A new poker game app has been launched on Facebook following the partnering of Caesars Entertainment and Electronic Arts.
While pros continue to rake in the millions in the World Series of Poker, poker fans can look forward to gain some ‘virtual’ fame. In partnership with Caesars Entertainment, the owners of World Series of Poker (WSOP), Electronic Arts (EA) announced the launch of ‘Free Play’, a WSOP poker game app on Facebook with a play for money feature. The move comes close on the heels of PokerStars foray into social networking with its poker application on Facebook. The other competition comes from the already established and popular Facebook app, which is Zynga’s Texaz Hold’em Poker. The app currently has more than 30 million users on the social platform.
EA has made a smart move by offering gameplay on both the Apple and Android platforms. Only No Limit Hold’em is currently spread. There are prizes in the form of virtual rings and bracelets for ring games and tournaments. EA has gone all out to provide smartphone poker players a complete social experience with a variety of social gaming features such as leveling up and experience points in addition to allowing players to offer in-game requests to friends and the use of chat. While the app is categorized among free social poker apps, a player will have the option to make in-house purchases for additional chips and gold coins. For only $3, players can purchase 500,000 worth of play chips without the need to wait a whole day for a free top up. In addition, the app currently offers huge discounts on a variety of purchases. Players can also opt for a monthly $5 subscription to ‘go pro’ and gain access to features such as exclusive VIP tables, a statistics tracker, and more.
Synonymous with the Sims brand, Electronic Arts is renowned for its cross-platform gaming with a $5.4bn market value. The move comes at a time when several states in the US are in the process of presenting legislatures to decriminalize online poker with drastic changes in the regulatory environment expected in the near future. For CEO John Riccitiello, this could a move strategically timed with the potential to reap rich dividends. On the other hand, Caesars Entertainment has an online gambling license in the state of Nevada. It’s partnership with EA may not go down well with 888 Holdings, an existing partner with Caesars Entertainment in the efforts to bring online poker for real money to Nevada.
888 already enjoys a Facebook presence with bingo for real money, and proposes to launch 888poker on the social platform in 2013 as well. Caesars Full House Pro is a WSOP branded poker game which the company established in partnership with Microsoft for both the Windows 8 and the Xbox 360 platform. Betting $20 billion in debt, Caesars seeks to strengthen its financial position through profitable ventures. Although the Facebook app may not be able to significantly help, taking advantage of this technology is a step in the right direction to maintaining investor confidence.