Social gaming giant Zynga has announced it will move into real-money online gambling in early 2013. Electronic Arts has a big stake in casual social casino games such as Lucky Gem Casino Slots, and it has a relationship with the World Series of Poker TV series.
But it hasn’t decided yet whether to add real-money gambling to those games, according to Frank Gibeau (pictured below), the president of EA Labels and the head of the company’s game development efforts. It would be easy to do, but there’s a lot of discussion about the complexity it would add to the business and whether it’s the right thing to do culturally, Gibeau said.
“The leap from [social casino games] to real money is conceptually small, but it is a complicated one,” Gibeau said. “It’s a world market issue. There is a lot of U.S. regulation. There are fully regulated markets all over Europe and some emerging in Asia. I do thing real-money will be a growth driver for gaming. I have nothing to announce. We’re following the trends and events in real money. “