The Evolution of Social Gaming

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Anyone who has a Facebook account has had at least one friend send him a Candy Crush or some other similar type application invitation to play. Now, if the norm is for individuals to have access to send others that are in their friend lists requests to ‘water their Farmville fields’ or ‘give them a bonus Candy Crush Saga life’, what would happen if they could also ask for more credit for the slot applications?

With the growing popularity of the social networks, the world has seen online gaming evolving from an activity for those obsessed to one that enables a far more pleasant socially-focused enterprise.

Now, you have the option to share your progress, send requests for help, and continually level up with no “end” to the game, as part of this new, hyper-connected gaming environment that’s emerged on social media platforms.

Casino games have also had to evolve and change as a consequence of the rising popularity of these social applications. The traditional slots and other games now-days share many features with the social games. For example, Candy Crush Saga is all about finding matching patterns, just like on the slots.

One pertinent example is King’s Candy Crush Saga and Betsoft Gaming’s Sugar Pop. Sure, they’re different games on different platforms with different goals, but you match 3 or more sweets and win – the similarities are definitely there and they can’t be ignored.

With so many common traits, it was only a matter of time before social gaming developers decided to try video slots. The first big announcement was in 2012, when Gamesys launched their Bingo & Slots Friendzy app on Facebook.

Since then, many others have been involved, with Paddy Power’s sports betting facilities, Bwin’s tie-up with social gaming company Zynga to offer its Zynga Pokerapp for real money, and the proliferation of slots, pokers, and bingos in Facebook’s casino games section.

Despite these similarities, social gamers and gamblers are not that similar at all. In fact, “the motivation in social gaming is not sufficient to motivate regular gamblers to participate in these social games” – or, in other words, gamblers don’t want to play these social media applications because there is no monetary attraction. On the other hand, the social gamers don’t want to play casino games because they’re not gamblers, they’re just bored.

So it’s no surprise that big companies are starting to consider cutting their losses and implementing preventive measures by pulling out of the casino social gambling market. The trailblazing Bingo & Slots Friendzy was taken off Facebook on 4 June 2014, and Zynga and Bwin’s project has made so little profit the he company prefers not to mention it at all.

It appears that the odds are slim for social gamers to turn into full blown gamblers if a company does not come up with a brilliant marketing plan to engage this segment of audience.

Perhaps, then, it’s better if developers focus on the basics, which means top-notch graphics, engaging audio, and perhaps most importantly, big bonuses and big payouts.

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