TELECOMS & MOBILE
Zamano inks new deal with RTE
Irish company Zamano has partnered with RTE in launching its newest wireless game as the business looks to expand its potential market.
Claiming that "Friday afternoons will never be the same," the Dublin-based firm predicted that "thousands" will take part in its new SMS-based quiz game called Showdown. RTE Interactive has partnered with Zamano in launching the game and the state-owned media company will promote Showdown.
Users who register for the game are sent an SMS question and players who answer the question correctly within the allocated time proceed to the second round. In the second round, players are told how many competitors remain in the game and are given another question with a shorter interval in which to respond. This process continues for eight rounds, and the winner of the contest will receive a prize, such as this week's award of Sony Picot DVD player and two months free DVD rental.
Although a spokesperson for Zamano declined to say how many people have participated in the game to date, the business said it was pleased with the success of Showdown and said that participation had exceeded expectations. Each text message sent to the Showdown number costs participants EUR0.30.
The Showdown game allows Zamano to showcase its SMS platform EVATEM, which allows telecom operators to split the revenues from a text message between themselves and the software developer or media organisation that develops and promotes the mobile application.
The game also showcases the on-going relationship between RTE and Zamano. According to Paul McKeagney, business development executive at Zamano, the company organises wireless competitions, polls, games and feedback services on an on-going basis for RTE.
In May, Zamano released "Caviar and Cabbage" and "Mystic Mick," new games that O2 customers in Ireland. Caviar and Cabbage was a true-or-false football trivia game and Mystic Mick was a game of prediction and chance, whereby players predict the outcome of football matches. Irish customers played the games via SMS and results were tallied on the O2 Ireland Web site.
Additionally, these same two games were extended to other networks and were eventually made available to 36 million mobile subscribers in Ireland, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands through O2, KPN and Orange.
"We haven't experienced a downturn in interest from telecom operators," said McKeagney, while speaking to ElectricNews.Net. "The business we're developing with media partners is in addition, rather than in place of, our work with mobile operators."
Zamano was founded in 1999 by Darren O Rodaigh and Eoin O Ceallachain shortly after they graduated from DCU. Initially they developed mobile applications for London City Airport and British rail company Connex. The company provides mobile applications that span SMS, WAP, GPRS and 3G phone systems, and it currently employs 25 people in Dublin, having merged with mobile application developer m-iSphere in July.
The apparent success of Zamano's business model is largely attributable to the increasing popularity of wireless games in Europe, pushed by wireless operators looking to eke out more revenues. According to research carried out by Forrester, 45 percent of mobile subscribers in Europe will regularly pay to play games on their phone by 2005. The same research predicted that global spending on mobile games could total EUR4.4 billion by 2006.