IGT strikes new licensing deal for social games

Gaming equipment manufacturer International Game Technology Plc (IGT) and social casino games developer FlowPlay Inc have struck a cross-licensing deal. The deal will see FlowPlay develop games with patented features from the IGT portfolio and generate unspecified, but ongoing, licensing fees for the equipment maker.

“FlowPlay offers more than 45 different casino-style games already and this agreement helps to ensure that even more of the authenticity and excitement of land-based casino gaming extends to players in the online social space,” IGT North America chief executive Renato Ascoli was quoted as saying in a press release issued on Wednesday. The same statement quoted FlowPlay chief executive Derrick Morton as saying the deal would provide a “phenomenal selection of patents” that can be utilised to “reach new audiences”.

The agreement is a further sign of the trend among suppliers of land-based gaming equipment makers to create online versions of their games. With Internet-based social casino platforms, players make bets online using credits they purchase in advance, rather than wagering real money directly each time they play. Winnings come in the form of tokens.

IGT announced last June it had sold its Double Down Interactive Llc social games developer to South Korean operator of social casino games DoubleU Games Co. Ltd for US$825 million. Double Down Interactive is known mainly for its DoubleDown Casino, which is popular in North America.

At the Global Gaming Expo Asia 2018, a casino industry trade show held in Macau last month, IGT’s chief executive of International, Walter Bugno, told GGRAsia that the sale of Double Down Interactive was recognition by IGT that its core expertise was not in social casinos.

“Through the sale of Double Down we have secured a very good content supply agreement, where we develop our IGT games to put onto the Double Down platform. But we are not a social casino operator,” Mr Bugno said in an interview. “That’s not where our focus is. And, on top of that, we felt there was a conflict with a number of our casino customers, who were also operating their own social casino platforms. We felt uncomfortable continuing that.”

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