According to Lund, Playhem Poker fuses the best parts of social poker and competitive real-money gaming to create a product which is going to have mass appeal. Crucially, the game is specifically constructed to work in a US market, regulated or not. We spoke to Lund, the newly appointed acting head of poker at Playhem Poker, about the product launch and what it could mean for online poker.
"Playhem is a platform for competitive gaming, it already features games like Starcraft and Fifa 2012."
"The Playhem poker model, which draws its inspiration from the company's existing know-how of competitive video gaming and e-sports, is aimed at targeting a distinct gap in the current online poker market. It plans to address the millions of players who enjoy social poker games like Zynga Poker but don't find the action meaningful enough, and it hopes to speak to the tens of thousands of dedicated players who want to play poker for real money online but are exempt from doing so by current US law."
"For a number of reasons, Playhem Poker is less liquidity-dependent than other poker solutions. We can't offer the mountains of cash some competitors can, but we hope to offer a game and a platform that delivers twice the fun and produces more reasons for players to come back and play."
"I don't view poker as a gambling game. I view it as an MMO (massively multi-player online) game that just happens to feature brilliantly integrated gambling elements. When the gamification craze hit last year and I started hearing about gamification consultants being invited to all sorts of industry events to sing their gospel that was the last straw for me. The fact that the poker industry feels it needs to listen to gamification experts instead of being those experts says a lot about why the industry is struggling."
"The event side of Playhem Poker will also introduce new forms of competitive poker playing tailored for the e-sports stage and for massive broadcasts. We definitely think we will be crowning a new breed of poker champions."