Posted on: December 13, 2023, 10:28h.
Last updated on: December 13, 2023, 10:29h.
Hard Rock Digital, the interactive gaming and sports betting firm owned by Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming, is growing its social gaming division.
Following the acquisition of WGames, a leading mobile gaming company that develops free-to-play social games, Hard Rock Digital is creating a social gaming group called Hard Rock Games.
With the addition of WGames’ world-class games, technology, and operations, we have set the stage to accelerate growth for our social gaming business,” said Rafi Ashkenazi, Hard Rock Digital’s executive managing director. “Hard Rock Games’ enhanced capabilities will allow us to better engage our worldwide player communities with exceptional digital experiences and entertain our players like no one else can.”
WGames’ renowned titles include Jackpot Planet and Neverland Casino, which will join the Hard Rock Games library, alongside Seminole Slots, Hard Rock Adventures, and Hard Rock Blackjack & Casino.
Driving New Guests to Hard Rock
Hard Rock Digital’s launch of its Hard Rock Games social gaming platform coincides with Hard Rock Bet’s sportsbook launch in the Seminoles’ home state of Florida.
After years of legal tussling, the tribe last week began accepting online sports bets from anyone aged 21 and older who is physically located inside the Sunshine State. Retail sportsbooks have also opened at the tribe’s six brick-and-mortar casinos in Florida.
With the tribe receiving much media attention for its sports betting debut, Hard Rock Games will provide those interested in online gaming but not yet ready to play for real money an opportunity to dip their toes.
Hard Rock Games are free to download and play. In-app purchases allow players to buy additional gaming credits once their free allotments run dry.
Hard Rock Games will integrate Unity by Hard Rock, the loyalty program of the Hard Rock casinos, to give players ways to accrue Unity Points that can be used for an array of benefits at Hard Rock cafes, hotels, resorts, casinos, gift shops, and more. Unity points can be used at 13 Hard Rock casinos in North America and at Hard Rock Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Social Gaming Numbers
Though players can’t win real money on social gaming apps, they can spend it. And recent research suggests the social games industry is poised for significant growth in the coming years.
Sensor Tower, a data intelligence research agency focused on mobile app sales, reported in August that social gaming revenue in the US grew 16.4% between the fiscal 2020 and 2021 years. Social games generated estimated revenue of $4.2 billion from September 2019 through August 2020, and $4.8 billion between September 2020 and August 2021. Further projections anticipate social gaming app revenue north of $6 billion annually in the coming years.
Critics of social games suggest the apps are gateways to problem gaming, as social games often feature better win rates than real money games. A lawsuit naming Amazon as a defendant was filed last month on allegations that the company’s app store has conspired with social gaming developers to prey on players who become addicted to the supposedly free interactive titles.