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Gaming on the pitch

entertainment Updated: Feb 22, 2011 00:53 IST
Vaishali Bhambri
Vaishali Bhambri
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Cricket fever has reached a new pitch — literally. As the 2011 World Cup gets underway, 10-15 new online cricket games have been launched, with industry estimates placing the value of these games in the virtual world at Rs 75 crores.

Zapak Games, which recently launched a game called Cricket Power, has seen double the amount of traffic ever since. “Cricket games are a huge chunk of the virtual world at the moment and will be worth around Rs 75 crore,” says Vaibhav Odhekar, the firm’s business head. While the usual number of hits on cricket games are around three million, since last month the website has recorded six million hits.

Gaming site Games2Win has started several cricket games in the past month, including Super Sixers2 and Ultimate Cricket. Another craze online is CricEx, a virtual trading game started by networking site ibibo, only for the World Cup. “We registered 150-200% growth ever since cricket season began. Our consumers are mostly from the age group of 15-25,” says Rahul Razdan, president, products and operations at ibibo.com.

Cricket games have also been adapted for mobiles and iPads. UTV Games, which offers Sonic Cricket to mobile users, has seen one million downloads in the last week alone. “It’s very profitable to launch the game now, we earn Rs 50-100 per download,” adds Gondal.
“We play these games at work, it’s great fun to keep our own World Cup scores,” says 24-year-old Paritosh Singh, a banker. “If India loses any match, I will play the same game online and win for them,” says Ankit Mehra, 18, a DU student.

The score card
Rs 75 crore
Estimated worth of the virtual cricket gaming market
25%
Increase in worth of cricket gaming market since last year
150%
Increase in hits on cricket games websites since World Cup began
1 million
Downloads of Sonic Cricket since last week. The makers earn R50 -100 per download of the game

Virtual Dhamaka
Game: Sonic Cricket
Play it on: Download it on your phone from www.indiagames.com
Cost: R50-100 depending on the model of your mobile phone and the service provider
About the game: Cartoons of your choice play a cricket match— you can hit sixes, save runs, take catches and bowl out the opposition

Game: Supersixers 2
Play it on: Games2win.com
Cost: Free. You need to make a profile on the website
About the game: Besides your team, you can choose the number of overs in a match you want to play

Game: Cricket Power
Play it on: www.zapak.com
Cost: The first stage is free of cost. The entire game is on a CD for Rs 299
About the game: You can choose your team and your competitors and play a 50 over game