Online gambling companies may find there is a culture clash with social gaming that hinders their entry into the booming field, according to the chief executive of a start-up social gaming company.
“They think they can have a slots and poker offering and just whack it on Facebook," said Keustermans, a former online-gambling executive turned social gamer. “All the gambling-industry product is mostly like publishing. They don’t build their own product, they buy it from Microgaming."
Online gambling companies like Playtech, 888 and Bwin.Party are trying to get into social gaming, after seeing companies like Zynga grow rapidly in a matter of months offering free-to-play games on Facebook.
Developing striking new games for fun players is a different challenge from attracting players to traditional variations on poker or casino games.
“It’s very difficult to get good talent," Keustermans said. “We need to fight the Google and the Facebook for the best talent. Those people don’t want to work just for money."
Plumbee launched its first game, Mirrorball Slots, on Facebook in March, armed with $2.8m in funding from Idinvest Partners. He said the company is already profitable, after about six weeks in business.