There are countless virtual casino games out there, from online poker to slots and everything in between.
But what’s less common is a game that takes the term “virtual casino” to a whole new level. That’s exactly what FlowPlay’s newest title, “Vegas World,” does, and so far it’s proven to be pretty popular.
Developed by FlowPlay, a Seattle-based game company started by former Real Networks GM Derrick Morton in 2006, Vegas World is a social casino, free-to-play MMORPG (massive multiplayer online roleplaying game).
That means when you’re done winning virtual coins on the blackjack table, you can take your customizable avatar to the swimming pool or dance club. Or, maybe you’re virtually tired and need to post up at the hotel suite, where you can use some of the “gems” you’ve earned at the tables — or paid for with real money — to buy room service food.
I just played a few blackjack hands myself, and then moved my character to the pool where I lounged in the virtual sun with a few other players. Playing Vegas World felt like a basic version of Sims multiplayer, but with an emphasis on casino games.
Though FlowPlay is officially announcing the game today, it has been up and running for about a year. The results have been good: There are more than one million player registrations and 350,000 unique monthly active users with an average play time of 40 minutes per session.
“There are other companies that are offering cooperative slots, but no one is offering a virtual world experience with the breadth of games and socialization that we have,” Morton told GeekWire. “Even when you’re playing slots, you’re in a room with seven other people cooperating together for jackpots that everyone participates in.”
The inspiration to start Vegas World came from Morton’s experience working for a website called VirtualVegas.com more than a decade ago. That company ran a social casino much like Vegas World, but it was less a game and more of a lead generation for real-money online gambling.
That website shut down after the federal government took issue with companies promoting online gambling. But a few years later, the country loosened its grip on the matter, and Morton decided to make a comeback into the space seven years ago.
FlowPlay makes money via purchased virtual goods and coins, much like its competitors in this space. But where it differs slightly is the ability for players to buy “lucky charms,” which improve the effective odds of every casino game.
Along with Vegas World, which runs on Facebook, Android, iOS and the web, FlowPlay also runs a game called ourWorld. It’s the company’s franchise title and is similar to Vegas World, but without the casino aspect.
FlowPlay employs 25 people and also has six graphic artists at its Shanghai office. The company has raised $7.2 million from Intel Capital and ASI, and has been profitable since 2011.