Online gambling operator Bwin.party digital entertainment’s social gaming offshoot Win Interactive has followed up the release of its first social casino product Slots Craze by adding a Garfield & Friends slot for Facebook and iOS devices. Jim Davis, the creator of the popular cartoon cat, said the Win programmers had “managed to capture all the fun and humor at the heart of the Garfield brand.” Garfield joins characters including Casper the Friendly Ghost and the cast of the Wizard of Oz in the roster of Slots Craze, which Win claims has been installed over a million times since its February debut. Win CEO Barak Rabinowitz says more social casino, bingo and sports betting titles are in the pipeline, with the latter segment holding particular interest, as no company has as yet cornered the market.
Zynga’s acquisition in June of game studio Spooky Cool Labs has borne its first fruit via the release of Hit It Rich: Casino Slots on Facebook (mobile versions for both iOS and Android are coming soon). Like Slots Craze, Hit It Rich features characters from the Wizard of Oz, suggesting that rights holder Warner Bros. have yet to meet a marketing tie-in they didn’t like. Hit It Rich also features characters from the Beetle Bailey and Blondie comic strips, both of which had their heyday several decades ago, suggesting Hit It Rich is aimed at social gamers of John McCain’s vintage.
Oklahoma-based Goldfire Studios has beta-launched CasinoRPG, a story-based mix of CityVille-style construction activity, role-playing and casino games. Basically, it’s the ultimate gambling feedback loop, as you play games like slots, blackjack and poker, then use your winnings to build more casinos. CasinoRPG has an interesting history, as GoldFire largely funded its development via a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. GoldFire CEO James Simpson described the impetus behind the game’s creation as the desire to do something new in the social casino sector, where “innovation has stalled.”
On that note, Russian internet firm Mail.Ru’s online gaming offshoot Mail.Ru Games has released Poker Arena for iOS and Android. While Mail.Ru is an internet giant in Mother Russia, this barebones Texas Hold’em app has left some players complaining that it makes Tetris look overly complicated.
Finally, lest console gamers feel unappreciated, the upgraded World Series of Poker: Full House Pro has finally been released for Xbox Live. The game is rated T (Teen) due to “alcohol reference” and “simulated gambling.” The update was originally scheduled to appear in the spring, but hey, better late than never. Sadly, the delay was not due to developers deciding at the last second to add a feature in which Carter Gill’s puppy-dog eyes appear on screen after every bad beat. Maybe next year.