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News Roundup: Zapak-Thackeray, Bakugan; Indiagames Wii; NDTV Hindi; Indiatimes Shopping & Shoogloo

zapak manase tiger of mysore

Tiger of Mysore on Zapak Manase

Manase Microsite – Our politicians seem to be taking gaming quite seriously. Zapak has built a microsite for Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena called Manase.zapak.com. The intention behind creating setting up a microsite with gaming firm Zapak was to enable more interaction with youth supporters. The Sena has its own website here.

The microsite, besides urging surfers to vote for the party, has a Dream Big contest, a game called The Tiger Of Mysore, based on Tipu Sultan, videos and news of the party and a forum which appears to be quite inactive with just one relevant topic.

The game chosen by Manase from Zapak’s collection is about defending Tipu Sultan’s fortress against “goras”. A browser-based, casual game that has engaging music, it has an overall rating of three. A screenshot of it is here.

Zapak claims over 6.5 million registered gamers and recently rolled out sites for UK and Pakistan.

bakugan_800x600Bakugan Toys – Zapak’s merchandising arm has announced it will unveil a new range of toys of ‘The Battle of Brawlers’ based on the Japanese anime series Bakugan. Over 0.5 million Bakugan toys have been sold worldwide. The company is offering the toys for Rs 399- 599, in comparison with international prices $5 -24.

Mumbai Wii Tennis Tournament – Competitor Indiagames is sponsoring the first Nintendo Wii tournament in association with Wii India User Group in Mumbai.  Nintendo’s unique console uses motion sensors so users can grip the remote like a bat and swing it to play virtual games. The gaming console has been a huge hit worldwide as it came at a lower pricepoint ($250, roughly Rs 12500) than top selling consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PS3. It has, however, yet to pick up traction in India as its price here is Rs 22,000, according to Rediff.

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Each tennis match will have five sets and the tournament begins on Saturday, April 25th. The gaming subsidiary of UTV said it would launch the tournament in other metros too.

ndtvactiveNDTV’s Hindi WAP site – We had asked before if news sites were serious about the Hindi audience, as their websites did not reflect it. Now, they seem to be moving towards the mobile medium by launching WAP sites in Hindi. Dainik Jagran subsequently unveiled Wap.Jagran.com earlier this year, afaqs reported. NDTV will launch its Hindi WAP portal for mobiles  soon, ContentSutra reports. We were aware of the development – as we are of a few other sites – but were waiting for the site to go live before reporting on it. There have been instances of partially developed sites that never went live.

The new Hindi site is in beta testing mode and will launch in 2 weeks. English news sites for mobiles have already been launched by many media houses as the face of the company on the mobile, not just delivering news but tidbits like wallpapers, cricket scores, stock market information, astrology and games. Look at NDTV Active or Wap.IBNLive for example. July Systems, which is developing the mobile WAP sites for NDTV, had recently launched an election-centric WAP site for IBN18. The Jagran site will offer localised news – something which these other sites can also think about including.

Note to NDTV: From a usability perspective, best to also redirect m.ndtv.com and wap.ndtv.com to mobile.ndtv.com. Also – ndtvactive.com appears to lead to a domainer page.

indiatimesshooglooIndiatimes Shopping & ShooglooIndiatimes Shopping has launched a marketing drive to draw affiliates (read as other portals) to increase sales. Affiliates will be given banners/links and receive a fixed commission for every sale generated through their sites. For this, the company has partnered with Shoogloo Network, which tracks the sale using UK-based Online Media Group‘s technology. A chart of how this works is here.

More on Economic Times.

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