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Zapak chalks out aggressive growth plans, launches online multiplayer cricket game

20-December-2006
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Zapak chalks out aggressive growth plans, launches online multiplayer cricket game

Zapak Digital Entertainment, a Reliance ADAG venture, has been seeing a lot of action of late. After claiming to have got a million page views a day, the gaming portal has now launched its full feature online multiplayer cricket game. The portal has also unveiled the Zapak TV feature, which will offer audio visual content such as online game reviews, features on online gaming, news on the online gaming industry as well as contests, presented by video jockeys and gamers.

Zapak has lined up an aggressive promotion strategy for its new initiatives. To being with, the portal has roped in Kapil Dev and Navjyot Singh Sidhu as brand managers for its online gaming venture.

Said Kapil Dev, “Today, youngsters are no longer content with the usual ways of playing, they want to explore more effective and efficient ways to play, to utilise their time. The Multiplayer Online Cricket game has all the features that make cricket exciting and we will see this as the big hit as the original game itself.”

Sidhu said, “I have played the game a few times and I feel that the game play is brilliant. It’s almost like playing on the field. I have the option of trying out various batting strokes and unlike on the field the game gives me the option to try my hand at bowling too.”

Zapak currently offers 150 games and has plans to lure hardcore Indian gamers with the soon-to-be released Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) content.

Rohit Sharma, Chief Operating Officer, Zapak Entertainment, said, “India has more than 300,000 hardcore gamers, and we at Zapak want to offer them world class content. We are currently at an advanced stage of talks with leading international gaming content providers, and Zapak will have the top three MMOG games on board within the next three to six months. We plan to begin charging for the games after six months.”

According Reliance Entertainment, President, Rajesh Sawhney, “Online gaming is a nascent concept in India. We are today offering games across various genres to suit the requirements of various age groups. Cricket is our big ticket offering to the online fraternity with which we intend to make a mark in Indian games even among the international fraternity. We are planning to invest $100 million in this field over three years.”

Zapak already has tie-ups with 10 studios which provide 20 casual, flash based games to the portal on a monthly basis. The upcoming exclusive gaming cafes, called ‘Zapak Zones’, will invade 100 Indian cities within the next two years. The first 10 Zapak zones will be launched in 10 major cities in a test phase in the next quarter. The Zapak team has also lined up a host of online and offline contests for gamers, which will be rolled out soon.

Commenting on the portal’s unusual name, Sharma said that ‘Zapak’ had been named after a lot of research. “It denotes speed, youth, fun and whacky stuff, which is what we are. We have no plans of joining the mobile gaming bandwagon and want to be a purely web and PC based gaming portal,” he added.

On the advertising plans, Sharma said, “We are targeting Adver-gaming for the next 3-4 months. We are doing a 360-degree campaign that includes print, TVC, outdoors, etc., but our focus will later on shift to the Internet. We will be doing video ads and banners on the Internet. The print campaigns have already started appearing in major publications.”

Zapak’s campaign on television comprises three TVCs, each highlighting the competitive spirit of a gamer. The creative agency behind the campaign is Marching Ants.

The outdoor ads include regular hoardings, malls across eight cities, including CR2 in Mumbai, Sahara Mall in New Delhi, and others in Pune and Chennai.

Also see:

Zapak touches 1 million page views a day; launches new multiplayer cricket game

http://www.exchange4media.com/e4m/izone1/izone_fullstory.asp?section_id=4&news_id=24043&tag=18770&pict=7

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