While financial investment is currently a touchy subject for much of the world, it continues to indicate confidence in different markets. After all, investors put their money into certain industries when they are confident that the chosen industry will grow and offer them an excellent return, and recent reports indicate that while investments in social gaming are dwindling, that very same money is being diverted in the direction of mobile casino gaming.
Social gaming is the kind of game that people enjoy with friends on Facebook and other social media sites. Some, such as Farmville, have become household names in their own right and see millions of players every single day. However, one of the main catalysts for such success was the fact that the game is absolutely free to play, marking a shift in the gaming industry as a whole. After something of a bubble with investors looking to get in early to see how the makers of such games monetized their user base. In real terms, this meant that shares in Zynga, the maker of Farmville, opened at nearly $10. Today, those same shares are worth less than $3 each. Interestingly, one of the few developments to boost the price in any meaningful manner took place in December 2012, when the company applied for a real money gaming license in Nevada.
The fact that a company that built its entire brand on social gaming is now looking to actively expand into mobile casino gaming through licenses and acquisitions paints a picture in itself. However, there is more to the story, as investors, in general, are looking to move away from investing in social games and into those with a readymade revenue stream; mobile casinos.
Until recently, the closest that casino players came to enjoying gambling on their mobile was reading the news and other information. However, the rapid technological advances in the sector, driven by such new investment, have made it possible for the industry’s traditional big players to push the boundaries of what was considered possible. Hardware and connectivity are now at a point where they rival and often exceed that which original online casinos were used on in the mid-1990s and developers can now bring truly realistic versions of their top titles to mobile games.
Probability, the company behind Moobile Games, Winningw88 and LadyLucks, are already capitalizing on investor confidence by using external cash injections to primarily fund their expansion strategy in Italy, combining such injections with their own quarterly revenues of more than £2 million. Elsewhere, established names such as Microgaming and Playtech are using general sector confidence to boost their partnerships acquisition strategies. The aforementioned technological leaps have meant that Microgaming has been able to launch games over recent months that fully replicate their online counterparts, beginning with the likes of Mega Moolah and recently incorporating Adventure Palace, both of which are available at both the online and mobile versions of All Slots Casino.
In market terms, the report indicated that as part of a mergers and acquisitions “league table”, multiplayer online games weighed in at 38% of the cash value of the market, with mobile investment coming in at a strong second with 27%. Social games, previously the market leader in 2011, were a relatively poor third with just 18% of activity. Mobile gaming also fared well using different measurement criteria: 28% of all investment deals in the gaming sector were done in the mobile space, while the same sector was responsible for 31% of the cash value of such transactions.
As always, we like to put reports such as this into context for our readers, the players on which the industry thrives. New investment in the sector means more choice for existing players, and an influx of new ones at leading mobile casinos. With most mobile casino games being purely man versus machine, the number of players actually on games is irrelevant to the player’s chances of winning or losing. However, the efforts of mobile casinos to capture the player base mean more mobile promotions and increasingly diverse mobile game catalogues.