One fact that Zimbabwe’s mobile network operators (MNOs) are fully aware of is the fact that subscribers are now spending less and less on calls and SMS. This has been the trend for years as revealed by POTRAZ’s quarterly report. The last report showed that this hasn’t changed by any means. This means MNOs have to find ways to make customers spend money or they risk going broke.

A poster showing Econet’s promotion of Yogamez

Econet seems to have come up with a rather strange product in pursuit of extra revenue. Called Yogamez the goal is to lure subscribers to play classic games for $3 ZWL per day. These are HTML5 (or browser-based games to the initiated). You cannot download the games to your phone and install them as apps.

If you want to play the games you will have to do it on your browser. An additional requirement is for you to have an internet connection to preload the game before you can play them. In order for you to play any of the games, you have to first register using your mobile number which has to be an Econet number. This is because the games are not free as hinted above. Econet will deduct $3/ ZWL airtime as long as you remain subscribed to this service.

Econet is probably aiming to kill two birds with one stone with this offer. First, they are hoping to get revenue directly through the $3 ZWL charge. They will also get additional revenue through internet usage as the games require data. The games are not awful they look like generic ripoffs of popular titles. My favourite was the freekick game. To be honest I didn’t find playing these games very engaging but then again I am not much of a gamer by any means.

You will have to be careful if you do sign up for the service and decide it’s not for you. Make sure you forget to unsubscribe otherwise Econet will gobble $3 ZWL of airtime each day even if you don’t use the service. That might not sound like much but over time it adds up. For example, you will end up paying $90 ZWL in airtime per month for a service you are not using.

What I think of econet yogamez
not horrible but could be better
The service is easy to use and there isn’t a steep learning curve. You just need an Econet number to get started. What isn’t clear is that you will have to pay $3 ZWL to access the games. You will also need to be careful and remember to unsubscribe when you are no longer using the service. These games would have had more traction if they could be installed as apps instead of being exclusively HTML5 games.
How easy it was to get started
How easy it was to play the games
Using the service on a phone
The good
Easy to sign up
No steep learning curve
You do not need to install anything
These are HTLM5 games which means you can play them on any device that has a browser
The Bad
In browser games suck,
Generic game titles nothing is particularly engaging
You will end up having your airtime gobbled if you forget to unsubscribe
Sneaky costs which are barely visible during sign up