This past three-month review was dominated by the launch of a slew of the popular format Fast Fold Poker games, while internet, social and mobile presented new and exciting game releases leaving players spoilt for choice.
SOCIAL NETWORK GAMES:
Japan's biggest social gaming operator DeNA Co Ltd will phase out games with gambling aspects, following an investigation into the game "complete gacha" by the country's Consumer Affairs Agency.
European social gaming start-up Crowdpark strategically launched a new football game titled "90Live" on Facebook, ahead of the Euro 2012 football competition.
International Game Technology wasted little time putting its Double Down Interactive acquisition to work, launching its version of the popular “American Idol” social gaming slot, within Double Down’s casino on Facebook. The company additionally launched ”Texas Hold'em Poker”, which joins the its previous poker offering, Omaha Poker on Facebook and then floated the group's famous online and land gambling slot “Da Vinci Diamonds” on the social networking site. Double Down’s casino ranks in the top 25 with its recorded 5.4 million gamers a month.
Israeli social gaming start-up Dragonplay has secured venture capital of $14 million which it intends to put to work in developing its social gaming and mobile portfolios. Some of its more recent game releases includes Live BlackJack, Farm Slots and Sea Battle.
Gamesys subsidiary Jackpotjoy Slots launched its new Facebook slot game "Fuzz Balls". The slot is a kitten-themed offering that contains a Pick and Spin feature, Scatters and Free Spins. The company’s collaboration with iwi went a step further with the release of two new free slot additions to Jackpot Party Facebook Slots, The "Celestial Simians" and "Running of the Pack" which augments Gamesys' 20 slot Facebook offering that claims 6 million players and 650 000 Facebook likes.
An interesting collaboration between Hip-Hop and entertainment mogul 50 Cent and Game Show Network Digital (GSN) culminated in the launch of “50 Cent's Blackjack” on Facebook. The game is the rapper's first foray into gaming and is available to play through what is billed as "50 Cent's lavish casino" on the social network. Social features include bragging rights on the leaderboard and customisable avatars clad in the "hottest virtual fashions and swag".
Playstudios is developing its “myVegas” app on Facebook. The app is intended as a social gaming destination, where players enjoy games such as Blackjack or slot machines, earning virtual currency and real rewards such as trips to real-world casinos. They can also build their own fantasy version of the Las Vegas Strip in a kind of meta-game. The app is currently in beta testing phase. Bet the Farm is just one of the games that will be featured – it's a slot machine with an isometric 3D viewpoint. Another is Lost In Time: Jules Verne, a slot machine where once a user reaches a certain level, a bonus round kicks in where objects hidden in a scene can be discovered for reward. PlayStudio’s is involved on a marketing level with MGM.
Plumbee launched its Facebook Mirrorball Slots app in Beta phase on the social network. The app features four unique slot games with fairytale themes, Rapunzel’s Tower, Goldilocks and the Wild Bears, The Magic Mirror and Big Bad Wolf. Additional social features include Medals, Social Currency and Progressive Jackpots.
Casual gaming developer PopCap Games launched "MONOPOLY Party", under licence from Hasbro, to the Lucky Gem Casino on Facebook. The game is the first third party content launched on the social casino and joins well-known PopCap games Bejeweled, Bookworm, Chuzzle, Zuma and Peggle.
RocketFrog, a social gaming product devised by serial American entrepreneur Brett Calapp, is pulling the social punters in to its Facebook site with a series of multiplayer tournaments for poker, blackjack and slots in which players can set-up multi-player competitions with friends and family for prizes. Using well-executed and amusing cartoon graphics the tournaments are available daily for fast and fun action, with the winners receiving prizes from a diversity of advertising sponsors that include music, food and movie tickets.
US company SK Planet launched a new Facebook betting app under the brand Betting Star. The app features a betting game that enables sports fans to use virtual Facebook currency to bet on real life sporting events and games.
A collaboration between the Talisman Group and table game technology provider DEQ Systems Corp. saw the launch of DEQ's EZ Baccarat as a free-play app in the social gaming environment.
WMS Gaming's innovative new social gaming offering Friendslot was launched on Facebook by subsidiary Jackpot Party Casino. The game is an interactive free 3-reel ‘scatter play’ slot game using data from a player's Facebook friend network. The game captures profile information of a player's friends including age, gender, Star Sign, location and ‘Likes' of a player's friend network and then shows random profiles in the 3 reel ‘scatter pay' slot game. The company is working on a privacy component for the game which will allow players to generate a ‘home game’ experience.
Last but not least San-Francisco based social gaming giant Zynga launched a team mate for its successful products Zynga Poker and Zynga Bingo, in the shape of the new Zynga Slots. Initially configured on the iOS platform for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Zynga is clearly hoping that its new Slots offering will emulate the success of its poker and bingo predecessors.
The company also debuted its latest social gaming slot "Elite Slots" and is promoting its new Zynga With Friends unified gaming platform with Facebook and mobile iOS and Android accessibility and multi-player potential. The network will connect Zynga players everywhere, regardless of where they are playing.