02/03/2012 : ZYNGA BINGO COULD BE A WINNER (Update)
Initial reports favourable as beta testing continues
The launch of a beta version of a new online bingo product from the US social gaming giant Zynga last month has been followed by reports that the game has received an enthusiastic reception from players.
Zynga Bingo was incorporated into the company's internet casino suite that comprises online casual gambling games like Texas HoldEm Poker, the popularity of which Zynga plans to leverage to market Bingo, allowing chat interaction between poker and bingo players.
Zynga Bingo was designed by the same team in Austin, Texas, that created and runs Zynga Poker. It is modelled after the classic Bingo game, but incorporates social elements enabling players to play the game with friends and others in real-time.
Users can use Zynga’s virtual currency to buy Bingo cash, unlock game rooms and buy collectible items.
Nicole Opas, senior producer of Zynga Bingo, said that Zynga’s twist on the classic board game is to add a social layer that makes the games more appropriate to play in small groups on Facebook. Like Poker, the Zynga Bingo game is synchronous, where players join a virtual room with friends or strangers and then play Bingo in real-time.
“Our goal is to make it relevant to any player,” Opas said in an interview. “The idea is to make people feel like you’re playing a game at a Bingo hall with a bunch of other people.”
Opas revealed that Zynga Bingo provides different themed rooms, such as Vegas Lights, Pirate’s Paradise, and FarmVille Bounty. There is a “hidden” room as well that can be unlocked over time. Each has a different art style and different kinds of challenges. Rewards include a mystery crate, which the winner can open at the end of the game and share the contents with friends.
Texas HoldEm Poker is currently Zynga’s most valuable game and brings in a majority of its revenue, primarily because of the high average revenue per user generated by poker games. It currently has more than 31 million users. Zynga has announced that it plans to leverage the large user base of Texas HoldEm Poker, and is currently looking for partners to enter the online gambling space.
Zynga has the advantage of access to the 230 million active users of its other games, and its recent announcement that it intended to enter the online gambling space saw the stock jump 15 percent in the last week.