GameHouse is placing a bigger bet on casino-style social gaming starting today— moving beyond its existing Facebook slots game to launch a larger casino on the social network, with more than a dozen games. GameHouse also is expanding its original slots game to iPhone and iPad with the release of a new iOS app.
It’s part of an effort by GameHouse to reshape the category of social casino games, in which gamers can buy credits but can’t win real money. GameHouse is promising expanded social experiences including a “Party Play” feature and the ability to see which games friends have recently played.
“We see the social casino space as a big opportunity for the company since this category of gameplay is so popular on every platform,” said Matt Hulett, GameHouse president, in a news releasing announcing the GameHouse Casino. “Vegas-style gaming is a real interest for millions of people around the world and we’re excited to be building an experience for consumers across all of their devices, anytime everywhere.”
GameHouse, the video-game division of RealNetworks, brings a more polished look and feel to its casino than many of the existing competitors in the market, but its Facebook casino is also a relatively late arrival on the scene.
Seattle’s DoubleDown Interactive, an early entrant in the space, was acquired last year by gambling giant IGT for up to $500 million, and has experienced steady growth thanks in part to gaining traction before Facebook started making it more difficult to attract new users without paying a premium for promotions on the social network.
The RealNetworks Games division posted $67.1 million in revenue in 2012, a 31 percent decrease from the year before. The company sees growth potential in social games even without real-money wagering, citing a Morgan Stanley estimate that annual revenues for the social games sector will hit $2.5 billion by 2015.