BlueBat Games, an independent Vancouver studio that helps game developers and casino brands socialize their games on browser-based and mobile platforms, today officially announced its BlueBox Engine. BlueBox is a developer-centric social gamification engine that increases player engagement via proven social gamification strategies and mechanics. Designed from the ground up with online casinos in mind, it enables casino operators to leverage the social network effect and hook players into real life rewards.
An estimated 173 million players per month currently engage with social casino games, and that number is quickly increasing. According to a late 2012 Morgan Stanley report, social casinos and social gambling games will potentially become a $7 Billion industry within the next two years. BlueBat helps land-based and online casinos extend their brands and build loyalty by helping them benefit from this social network effect to create explosive growth.
“The Social Casino genre is a rapidly growing segment of the games industry, particularly as new US regulations to legalize real-money online gambling loom on the horizon,” said Kenny Huang, CEO and co-founder of BlueBat Games. “Existing online gambling sites and casinos are seeking ways to tap into the social virality that has benefited companies such as Zynga in order to build brand loyalty; while other game developers are shifting toward social gambling to tap into a huge player base. We offer each a turn-key solution that reduces the friction and complexity inherent in such titles.”
BlueBox exists as a communication layer between network-specific APIs and the front-end presentation layer or interface seen by players. It utilizes REST-style API architecture, enabling games to be published on multiple platforms or social sites such as Facebook, Google or BlueBat’s own network of affiliated sites via one integration point; regardless of whether a game’s native platform is Unity, Flash or HTML 5. This results in faster, less expensive development cycles and protection from the ever-changing protocols of each social platform.
One such social network recently integrated into BlueBox is the Los Angeles-based GoPlay, a leading destination site for social casino games such as slots, bingo and poker. GoPlay’s platform also enables casinos to embed free-to-play games onto their own sites and reward players with real-world incentives at their land-based locations.
Top BlueBox Engine features include:
- Core Services: Basic fundamental services, such as user information, portrait and friend list retrieval.
- Social Gamification Services: Key tools that allow players to build their identity, manage privacy, form new connections & relationships, and communicate only what they wish to fellow players.
- Economy Services: A powerful economy engine for monitoring and control of currency exchange ratios & balances. All in-game items are treated as currencies, allowing greater control over a true virtual economy.
- Credit Services: For players to purchase in-game virtual goods using real money, it’s necessary to implement and adhere to the various payment systems and procedures of each social network. BlueBox simplifies this by allowing developers to easily define or modify costs; and by reducing payment processing to a simple function call.
- OAuth Services: Specifically designed to address the challenges of working with Facebook’s mandatory OAuth authentication system, BlueBox handles all user and application authentication processes behind-the-scenes.
- Truly Platform-Agnostic: REST-ful API lets applications built on any platform – Unity, Flash or HTML5 – communicate with the BlueBox back-end.
- Excel- based Analytics: BlueBox’s data-driven architecture provides searchable, sort-able analytics that empowers designers with total control over all aspects of their games.
“We believe designers should be freed up to focus on the game itself, as opposed to dealing with multiple APIs and conflicting protocols,” commented Huang. “BlueBox does the ‘heavy lifting’, so our clients keep their focus on more important things like great game play, customer satisfaction and ROI.”
The BlueBox Engine including full GoPlay integration is currently available for licensing, with additional platforms and social networks to be integrated in the near future. Pricing is based on an affordable SaaS model, which scales proportionately to a game’s player base.