Update: Wanted will be the first game in which Zapak will be inviting brands to sell their goods within the game. It will add more games like this in the future.
When I put in my last 50 credits to spy on a member of the Indian alliance, I got worried. I was playing Wanted, a game by Swedish developer Stillfront launched on Zapak this week. It is based on the movie by Universal Studios in which Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie pull James Mc Avoy out of oblivion and into his real destiny – that of an assassin. We would suggest you watch the movie before playing this game, as you might not understand the stories, naming of various levels (example: The Loom), the backstab option and why you have to make enemies. The game has over 20,00,000 registered users worldwide.
When you join Wanted, you have three starting kits – the first is free and gives you $150 (in game money, ofcourse) and 100 credits, the other two require you to pay up but can launch you into being a hitman (with 10 times more strength, tolerance and intelligence, and more money) or a contract killer (20 times!) right away. The general tendency is to click the free kit and avoid all things money related. It’s a game, afterall. But you will find yourself in the situation I did, pausing with no credits to buy more weapons or armour. You do not receive any credits from your assignments; executing an air traffic controller, a drug dealer or a web developer will only test your endurance (reduce it), increase your intelligence, strength and tolerance. You also earn some dollars and reputation points. But no credits. Credits, you have to buy: at prices of Rs. 100 for 100 credits, Rs. 300 for 350 credits, Rs 750 for 1000 credits and Rs. 1250 for 2000 credits, it may be better decision to buy credits so you can enjoy the game for longer.
Update: We asked Zapak if this money would go to them, but they refused to disclose what was the revenue sharing agreement between them and Stillfront, only saying that Zapak users were getting a reduced pricing.
Earning Credits; Branding On Games
So I snooped around, in the process learning that the game has a bank inside it – it lets you earn a 1% interest on whatever you have earned from assassinating people the Loom ordered you to. But if you want to buy credits, you are taken to the commercial “pay back time” bit of the game – here you can either buy credits directly or you can opt for an indirect, branding route by okaying a paid monthly subscription to Zemgo which will send you 117 credits within half an hour. You could also try Bidz‘s offer – spending on the online auction will get you 702 credits. It’s unfortunate that there are just these 2 offers and both are in dollars – Zapak should add more brands – Indian ones which accept Rupees, to make this option viable. It would also be beneficial to brands focussed on youth.
Update: The company spokesperson told us that Indian brands will be added within a month’s time.
Wanted is a massively multiplayer game – you can create your own fraternity and play against people in other countries. The game is suitable for 18+ for its uncensored language, but there is no violence and racy graphics. That is the hallmark of most browser games – take turn-by-turn strategy games like Ikarium and Travian, or the Escape the Room genre. They are unlike console games – which offer high resolution graphics and many levels; nor similar to downloadable PC games which require good processors and graphics cards. The advantages browser games have are: they are much more accessible – all they need is a browser, they are cheaper and will be able to tap into the growing e-commerce market in India very easily.
Update: Zapak’s spokesperson told Medianama, “Text based MMOs like Wanted, Fast and Furious, etc., are popular and make for a great community platform as they can engage players in a multiplayer environment in a simple yet exciting way.” And the way it plans to ‘engage’ them is by bringing in more e-commerce options – adding more brands so users can earn game credits while interacting directly with them – either by shopping or subscribing. While this may not replace advertising completely, it does offer a change in the way products are showcased.
Another Assassin Game
If you own an Xbox, Assassin’s Creed is one worth playing- the character’s realistic and fluid style of running and moving is captivating. You will be given assignments wherein your timing, speed and accuracy in erasing a target will be tested, and the camera angles, graphics are top level.
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