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TransGaming is announcing today that it has developed an exclusive World Poker Tour game for smart TVs that will launch in the fall.
The game will launch with a number of unnamed operators who use TransGaming‘s smart TV gaming platform, said Vikas Gupta, chief executive of Toronto, Canada-based TransGaming, in an interview with GamesBeat. The deal shows that, slowly but surely, the television itself is becoming a platform for gaming.
The game will be available on TransGaming’s GameTree TV on-demand service and will focus on social engagement among poker players in connected living rooms. The game has multi-screen support and multiplayer gameplay in an experience that mirrors World Poker Tour TV programming, which is watched by 700,000 fans weekly.
Gupta said the platform will get a boost from World Poker Tour, which is a well-recognized brand on TV. Poker itself is going through a big revival with an estimated 100 million poker players worldwide. The game’s look and feel mimic the World Poker Tour stage, and it has voice-overs from the show’s 17 on-air TV personalities.
“We want to make the players feel like they are playing in a real poker tournament,” Gupta said. “This is a real demonstration of where smart TV should be going. We are looking at immersive titles with a high level of social engagement.”
The game has microtransactions, where players can buy chips during tournaments.
“The World Poker Tour brand is loved worldwide because fans know it delivers an incredible poker experience. We trust TransGaming to bring that experience to the emerging smart TV platform,” said Adam Pliska, President of World Poker Tour. “When we saw the possibilities that GameTree TV offers, we felt strongly that World Poker Tour needed to be on it. It will be a true-to-life World Poker Tour experience that our fans will love.”
TransGaming bought the interactive TV division of Oberon in January, and it now has rights to a number of franchises from Hasbro as well as World Poker Tour. The game demo will be ready by Aug. 1, and commercial deployments will begin with TV service operators by the end of September.