Gamers engage in underworld activities

ibibo.com launches a new game based on Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai.

Written by Priyanko Sarkar | Mumbai | Published:August 20, 2010 9:57 am

ibibo.com launches a new game based on Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai.

The tagline says,“Be A Don” in bold letters. Users are further enticed with lines such as,“You can be the hooligan and the most commendable Mumbaiya bhai. Buying a dance bar of your own can be your biggest asset; you can steal your heart out,feel the thrill of being the shatir chor and earn the bucks. All you need to do is just play.”

And going by the numbers,it does seem as if a lot of people have suddenly discovered their dark side with Mumbai Underworld,the social game wherein gamers get to be Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi. Based on Balaji’s latest movie Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai,the game has seen close to 130,000 users play the game at last count with close to 25,000 visitors playing the game on ibibo.com,which has created,developed and is hosting the social game. So far,Devgn’s character has been lapped up by more than 60,000 players while Hashmi’s character has garnered over 40,000 gamers.

“We have seen a strange fascination amongst users for Mumbai Underworld. We took a month to release the game and are very happy with the results,” Rahul Razdan,VP,Head of Communication and Gaming told Screen and added,“We are in a business where we engage users via social gaming. Mumbai Underworld is a co-production deal with Balaji where we use the characters from the movie in a social game. These deals usually take three to four months to materialise and are a good initiative for gamers as well as the movie.”

The premise of the game is simple. Based on the movie’s premise,a player can implant their own “gunda” by winning him over with a fight and establishing his “gundaraaj” in virtual Mumbai. All the properties have a shift of 12 hours but the minimum income can be collected after 30 minutes. Players can also use their own arms and ammunitions to become the most powerful don of the city. “Basically,the player rises in hierarchy in different levels and goes from being a small-time crook to the ultimate don of Mumbai,” Razdan said.

When asked if ibibo.com has to share the revenues earned from the game,Razdan said,“We make our games in-house and the content is owned by us as well. So there is no question of having a contract with any production house although we do liase with them while developing the game,” and added,“Social gaming helps the producers because the movie can connect to millions of players. Players keep coming back and increase the buzz and brand value of the game since the movie’s plotline is woven into the game intricately in a unique way.”

ibibo.com had previously launched something similar earlier this year during the release of Amitabh Bachchan’s Teen Patti. “The game and our website got a huge fillip evenif the movie didn’t do well. The Teen Patti game created a traffic rush in its heyday but Mumbai Underworld has become our highest performing game within two weeks of its release,” Razdan said. He also added that while not all movies could be converted into games,the website has already started working on games based on a couple of new projects.

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