A recent article from VentureBeat.com shared the unveiling of a startup company, BlueBat, and what it intends to introduce to big box casinos. Its product, BlueBox, is all about “social gamification”, the ability to get landbased casinos to move into the world of social games.
Based in Vancouver, BlueBat aims to get casinos and online gambling software developers to work together to snag a larger piece of the customer pie. Their idea is simple: add more social features to online real-money games so that gambling companies can get a leg up on their competition.
Of course, this idea isn’t new. We’ve seen the reverse situation happen with Zynga, a social media company that now offers real-money transactions. And other companies (the likes of Enteraction and Roar Engine as well as casino clients like Double Down Interactive and PlayStudios) have been trying to do this very same thing. What BlueBat offers, however, is more of a B2B strategy; an elaborate turnkey system that provides the ability to publish games from muliple platforms, social playing fields (think Google+ and Facebook), create a virtual economy, and present detailed analytics about the current customer base. In essence, “The BlueBox engine is a communication layer between the network-specific technology and the front-end user interface in a game,” the VentureBeat article explains.
Social gambling and its umbrella of games could become a $7 billion market by 2015, says experts at Morgan Stanley. The number of players online each month is a staggering 173 million–and climbing. If online gambling gets the legal go ahead in North America, those numbers are expected to skyrocket.
Says Kenny Huang, one of the two BlueBat, founders (the other one being Tim Harris), “The online casino space and the social gaming space are converging, and we’re sitting right in the middle of this convergence. We’re not just raising money to build a game; we’re raising money to help build that bridge.”