Smartphones, tablet computers and social networks have forever changed the face of the gaming market. Originally, social gaming was thought to be a passing fad, but it seems that it is here to stay. The market has become so popular and profitable that even online casino developers have decided to try their hand at creating social games that will appeal to a new audience of gamers.
Zynga was one of the first developers to make the connection between social gaming and casino gambling. One of its first releases was Zynga Poker, an online poker application that operated like any other poker room – with the addition of social gaming features. Players were able to share their progress with friends and level up to trigger unique features. The success of Zynga Poker started the social gambling trend.
Soon, Zynga decided to launch other social casino applications, and it wasn’t long before Zynga Slots was available on the Facebook App market. This application offers player free-play slots games, with plenty of ‘unlockable’ features and shareable content. It led to the development of Zynga Elite Slots, which brings a new meaning to the term ‘social gaming’ by allowing players to work together to complete levels and win slots jackpots.
For quite some time, Zynga had a monopoly on the social casino market, but it wasn’t long before other developers started to get involved. Double Down Interactive launched the wildly popular Double Down Casino application, which was quickly snatched up by online gambling developer IGT (International Game Technology). IGT was one of the first real-money gambling developers to try its hand in the social gaming world, and it has turned out to be a successful venture thus far. Double Down’s games are still free slots but the application provides a great deal of ad revenue for IGT.
888 Holdings is one of the latest real-money gambling operators to make its way into the social gambling world. The company’s new social casino application is called MAGIC888, and it offers players the chance to play online slots and other casino games using the convenient Facebook Games platform. It operates on the same basis as social casino applications like Zynga Elite Slots and Double Down Casino, allowing players to share their progress with friends and level up to unlock bonus content. The only difference is that players can wager actual cash and win genuine jackpot prizes.
The social slots and social casino markets have developed very quickly over time. From free-play poker apps to real-money Facebook casinos, social gambling has seen a great deal of change – and we can expect to see even more innovative developments from social casinos in the future.