Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, announces entering a partnership with Zeptolab, one of the most innovative game developers in the world, for the delivery of exclusive Zain branded gaming content on all mobile devices in markets where Zain operates.
This agreement signifies the first time a group-wide gaming partnership has been reached in the region, and will result in Zain’s regional customers benefiting from gamification propositions. This reflects Zain Group’s tireless efforts to offer its customers the newest and most exciting products and services as it transforms to become a digital lifestyle provider.
Zeptolab, a global gaming company and its popular game, Cut the Rope, which was first launched in 2010, has gone on to have its various versions downloaded a total of 750 million times as of November 2015. The objective of the game is to feed candy to a little green creature named ‘Om Nom’ while collecting stars. The latest version of the game, Cut the Rope: Magic, is set to be released globally across 220 countries on 17 December, 2015.
“What ‘magical’ means to us is something that stands out from the routine, creating emotions and color, changing familiar things into new and unexpected surprises,” said Semyon Voinov, ZeptoLab Creative Director and Co-Founder. “In that sense, our new game is 100 per cent ‘magical’! While Cut the Rope: Magic still has familiar things that millions of fans love about the series, there’s a new ‘transforming’ twist that makes our newest game a unique and charming experience.”
The partnership between Zain and Zeptolab, will also see the Jordan based entity Maysalward, the regional partner for Zeptolab, support Zain with localization of the game. This will extend to Zain branding being included in the game and the offering of the game in both Arabic and English versions. Earlier in the year Maysalward supported the localization and Arabization of an earlier version of the game, Cut the Rope 2, with Zain’s operation in Jordan. The success of this earlier development was the catalyst that triggered the Group-wide partnership.
Commenting on the agreement, Zain Group CEO, Scott Gegenheimer said, “Digital services are a major growth area for telcos, and as a leading mobile innovator in the Middle East and North Africa, it is imperative for Zain to continue to make these kinds of exciting new partnerships and bring new services to our customers.”
Gegenheimer continued, “As we evolve to become a digital lifestyle operator, we are moving away from the traditional telco business and delivering new, fantastic experiences, many of which have been developed in collaboration with leading global content players. We look forward to the future cooperation with Zeptolab, and are confident this is only the beginning for the provision of even more compelling mobile gaming content for our customers. It’s also rewarding for Zain to involve regional talents such as the Jordanian team of Maysalward when we enter such partnerships with global entities.”
Planning for the future and to simplify customer experience in forthcoming game releases, Zain is currently developing the option to allow customers to purchase in app propositions, through a direct operator billing option where customers can utilize their phone credits or pay through their monthly phone bill, avoiding the use of credit cards.
According to US digital consulting firm, Digi-Capital, mobile games revenue globally is forecast to grow from US$29 billion in 2015 to US$45 billion by 2018 at 15% annual growth, making Zain’s partnership with Zeptolab very timely and potentially lucrative.
This partnership with Zeptolab further builds on the establishment of the Zain Digital Frontier and Innovation (ZDFI) business unit in 2014, which is charged with launching Zain into the digital space by identifying new business areas, value-adding strategic partnerships, accretive acquisition opportunities and synergistic corporate venturing investments. Collectively, these activities look to create new revenue streams to fully exploit the group’s high-speed 4G-LTE broadband networks, customer assets, network intelligence and payment and billing frameworks. ZDFI focuses on the areas of innovation; digital services; corporate venturing; and smart cities.
Zain is currently working on various ways in which it will further leverage its partnership with Zeptolab given that other than game branding it will provide gamification benefits by awarding bonuses or other products and services to players who reach a certain level in the game. From Zain Group’s perspectives, the offer of such content and benefits supports its customer experience, attraction and retention efforts.