03/20/2012 :  SOCIAL NETWORK GAMES:
 
Social gaming and internet gambling firms have identified the cross over opportunities that exist between these two platforms and many have moved to position themselves to take advantage should appropriate legalization and other external factors make it possible to do so.  A strong sway between the two channels was observed over the period under review.
 
ComTrade launched “Facebook Blackjack” a play-for-free offering developed with player acquisition in mind for its Palaces Live Casino.
 
German-based software developer CrowdPark launched two new games in the casino and social betting categories.  “Pet Vegas” a slot machine game that represents the company’s first foray into social casino franchise on Facebook and later other platforms, while its second offering is a peer-to-peer betting game branded “Ante-Up”, described as an easy and fun way to bet with friends across any topic or on any event using virtual currency.  Upcoming releases include a social soccer betting game – still under development – which will offer live bets and weekly predictions mixed with trivia questions.  The new products offer compatibility with multiple social platforms including Facebook, the Web and iOS and Android mobile applications.
 
NextGen Gaming launched “SlotsPoint”, their first social media gaming customer using the NYX Gaming Groups Social Media Platform.  Accessed exclusively via Facebook, ‘SlotsPoint’ features a NextGen Gaming portfolio of games including “Doctor Love”, “Medusa” and the 50-line “Mad Mad Monkey”. As players progress up the leaderboards points are accumulated, which allow access to further games in the NextGen suite.
 
Electronic Arts subsidiary PopCap Games launched its first casino-style games suite on FaceBook under “Lucky Gem Casino” with seven luck-based free-to-play slot offerings featuring characters synonymous with PopCap games Bejewelled, Bookworm, Chuzzle and Zuma.
 
PopCorn Games, a new social gaming start-up, is due to launch its first FaceBook game titled “Bingo Village” in the first half of this year.
 
Another player in the internet social poker sector Rounder Inc has made clear its plans regarding the possible legalization of online gambling in the U.S. with Rounder Poker, saying it already has two million players registered on its Rounder Life.com website.
 
Social gaming firm Socialitize Ltd launched its social betting game “2BET2” on Facebook providing players with sportsbook betting on real-life sporting events using BB$, the game’s virtual currency.
 
WMS Gaming entered the social gaming scene with the launch of “Lucky Cruise” – a new social casino developed in collaboration with social and mobile developer Large Animal Games.  The offering incorporates content from WMS Gaming’s casino games and engages social gamers with an advanced luxury-liner theme.
 
Prominent social gaming player, Zynga rolled out its beta version of a new social bingo game “Zynga Bingo” that joins Zynga Poker in its casino-style games portfolio.   The game can be played on Facebook in real-time and includes fun, virtual bingo rooms themed on Vegas and FarmVille amongst others.
 
The company acquired the rights to create a new version of Slingo Inc’s 15-year old land slot and web game Slingo, a a combination of traditional Bingo and a slot machine.  “Zynga Slingo” launched on Facebook in 14 language options and has been met with mixed reactions.  Finally, the company who has expressed strong interest in the online gambling sector launched its own gaming platform in beta format Zynga.com – separate from Facebook but still connected to Facebook features, friend lists and the like.