Zapak, Reliance ADA Groups online gaming company has launched ZapakWorld, a casual games site with 12236 casual games, which it claims is the largest gaming destination in the world.
So has Zapak licensed or developed these 12236 casual games? Not quite – they appear to be aggregating games that can be embedded. This is a model that we first saw being used by Sashi Chimala’s Knibble, a site which aggregating over 10,000 games, and was acquired by FX Labs for $3 Million.
How does this work? Chimala had explained in an interview: “We crawl the internet and look at other sites that allow casual games to be embedded. If you look at casual games sites, most of them allow their games to be embedded in a Myspace profile or a Facebook profile. So we collect them from all over. If a game developer does not want their game on our site, then we simply provide a link.” A similar game aggregation model has also been implemented by Web18 for In.com.
Any Zapak Games? I wonder if ZapakWorld is only aggregating, or whether there are any of their own games at ZapakWorld. Comparing the cricket section at ZapakWorld and ZapakCricket, I didn’t notice any ZapakCricket games at the World site.
Is More Content Better Or Worse? I’m not sure if aggregating over 10,000 games is any better than aggregating 3000. The way I see it, based on editorial rating and user ratings, a few hundred will make it to the top of the list. The rest are most likely to be ignored. The gap between the “tier one” games that are popular and the rest is likely to be large: The more content you add, the more difficult it becomes to discover the content you want to discover. But the “largest game destination in the world” makes for good PR, and the “long tail” of games will add to the overall site usage.
A suggestion for Zapak: This applies to any portal in the content space: I quite like the last.fm model of content discovery. Allow each his user his/her page which aggregates content they’ve last consumed, and compare it with content consumed by people with similar preferences. Accordingly, suggest to your users, content based on their “neighbors” favorites; Last.fm allows this with “neighbors channel”. This is content suggestion based on human preferences. The other alternative is what Pandora does – maps characteristics of songs, and recommends similar songs to users.
Either way, the objective is to make content discovery easy, and increase consumption – pageviews, time-spend and “engagement”.
Update: I just checked again, and the number of games available since morning appears to have declined marginally by 4 games – now at 12232. Note that users can actually upload their own games. I wonder if there’s an ad-revenue share model in the works.