Social casino gamemakers like Zynga are moving into real-money gambling. The reverse is happening as well, and a startup called BlueBat wants to help casinos move into the world of social games.
Today, Vancouver, Canada-based BlueBat is unveiling its BlueBox social gamification engine. With it, BlueBat will help casinos and online gambling game developers reach more users. In effect, BlueBox will add social features to online gambling games. The idea is to equip the gambling companies so they can more effectively compete in the game business.
Rivals include Roar Engine, Enteraction, Akamon, and social casino players such as DoubleDown Interactive, Caesars-Playtika, and myVegas from PlayStudios. But in contrast to those companies, BlueBox is focused on a business-to-business strategy. It wants to help all casino and gambling game companies by giving them a turnkey system. That system includes services for social gamification, virtual economy, credit, authorization, and dynamic analytics. It also helps developers publish games to a variety of platforms and social networks, including Google+, Facebook, and BlueBox’s own GoPlay social network.
The BlueBox engine is a communication layer between the network-specific technology and the front-end user interface in a game.
Morgan Stanley predicts that social gambling games will become a $7 billion market in the next two years. With 173 million players a month, the social casino game genre is already huge. And with legalization of real-money online gambling on the horizon in North America, the growth expected to be even bigger.
BlueBat was founded in 2011 by Kenny Huang and Tim Harris, two veterans of the video game business who previously worked at Electronic Arts. They built the social casino game Lucky’s Bank Penny Slots on Facebook as a proof of concept for the BlueBox Engine.
“The online casino space and the social gaming space are converging, and we’re sitting right in the middle of this convergence,” said Huang. “We’re not just raising money to build a game; we’re raising money to help build that bridge.”
BlueBat has 10 employees. It is raising money and expects to raise seed money this fall. To date, it has $600,000 in funding from angel investors.