Cross-platform opportunities came to the fore this quarter, with industry observers commenting and speculating on several important potential developments specifically involving Facebook and Zynga and the possibility of extending into online gambling. Yazino social gaming developer has expressed it has no desire to enter the “play for money” arena, but time will tell as the developer’s vision includes "in-sync gaming", where players compete and interact in real-time using the internet, Android and iOS devices. Movements in the Social Gaming sector over the review period included:
-Giant social gaming developer Zynga announced six new game releases, among them a casino and bingo product. The company already offers an online poker game that boasts over 7 million players on a daily basis. On the back of the releases the company announced the impending launch of a Zynga independent social games site for Zynga games dubbed "Project Z" as part of its direct-to-consumer strategy moving away from Facebook’s fist hold.
Perhaps the most interesting development was revelations in an interview concerning Zynga's plans to get into online casino and bingo free-play action…again in the social context. An app titled “Zynga Casino” has been developed featuring Zynga’s poker product which will be joined by Zynga Bingo.
Zynga filed its IPO, planning to sell 100 million shares, or 14.3 percent of the company, at $8.50 to $10 per share.
– Bet Smart Media launched its Twitter ‘game chat’ widget, powered by SportsWidgets.com, as a white-label solution by Sports Interaction.
– Cyberarts, recently acquired by Fertitta Interactive, launched “Big Boat Bingo”, a comprehensively designed online game that uses the social gaming phenomenon of sites like Facebook to access players and perhaps convert them to more conventional internet gambling activity.
– “Photo Booth Friends” from Double Down Interactive, the developers of the popular social media site DoubleDown Casino, is a new slot incorporating a customising feature that has been done before but is still loads of fun.
– Search engine and web portal operator and owner Lycos Inc's Gamesville.com launched "Pirate Cove Bingo for Facebook" billed as "a freebooting social game that lets friends play free bingo together and take home real cash prizes".
– Baltimore-based social gaming developer PlayScreen LLC's newly launched PlayScreen Poker iOS app has been designed to cater for poker players of all levels. The online, play-for-fun poker game has added social gaming aspects such as achievements, skills and virtual objects and allows players to manage their poker careers.
– PopCap Games, acquired by gaming software giant Electronic Arts earlier this year, is said to be launching a series of casino-style games on Facebook. New domain purchases, changes to a Facebook page and a recent trademark application for ‘Lucky GemCasino’ may indicate a possible shift to a casino offering.
– Social internet game developer Yazino launched a new slot on Yazino.com and via Facebook, called “High Stakes”. The game allows players to team up and compete as jewel thieves in a race to crack the code and steal the gems. High Stakes is a 5-reel, 20-line slot game that lets up to 10 people compete as a team.
– Google Plus will utilize US social games developer Zynga’s games portfolio, including its online poker product, in its charge into the social networking sector