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In big social-casino bet, Playsino acquires Popover Games and Foghorn Games (exclusive)

Moving fast in the hot social-casino game market, Playsino has acquired rivals Popover Games and Foghorn Games. With those moves, Los Angeles-based Playsino is positioning itself to be a survivor as consolidation inevitably hits a market where more than 100 competing games exist on Facebook alone.

The acquisitions give Playsino access to the cross-platform game Popover Poker, other casino games, and Popover’s employees. It also gives the company control of Foghorn Games, maker of Popover’s social-casino game Bingo Around the World. The move comes after Playsino announced this summer that it would publish casino games created by third-party developers.

“We’re happy to have found two like-minded companies that we can bring to market and further accelerate Playsino’s growth in this exciting space,” said Brock Pierce, the chief executive of Playsino.

Pierce previously started, bought, or invested in more than 30 game companies and secured more than $200 million on behalf of his companies. His nickname is the “Godfather of Virtual Goods” for his work in the early virtual goods market. But he’ll face competition from huge rivals such as Zynga, Electronic Arts, WMS, and IGT.

Popover was founded in October, 2010, as a maker of multiplayer social-casino games for Facebook, iOS, Android, and Windows mobile. It has technology to allow players to compete with each other despite language barriers.

“Our unique value proposition is a perfect match with Playsino,” said Nick Eliovits, CEO of Popover Games, Inc. “Brock’s experience in the industry is second to none, and I’m excited to be working with him and the Playsino team.”

Foghorn, meanwhile, created Bingo Around the World as a free-to-play game on the iPhone and iPad. Users can play bingo in eight cities around the globe and play against their friends.

“We are enthusiastic about the future under the Playsino umbrella,” said Chris Smutny, the president of Foghorn Games. Tamer Hassanein, Foghorn’s cofounder, added, “We are very confident that our games will greatly benefit from Playsino’s global audience of casino players and experience unparalleled success.”

According to a report by SuperData, social-casino games are expected to hit $1.6 billion in worldwide revenue this year and grow to $2.4 billion by 2015. Social-casino game players currently account for 13 percent of total players on Facebook, compared to just 8 percent in 2011 and 6 percent in 2010, according to Kontagent. The analytics firm says that social-casino games have higher-than-average revenue per user: at least 40 percent higher than a typical casual social game.


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