When Facebook came into being some 10 years ago, no one would have been able to predict the impact it would have had in our daily lives and the manner in which we view the world. From a simple concept of being connected to your friends and community, it morphed into a lifestyle and a need to stay constantly in touch.
We were not only social in our conversations and activities; we started expecting it in all our online behavior. One such transformation was in the online game landscape. Social gaming came into existence. A player can simply play a game, make a comment or respond to their friend’s move and play with his friends or strangers according to his preferences. This enabled social gaming platforms like Zynga to come into play.
Most of us in India were introduced to Poker courtesy Zynga in Facebook. We saw our friends playing it or our friends joined the game after seeing us play and win. But either ways, the fact remains it was fun and addictive. Slowly, with high penetration of internet and smartphones, people in hordes started looking for entertainment on-the-go. Zynga Poker came in an app avatar on iPhone, iPad, and Android and our entertainment craving was fulfilled for a while. Most importantly, these social gaming apps were free.
Slowly more Poker inclined companies started entering the app market place and showering us with card games that were both social as well as free. These apps, like Mango Poker, PokerStars Lite –Free Poker etc. give the players an opportunity to play free poker and allow them to connect with their fellow players as well. There features like chat, leaderboards, information, avatars, tips and tricks etc. make it a holistic poker experience. It is not isolated only to the game but also the whole experience of playing as well as interacting.
What Octro, an Indian mobile game start up, has shown us with its portfolio of traditional games Teen Patti and Rummy, is that such games work in India. Both the card games have become amongst the most downloaded games in multiple categories on Google Play.In fact, they have recently raised $15 mn from Sequoia Capital to develop more multi-player social card games.
The Indian app market place is in need of addictive Social-Poker apps as the Poker player and the way he interacts with the world is evolving as well. The way Poker matured from live game tournaments to online tournaments, it is not far fetched to say that not so far in the future we will have Mobile Poker Tournaments as well.