Zapak.com, which recently found a place among the top 10 fast-rising search queries in 2007, according to Google Zeitgeist report, has revealed some of its plans for the year ahead. The gaming portal from Reliance ADAG has unveiled its plans to enter the massive multiplayer online games (MMOG) space in collaboration with a Chinese partner, and is also intending to make its presence in the online casual gaming market in China this year.
Elaborating more on the company’s plans for its foray into newer markets in 2008, Rohit Sharma, COO, Zapak Digital Entertainment, noted that Zapak’s MMOG would be in the casual gaming segment. Declining to reveal much details of the Chinese partner or the name of the product, Sharma added, “We will be ready to share more details in the coming months. We are not looking at a subscription-based revenue model through the MMOG; instead we are planning to gain more revenues through item-based sales. We are also looking at opportunities to step into the huge Chinese online casual gaming market with a Chinese website.”
Taking stock of the year gone by, Sharma pointed that the portal had managed to have more than 4 million registered users and more than 10 million page views. “We have been fairly instrumental in developing the Internet advertising market in India,” he stressed. Claiming to have more than 100 brands aboard on the gaming site, Sharma notes that many of them were first time online advertisers.
Revealing that in-game advertising and advergaming contributed to 25-30 per cent of the company’s revenues, Sharma expected this to grow to reach 50 per cent of the total revenues by this yearend. Sharing his thoughts on the video advertising potential on Zapak.com, he observed, “Zapak.com provides immense opportunities for video advertising as flash videos can be aired during the game loads.”
Identifying that around half of the users to the site were in the age group of 12-25, Sharma however said that the stickiest group was from the six-12 age bracket, which comprised 25 per cent of users to the site. He also noted that close to 50 per cent of visitors from the site was from the tier II and III cities in the country.
With major plans to expand the Zapak Gameplexes to more than 150 by 2008, the deep pocketed gaming portal from Reliance has set its sights far and high. One will have to play the watching game to see how they manage to cap it all in the coming months.