Chess Grandmasters now on

BANGALORE: Zapak Digital Entertainment (Zapak) a Reliance ADA Group venture, announced the launch of India’s first full-feature online ‘Multiplayer Chess’.

The Multiplayer Option provides the advantage of playing against your friend who could be anywhere across the world, and also has three difficulty levels; for beginners, advanced players and experts. also launched ‘Multiplayer Speed Chess’, where the player has only ten seconds to make a move.

Koneru Humpy, the Reigning World Junior Champion, only 33 ELO points away from being called ‘Super Grandmaster Champion' and Tania Sachdeva, the Reigning Asian Junior Girls Champion, unveiled the game and showcased the gameplay.

Speaking about the performance of the portal on this occasion, Zapak COO Rohit Sharma, said, “We have become the fastest growing portal in less than two months from launch reaching 5,00,000 registrations and crossing 5,00,00,000 page views.

The performance of the portal has surely exceeded our expectations and we are continuously adding new features on our website so that we exceed our players’ expectations. In fact we have even witnessed registrations from Vishakhapatnam, Siliguri, Jabalpur, Ludhiana, etc besides the Metros and even International Locations.

Computer gaming the world over is dominated by males – almost 85% of the gamers are male, however according to Sharma, Zapak has around 25-30% female subscribers, a swing from the norm, while discussing the current three TVC’s on air which focus on males. The TVCs’ have been created by Marketing Ants, while the Reliance internal team handles the media part. Over the last two months since the launch of the gaming site around Rs.45 million have been spent on the media campaign according to Reliance Entertainment president Rajesh Sawhney.

Currently on offer is a bouquet of 160 plus games on the site with plans to ramp this number up to 500 games by the end of March this year. Zapak also announced an online chess championship for the Zapak Grandmaster starting February 01 this year with a prize purse of Rs.100,000/- for the Grandmaster.

According to Reliance estimates, the global gaming industry is worth around US$45 billion and is expected to grow to US$53 billion (which would make it larger than the Hollywood film industry), while that of the Indian industry is expected to grow to US$424 million by 2010.

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