Update: As Richa Anand from Zapak points out (by way of a comment), all social game developers will move to Facebook credits, for all in-app payments, starting 1st July 2011. She also informs that the tie-up with 6Waves was focussed more on building an Indian community for its games.
Zapak, the gaming company from the Reliance ADA Group, has launched its social game Zapak Tambola, on Facebook. Although Zapak has a Facebook app that lets users play 118 games from the company’s stable, this one is an independent app with complete social integration and virtual goods & currency. Last year, it had tied-up with Hong Kong based 6Waves to bring Facebook based social games to the Indian market. We checked the popular game Mall World, and found that Indian currency and localised payment options have still not been integrated.
The game is essentially a version of the popular game Housie (also known as Bingo), in which players get tickets with random numbers and strike them out, as they are called-out randomly. Players out-do each other by striking out more numbers. The multi-player game allows players to chat with each other, and also send virtual gifts. Also, users can buy virtual cash to pay for game tickets after they exhaust their default allowance. The virtual cash can also be used to pay for virtual gifts, and buy virtual costumes for the players’ avatars.
As with other things Facebook, players get rewarded for ‘liking’ the game and for playing everyday, and can invite their friends to play the game. Chat is filtered for offensive words. It also displays daily, weekly, monthly and over-all leader-boards for players.
Players can buy virtual currency or TCash through SMS, by Credit Cards, Net banking, ITZ Cash card, Oxicash, PayMate and through Zapak Pins(game cards). In addition, it will also add virtual goods payment aggregator Zong, which allow users to make payments from their prepaid phone balance, in the future. At the moment, only 1 Cash point can be bought through a single Rs.3 SMS, at one go.
Indian game development companies are increasingly exploring possibilities in popular Indian games. Ibibo also offers a Facebook version of its popular game ‘Teen Patti’, complete with virtual goods and cash, and multiplayer capabilities. Although, the companies are trying to increase offline distribution of their game cards, we believe that premium SMS will be the most popular, in terms of reach. Perhaps, mobile operators can also explore special Micro-Transaction recharges.