Betable recently announced a partnership with startup gaming developer 3Oak, a new division of Canada’s Frima Studio. The partnership aims to take both social gaming and real money gaming in completely new directions, namely, by merging them into what both companies hope will be a delectable, real-money social gaming treat.
To that end, 3Oak has stated that they are not planning on doing the same-old casino style games, even though the social gaming real money casino scene is largely untapped and potentially ready to burst. What kinds of titles they do plan on building is being kept under wraps for the time being. Suffice to say, they have big plans for creative new ways to engage players in social games, with a real money twist for added flavour.
“Frima’s bullishness on real-money social gaming is evidenced by the creation of a new division of their company that will focus on the opportunity and we couldn’t be happier to be powering it for them,” said Christopher Griffin, founder and CEO of Betable. “With their resources and experience, we’re confident that 3OAK has the vision and skill necessary to produce innovative, industry leading real money gaming titles.”
And real money gaming is undoubtedly where a majority of developers would like to take their social games in the future. Existing social games are largely subsidized through micro-transactions by a small percentage of paying customers, and that small percentage only spends a few dollars per month on average. As such, it takes a massive player base to generate any significant amount of revenue.
Real-money gamblers however tend to spend a much greater amount of money on their gaming pursuits, in the range of $100-$200 per month. Frima and 3Oak are counting on that gambling customer generosity to carry over into a different gaming format. While they’re unsure of just how willing their customers will be to spend wads of cash wagering on their games, they have at the very least seen positive early returns in how willing customers are to spend money on a social gambling game, based on a prototype game their company developed.
“It showed that it makes sense to do free-to-play games where you can cash out,” Mikael Lefebvre of 3Oak told Gamesbeat in an interview. “It brings you higher engagement rates.”
Instead of the usual conversion rate of 3% of players into paying customers for most social games, their prototype game achieved rates much greater than that, and those customers were willing to spend more individually as well.
While it may not be the guaranteed money making machine that an online casino could be, it could also wind up being far more, and help revolutionize the social gaming space. It’s exciting news for other gaming companies, as well as the scores of gamers who don’t have much interest in slots or video poker, but appear ready and willing to plunk down their money on more creative and skill-based gaming wagers.