This time last year, many speculated that social gaming was going to be the most important element of mobile casino gaming in general. We never developed much of a taste for it – as we have said before, the chance to ‘buy’ credits without the chance to ever win anything back was not exactly what we would consider as being quality casino gaming. Whether that rings true on a popular level or not remains to be seen, although there has been one major move in the social gaming industry this week with the announcement that IGT has finalised the sale of its social gaming platform, Double Down.
Of all of the gaming platforms out there at the moment that deal with this kind of gaming, Double Down is one of the largest with only Aristocrat’s Product Madness offering really making a similar mark. Given IGT’s inherent passion for mobile gaming at the moment, getting rid of this part of the business would perhaps indicate that it is not performing as well as some would have thought, although that is definitely speculation on our part.
For some observers, the sale of the company has been carried out primarily to allow IGT to reduce debt – and do not worry, that is just a standard move in business and we cannot imagine that IGT is in any financial danger or at risk of going anywhere any time soon! The deal, which was originally agreed back in April, is with an affiliate of South Korean firm DoubleU. A purchase price of $825 million was clearly enough to turn some heads towards the transaction and, as of this week, it has been completed.
Of course, the backbone of the service is IGT casino content, and so the deal does not mark a complete move away from the company as Double Down enters into its new format.
Marco Sala, Chief Executive of IGT, explained: “Today, we are also entering a long-term game development and distribution agreement with DoubleU Games for social casino content. This is an important development in supporting our strategy of leveraging our substantial content catalogue across multiple distribution platforms. Through this partnership with DoubleU, we will continue participating in the social casino market, as we will be collecting ongoing royalties on our casino game content.”
In all fairness, it is not like IGT owns and operates casinos up and down the Las Vegas strip, even though their games can be found in just about every one of them. It actually does make perfect sense that they would be more focused on providing the games rather than operating the casinos when it comes to social, online and mobile play too, and this move would fit perfectly in with that particular strategy.
As noted, the company has been making a strong push in terms of mobile gaming lately, not least through an aggressive new release schedule that shares more than a little in common with the likes of Microgaming. We have seen multiple new releases from the developer on a monthly basis recently and while they certainly have a head start over some of the competition with such a healthy back catalogue, that could be said of a number of other developers such as Aristocrat and Bally but they have simply not been progressing as fast. As of right now, they are simply one of the best mobile choices for players, with plenty of great partner mobile casinos to choose from too, and if you are into playing some of the most legendary slots ever created on your mobile device then they will definitely not disappoint.