A real-money gambling game called Bingo Friendzy has been launched on Facebook – the social network’s first, which lets users over 18 years of age play for real cash prizes.
The free Facebook Bingo Friendzy game is the first from its Amazon Game Studios, a new department at the e-commerce giant that was unveiled yesterday.
The Amazon Game Studios company in a blog post on the newgames.amazon.com site. said : ‘ Amazon Game Studios is exactly what it sounds like : a new team at Amazon that’s focused on creating innovative, fun and well-crafted games ‘. The department is currently hiring, but few other details are given.
The social-gaming field is still dominated by Zynga, maker of addictive games such as Farmville and Words With Friends and their various spin-offs. But the Zynga company has been struggling since going public last winter. Zynga’s stock closed at $2.94 a share on Monday.
The first gambling game on Facebook / real-cash web game for all adult Facebook users
A Facebook spokeswoman stressed that Bingo Friendzy was not a joint venture, saying the game had been developed entirely by Gamesys. ‘Real money gaming is a popular and well-regulated activity in the UK and we are allowing a partner to offer their games to adult users on the Facebook platform in a safe and controlled manner ‘, she said.
Yet another social game is not much of a threat to Zynga, but Amazon has the firepower necessary to become a legitimate competitor, thanks to its large network of customers with active accounts. Amazon can also target any games it does build to users of its popular Kindle tablets.
Amazon is not revealing much about its motivation for entering the game market. Amazon says only that they know that many Amazon customers enjoy playing games – including free-to-play social games – and thanks to Amazon’s know-how. Amazon believes they can deliver a great, accessible gaming experience that gamers and Amazon’s customers can play any time.
Facebook said that the decision to launch a real-cash gambling app in the UK was motivated by a mature and very well-regulated gambling market.