04/09/2012 : IGT LAUNCHES FACEBOOK SLOT
 
Development flows from $500 million Double Down acquisition
 
International Game Technology has wasted little time putting its Double Down Interactive acquisition to work, last week launching its version of the popular American Idol social gaming slot, within Double Down’s casino on Facebook, which ranks in the top 25 by drawing 5.4 million gamers a month.
 
The company has disclosed that the American Idol slot for Facebook was in development at Double Down just prior to the IGT takeover.
 
IGT acquired Double Down Interactive in January this year  for a cool $500 million, with the intention of getting into the social gaming sector.
 
In an interview with All Things D, IGT's chief technical officer and executive vice president of R&D, Chris Satchell, observed: “Facebook is almost the same business [as casinos]. Facebook has real estate and customers, just like the casinos.”
 
The American Idol game lets people spin the wheels featuring the faces of Season 11 contestants with host Ryan Seacrest looking over their shoulder. The free-to-play game allows players to win additional chips, whilst those who are not so lucky can buy 75,000 chips for a dollar.
 
Satchell explained the social gaming concept to All Things D, saying that it enables the development of cross-platform gaming experiences in a social setting, allowing players to share views and information and connect to games before, during and after casino visits.
 
It's a way to introduce casino games to a younger demographic, he suggested, adding: "If we could just get them to understand that it’s fun. Social gaming is a good way to do that, and it’s a good business in its own right”.