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Ibibo Launches Fantasy Cricket Game CricEx; CEO Ashish Kashyap On Monetization, Mobile Games

Nasper owned social network, Ibibo has launched a virtual cricket stock exchange game, CricEx for the World Cup season, according to TechWhack. The fantasy game lets users trade shares of their favourite cricketers to create virtual portfolios and gain or lose depending on their performance. The users with a high networth feature on the game’s leaderboard.  Performance would also determine the cricketers’ share price in the virtual stock market. At the time of our trying the game, it did not involve use of any real money and every user gets virtual money to play with after registration. We feel, incorporating real money will be a little tricky as it would amount to some kind of betting.

The World Cup Opportunity

Ibibo CEO Ashish Kashyap told MediaNama, that the CricEx game is still in work-in-progress mode and will see the roll out of more features, including the ability to purchase virtual cash and gift items, like its other games. He said that the CricEx engine, that calculates the worth of a cricketer on the basis of his real time performance is ready to roll out. He also informed that with the start of the World Cup, virtual cricket items would be available across all gaming products of the company.

On Monetization Through Micro-Transactions

According to Kashyap, monetization is mainly through sale of virtual gift items and virtual cash top-ups. Ibibo has tie-ups with mobile operators for integrated billing, although users can also use Credit and Debit cards. This microtransaction model for virtual purchases has been implemented across all its online social games, including Teenpatti.

Kashyap refused to give us the percentage of users who actually make these virtual purchases but said that the number is quite encouraging. He told us that 90% of these users pay through mobile phones, while the rest use their credit cards. Infact, Ibibo is giving incentives, like discount vouchers of its other ventures Tradus and GoIbibo, to users who buy virtual currency through credit cards.

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Ibibo Games On Mobile

Ibibo also launched an Android app for its popular multiplayer game Teenpatti. The free app, which is still in Beta is available for download through the Android market. Kashyap informed that Teenpatti is actually Ibibo’s first real app, unlike its nine other apps on the platform, which are just links to its WAP site. He said that more games will be ported to the mobile platform to cross link social gaming and let users play Ibibo games seamlessly on various interfaces like web, facebook, and mobile. Ibibo’s other WAP-link apps on Android include Parking Wars, Ibibo Games, Call for Free, My Girls, Free SMS, Ibibo.com, Ibibo Email, Content Store and Main Bhi Don. It also has an iPhone app that lets users connect to its social networking platform, chat, share pictures, call and SMS friends, access e-mail and play games, but essentially connects to its WAP site.

Teenpatti

The gameplay interface of Teenpatti is restricted to landscape mode, but is multiplayer and also incorporates a Chat option between players. By default, the user gets Rs 25,000 cash to play and can buy Rs 10,000 worth of virtual cash by sending an SMS (priced at Rs3), just like the web game.

By, the looks of it the game seems to have hit the right note and we hope to see more full featured multiplayer games from the Ibibo stable.

Related:

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Ibibo Integrates Telco Billing For Micro-transactions In “Great Indian Parking Wars”
Rohit Sawhney Joins Ibibo As Head Of Mobile< - Naspers Invested Over $10 M In Ibibo In FY10; Goibibo $1M Per Month; Payments Platform?
Ibibo Enables Voice Based Status Updates Via Mobile; Group SMS

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