Zynga Poker in Asia

Expanding in the US, social games developer is building up a stake in Asia, too. The San Francisco-based internet social gaming developer Zynga has made its Zynga Texas Poker offering available in China as well as on Facebook in Hong Kong and Taiwan this week, with a localized version playable in traditional Chinese or English – part of a continuing drive into the Asian market.

The gaming giant recently bought Japanese gaming startup Unoh, took a $150 million investment from Japan’s SoftBank Capital, acquired Chinese game developer XPD Media and set up a Beijing office.

Zynga Poker, the company’s first ever social game, launched in July 2007 and is currently the third most popular game on Facebook, attracting 28 million players every month. On an average day 375 000 Zynga Poker players are simultaneously playing together live across the internet in 100 countries.

Techcrunch reports that the game itself simulates playing poker in a social gaming environment. Users enter a casino lobby and can play at any table or join friends for a game. Players choose from casual Hold ‘Em tables, tournament play or VIP tables. A leader board shows players how they compare in chip ranking to other players and allows players to send or receive gifts.

“As an incentive for users in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Zynga Texas Poker players will automatically receive a complimentary stack of 8,888 Vegas-style Poker chips to play games with. Additionally, this month, Zynga is offering a grand prize for the “ShootOut” tournament that allows local players to compete for a prize of $880,000 Taiwanese dollars. Zynga is also giving away a trip to Las Vegas to a user.

The publication notes that recent moves in Congress to legalise online gambling in the United States could deliver a further boost to Zynga's popular poker offering, and in the Asian region a release to the Japanese localized market would seem to be a logical next step.

Zynga was founded in July 2007 by Mark Pincus, Michael Luxton, Eric Schiermeyer, Justin Waldron, Andrew Trader, and Steve Schoettler

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