USPC jumps into mobile to try its luck with Zeniz Social Casino, but faces stiff competition
The United States Playing Card Company has signed a deal with Canadian digital marketing agency digi117 to launch an all-in-one casino app for iOS and Android.
The app, which will be called Zeniz Social Casino, will be free-to-play and offer a variety of casino games, with a planned release schedule that will see new games added to the app every two months.
According to a statement from Marc Hill, the president of the United States Playing Card Company (USPC), Zeniz Social Casino will offer interactive 3D graphics and video and branded game rooms, a strategy that plays well with USPC’s parent company Jarden Corporation — a Fortune 500 company that owns more than 100 other consumer brands.
Moving into mobile is a smart move for the USPC, which distributes the real-life playing card brands Bicycle, Bee, Hoyle and Aristocrat. Despite the fact that the mobile casino games don’t let players actually gamble — payouts are made in virtual currency, which can’t be converted back to real cash — the games are some of the most popular and lucrative apps on iOS and Android right now.
Currently, four of the top 10 highest grossing iPhone apps and five of the top 10 highest grossing iPad apps are casino games. On Android, five of the top 25 grossing apps are virtual gambling games. A top grossing mobile app can earn between $2 and $3 million a month on iOS and about $1 million a month on Android.
With mobile casino apps already earning millions of dollars a month, competition is white-hot in the space. Israel’s Dragonplay, makers of the top grossing Android apps Live Holdem Poker Pro and SlotCity, just closed a $14 million round of funding from Accel Partners to help it expand its lineup of games on iOS, Android and Facebook.
Meanwhile, land-based casino companies are getting in on the action with acquisitions: Caesars Interactive Entertainment bought Slotomania developer Playtika for more than $80 million late last year and says its gunning for the top of the virtual casino pile on both Facebook and mobile. Casino supplier IGT demonstrated the same thinking after by purchasing social game developer DoubleDown Interactive for $500 million; the studio has since brought its successful Facebook casino game of the same name to iOS.
Zeniz Social Casino will also have to deal with Russia’s Kama Games, which makes the perennially popular Texas Poker app, and Self Aware Games’ Card Ace: Casino, which offers a variety of casino games under the banner of a single app. Finally, there is the current market leader, Zynga and its game Poker by Zynga. This week’s top grossing app on both iOS and Android, according to our traffic tracking service AppData, the game hasn’t dropped below No. 10 on the top grossing app charts since January.