9/17/09 – EiG discussions suggest that Playtech is about to launch the first of its two Marvel licensed branded games this week in the form of slots themed on The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man.
Playtech secured licensing for the brands from Marvel earlier this year and the releases will present some competition for licensees of major provider Cryptologic, which already has the super heroes on its gaming theme roster.
Big news from Ongame?
Could an important announcement be due from Ongame Network today? It would seem that EiG has been the vehicle of choice for several major deal announcements in the industry this week, and it would the ideal vehicle.
The still unconfirmed rumour is that online betting giant Betfair is about to join the Ongame Network for its poker offering. If true, such a deal would bring both liquidity and prestige to the Ongame service.
InfoPowa requested comment from Ongame poker chief Martin Lerby this (Thursday) morning, although it was appreciated that unless this agreement is set to go right away this may difficult for him to confirm or deny.
Lerby responded, saying: "I cannot deny or confirm [the Betfair move] and I prefer not to comment on this rumor."
Lerby also clarified the position regarding Gioco Digitale's acquisition by Ongame's parent Bwin, saying that it has not yet been decided if or when the Italian company will migrate to Ongame's P5 poker network engine.
More Texas Hold'Em
Microsoft wasn't at EiG, but its latest product offering was discussed by some delegates as the Seattle software giant released its Zune HD upgraded personal media player designed to challenge Apple's iPod Touch.
The reason? The available games include yet another Texas Hold'Em offering.
Zune is an all-singing, all-dancing product that plays music and video, and can surf the Internet via Wi-Fi as well as playing games. Thus far the Zune Marketplace offers only seven free game options, but the potential for growth is obvious. Opinions on the quality of these games seems divided, with the preponderance of critics disappointed with the ad-supported final product. Many abhor the requirement to watch an advert before being able to play the game.
Texas Hold'Em is the poker addition to the Zune HD games roster, but it has been panned as uninteresting although basically functional. Surprisingly, there is no multiplayer action; no cool table themes; no tournaments, and a very basic AI that plays a bland, cautious game. The consensus appears to be that Microsoft will have to do some serious upgrading before this can be regarded as any sort of competitive threat.