The social casino landscape is getting very, very crowded

TAGs: JackpotParty, Las Vegas From Home, Mobile Deluxe, Plumbee, social games

social-casino-space-crowdedAccording to a Venture Beat blog on the most recent Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the nerds (no slight intended) who actually produce online games hate designing casino games. “Alisa Chumachenko, chief executive of Russian Game publisher Game Insight, sighed with frustration at the mere mention of a revival of casino games.” But if the next four news items are any indication, the promise of whopping great paychecks trumps creative satisfaction every time.

Social games developer Plumbee has launched its first Facebook slots game. Plumbee, a UK-based startup founded by three former Electronic Arts Playfish execs, has thrown its hat into the social casino ring with the beta-launch of Mirrorball Slots, which features three fairy-tale themes. The company has also inked a partnership with Stockholm-based casino games developer Quickspin AB, which is run by former Unibet and NetEnt execs. Plumbee also announced it has received a $2.8m cash injection from Paris-based Idinvest Partners.

Jackpot Party, the UK-focused subsidiary of US casino gaming device maker WMS, has launched FriendSlot – a free social slot game in which one’s Facebook friends appear on the reels. The game uses a player’s friends’ profile data – age, gender, astrological sign, location and ‘likes’ – to randomly produce a three-reel ‘scatter pay’ slot game. Credits are earned by how many categories a player shares (and can match) with the three profiles that result from each spin.

Not content with a mere slots offering, Canadian software outfit Las Vegas From Home (LVFH) has launched an entire suite of social casino games on Facebook. Real Vegas Casino features blackjack, roulette, Texas Hold’Em poker and (yes) slots. LVFH CEO Jake Kalpakian is also promising unspecified “niche games” not widely available online. (Old Maid? Bloody Knuckles? Lawn Darts?)

Santa Monica-based Mobile Deluxe – whose Solitaire Deluxe game has reportedly been downloaded 6m times – recently launched its Big Win Blackjack game for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The game features a Professor Blackjack mode, which promises to teach the basics of the game and how to count cards. Given what the Scorsese movie Casino taught us about how casinos treat card counters, we hope Mobile Deluxe thought to include a list of local emergency rooms to which one can take one’s broken fingers.


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