Zynga has acquired free-to-play social-casino start-up Rising Tide Games in an effort to expand its footprint in the social casino market.
Rising Tide CEO Maytal Olsha who along with casino slots veterans Stuart Zoble, Andrew Sega and Peter Franco will join Zynga as part of the acquisition.
Olsha, worked at Zynga for two years. He was hired to take the company into real-money gambling but the legalization of real-money gambling in U.S progressed more slowly than expected and Zynga had to pull out and shift their focus back to their bread and butter games like Zynga Poker and Hit It Rich Casino Slots.
Olsha shifted roles, taking over the social slots business, which included the reality TV branded Duck Dynasty Slots.
“I am excited for Rising Tide Games to join forces with Zynga,” said Olsha, “I look forward to once again partnering with Mark (Pincus), the talented Spooky Cool team and the Zynga Austin Studio to create authentic and truly social free-to-play games. Together, with our amazing Rising Tide Games family, I believe we can deliver fun, unique Social Slots experiences to players around the world in the growing Social Casino gaming space.”
Rising Tide’s Black Diamond Casino is currently only available in U.S. app stores but a worldwide launch will come sometime later according to Zynga.
Since stepping away from the real money gambling dream, Zynga has enjoyed some success. Social casino titles enjoyed a 47% year-on-year growth with all slots titles up 274%. Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said the company’s slots success was a direct result of their 2013 acquisition of game studio Spooky Cool Labs.
Zynga hopes Rising Tide Games will be another boost to the bottom line.
“We are excited to welcome the deeply talented Rising Tide Games team to Zynga, as we continue to expand our Social Casino game offerings,” said Pincus. “Zynga has a long history in the Social Casino space, as Zynga Poker is the original social game and remains the world’s largest free poker game. We look forward to our Poker and Slots teams continuing to deliver games that delight our players.”