden's Starbreeze buys Indian video game studio Dhruva Interactive". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on 6 September 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Valentine, Rebekah (13 May 2019). "Rockstar acquires Dhruva Interactive from Starbreeze for $7.9m". Archived from the original on 13 May 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  7. ^ Onder, Cade (14 May 2019). "Rockstar Games acquires Indian studio Dhruva Interactive". GameZone. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  8. ^ Starbreeze (22 May 2019). "Starbreeze has closed the transaction of Indian subsidiary Dhruva". Starbreeze Studios. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 15 September 2019.

External linksEdit