Wednesday, November 23, 2011 : But we're focused on the free social gaming approach, says company exec
One of the more interesting poker interviews this week was conducted by Poker News.com, which engaged with the general manager of social gaming phenomenon Zynga, Lo Toney.
San Francisco-based Zynga has been around since mid-2007, and in that remarkably short timespan has become a major force in the social gaming sector with a variety of offerings, the first and most popular of which appears to be free-to-play online poker.
The Zynga game is played by some 7 million fans a day on top sites like Facebook and Google Plus, and on mobile iPhone and Android handsets.
Toney is justified in boasting that his company is the biggest poker operator on the planet….but he assured Poker News that Zynga has no ambitions in the play-for-money sector, even if the internet business is legalised in the United States of America.
Asked by Poker News whether there was any intention to enter the real-money sector, Toney replied:
"Zynga's business model is free-to-play and we monetize the virtual goods. That's our business model. We have no interest in going after the real-money space. We have been able to build a very nice business for ourselves with our heads down focusing on our existing business model."
So big is the Zynga enterprise, that the events of Black Friday barely registered: "As the world's largest poker game I think our scale is so large that it takes a lot to be able to tip the scale for us," Toney observed.
"We were the world's largest poker game before those actions were taken by the DOJ, and we remain the world's largest poker game after those actions."
Perhaps the most interesting revelations in the interview were those concerning Zynga's plans to get into online casino and bingo free-play action…again in the social context.
"The main thing we're focused on at the moment is expanding what we've started at Zynga Poker," said Toney on the company's future direction. "We feel that we can give our fans and users something that they've never experienced, and that experience is Zynga Casino.
"What we decided to do is create another app for Zynga Casino, and the first game that's going to join Zynga Poker in Zynga Casino is going to be Zynga Bingo.
"It's a game that people can look forward to playing, and they're going to have a fantastic time being able to reminisce and go back to a game that maybe they were introduced to the first time by their parents or grandparents. We're going to make sure people know what the game is, but we're going to add some twists. We're going to make it fun, exciting, and, of course, we're going to make it social because that's what we do best," he concluded.