Yashraj Vakil, COO and ( right )Harsh Jain, CMD of Dream11.com ( IndiaTechOnline Photo)
Dream11.com: world's first graphical fantasy cricket game is here
Free to play game has attracted half a million users.
A small 40 strong team of software engineers and gaming buffs have created what is possibly the world’s most popular online fantasy cricket game: Dream11.com has in its short life of under a year added half a lakh ( 500,000) registered users, enjoys over 9 million page views per month with the average time spent on the site between 15 and 20 minutes.
Fantasy sports are not new – in fact they have been around for decades,( with American games like football and baseball topping popularity lists) with 60 million followers creating a $ 5 billion business. Dream 11 brings a dedicated web site ( www.dream11.com ), allows users after free registration to select 12-member teams for any of the cricketing nations and all formats. Then like a real life IPL owner, a Preity Zinta or a Vijay Mallya, they can make or lose money depending on the real life performance of the players they ‘own’. The game starts off potential owners with a war chest of Rs 1crore (Rs10million) – and to provide a real incentive of sorts, the site has a purse of Rs 15 lakhs (Rs 1.5 million) annually which is given to the most successful teams.
“We are the world’s first graphical fantasy cricket game”, says Founder and Managing Director Harsh Jain, a BS in EE from the University of Pennsylvania (US), “We used Adobe Flex to provide a rich user experience , especially for Indians who are well used to playing cricket strategy games”.
In its brief existence Dream 11.com has became the first and only Indian member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), the world's most prestigious Fantasy Sports Bodyand was nominated in the 'Best New Website/Upgrade' category across all worldwide sports for 2010 FSTA awards. It didn’t win – but the nomination was reward in itself, considering the award is (as yet) very much a North American thing. Still Dream 11’s swift growth had even the Wall St Journal write a very upbeat story: http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB10001424052748704533204575047453983677716.html
To retain user loyalty, the site includes 50 casual cricket games as well -- like SlumDog Cricket which bagged the 2009 FICCI-BAF awards in the online games category – and has a full cricket news and stats section. Dream11.com is also carried by Cricbuzz.com, Zeecric.com, Cricketnirvana.com, One India, Indiatimes and Amar Ujala in India; Cricketworld.com in UK and BD News 24 in Bangladesh. Expect to see many IPL league teams add a Dream11 game link to their home sites: Mumbai Indians has already done so.