Game designers often liken Facebook games to casino or arcade games on a broad level. You put in a quarter, it gives you a slice of entertainment, but you'll need to keep putting quarters in if you want to play for a long while. DoubleDown Casino on Facebook fits that ideology like a glove ... well, more like several gloves.
Touted as the first and number one casino on Facebook by creator and lead developer Cooper DuBois at DoubleDown Interactive, DoubleDown Casino is a wide collection of casino games within a single Facebook app. And, thanks to that distinction, it allows players to take their winnings and use them across four game types (and a list of games within those game types.)
While DoubleDown Casino launched last year with just Blackjack, it now features several varieties of Blackjack, slot machines, Video Poker and Roulette. Players receive cash to play around with daily, thanks to a daily spin bonus much like traditional social games, and can use that money across its games. While that might sound basic, and it is, it's the breadth of games tucked inside and its brief social features that help it stand out.
For instance, Slot Tournaments allow you to compete with your friends for the highest score, but it also shows a ticker across the bottom of your virtual slot machine that shows who is winning and by how much in real time. Players can then click on those passing players' icons and add them as friends. And just recently DoubleDown Interactive added the ability to send gifts to your friends. However, those gifts are really chances for big chip prizes through colorful wheel spins.
The other game modes, like Blackjack and Roulette, are played in real time with other players across several game styles. And each game is fully animated to help emulate that casino experience, or as DuBois puts it, "to make people feel like they can go to Vegas from their living room." And already is DoubleDown Interactive not like your everyday social games studio--it only has one game, technically, and likes it that way.
"When you look at [Zynga's] MAU [monthly active users/players], it's like 260 million people. But if you actually looked at--and I don't know what the correct term is--they don't have 260 million individual people playing their games," DuBois told us. "Of those games, they might have 50 million people playing several games all added up into this 260 million. So, it's kind of a false number. Our number is completely accurate, because we're an umbrella of games."
It's certainly a different strategy. One of the major distinctions DuBois makes between DoubleDown Interactive and more traditional social game studios is that players can use their currency across its games, rather than having to buy currency in several different apps. So, that being said, DoubleDown Casino is the studio's only game, and it looks like it's going to stay that way for some time.
"If you go into any casino, there are about 50 or so mini games. There's Keno, Baccarat, three-card poker, four-card poker, Let It Ride, Pai Gow poker," DuBois says. "If you go into any casino there are probably 200 different kinds of slot machines. The sky is almost the limit for a casino, and we feel that we have a ways to go to complete our project. We are very focused in our game."
DoubleDown Casino may be just a collection of slot machines, Blackjack tables and Video Poker, but it's one massive collection. However, the real time portions of the game--like Blackjack and Roulette, for instance--could benefit from some more real time social features such as live chat. But, according to DuBois, DoubleDown Casino is only going to grow from here.
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