Zapak Digital Entertainment, a Reliance ADAG venture, is planning to roll out 250 Zapak cafés, called ‘Gameplexes’, across India by the end of this financial year. Phase I of this rollout will include the launch of Gameplexes in eight cities – Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chandigarh. The company is aiming at revenues of Rs 1.5-2 crore per centre by the end of first year of operations.
After the launch of Zapak.com portal, which offers more than 300 games, launching a common ‘access point’ for gamers was the next logical step for the company. Gaming has still not fully taken off in India, primarily due to low PC specification, poor connectivity and limited content. Zapak’s Gameplexes, with their exclusive gaming environment, adopt a mass-based approach to promote the gaming business and
a highly involved gamers’ community.
Currently, cyber cafes are the most prominent ‘access points’ despite increasing prominence of home access. According to an I Cube Report, 2006, almost 62 per cent of active Internet users in the top 26 cities accessed Internet from cyber cafés.
Rohit Sharma, COO, Zapak Digital Entertainment Ltd, said, “At Zapak, we want to take charge of the complete gaming value chain. Shared access is the key driver for gaming in India and worldwide, and the Zapak Gameplexes will act as a stimulant for that. They will provide the Indian consumer the best gaming experience by giving them superb ambience, technical specification of the computers and high speed broadband
connectivity, thus offering the players a never-before experience.”
Sharma further said, “Zapak Digital Entertainment would launch Zapak Card, a gaming cash card available for purchase, noting that in the gaming value chain, payment mechanism and access are critical, besides content. The card would be launched in two weeks’ time.”
He added, “Currently, there are roughly 140,000 cyber cafes in India, out of which 97 per cent falls in the unorganised category. Going by these statistics, organised gaming cafes have a good future in India. The introduction of Zapak Gameplexes will provide a fillip to organised gaming in the country.”