There’s been lots of speculation about Zynga’s plans to launch real-money gambling games in the near future, but other social games firms have similar ambitions. For example, SGN just announced a partnership with Betable in this space.
The deal will see SGN add real-money gambling features into some of its mobile games in the first half of 2013. It hasn’t said which ones yet, but its current hits include Fluff Friends Rescue, Jewels of the Amazon, Bingo Blingo, Skies of Glory, MindJolt and Panda Jam.
(We’ll stick our necks out here, and suggest that the child-friendly Fluff Friends Rescue and Panda Jam WON’T be getting the new features).
“As thought leaders and innovators in the game space, our partnership with Betable makes perfect sense. Real money mobile gaming is in the future,” says SGN CEO Chris DeWolfe.
The publisher claims 35m monthly active users across iOS, Android and Facebook, so it’s a significant deal for Betable, which also has partnerships with Digital Chocolate, Slingo and Big Fish.
The Appside’s wider concern, though, is the pace at which social games companies are scrambling to get into real-money gambling.
We wonder how much thought they’ve put into a.) how games need to be adapted for this space, b.) how many players really do want to – in DeWolfe’s words – ”up the ante” against their friends, and c.) how they’ll approach any issues of problem gambling among their players.
Which is not to say gambling is wrong or these publishers shouldn’t be investigating the opportunities. Just that it’s something they need to think about and execute on VERY carefully if they do. This, of course, may be Betable’s role in such partnerships: not just providing the platform and legal backing, but the important advice on best practices.