Zynga has redesigned Zynga Poker, its flagship poker game, to include realistic graphics with player photos, leading to what it calls an “immersive” social gaming experience. In redesigning the game, the company has responded to customer demands that the game should be made elegant and realistic so that it could deliver the authentic casino gaming experience.
Millions of poker players are playing Zynga Poker on a daily basis, but the company is still struggling to regain its lost glory as it now has to compete with more than 100 social casino gaming companies. Today, Caesars Interactive has grabbed 14.7 percent of the social gaming market while Double Down, a game by IGT, has grabbed 12.1 percent of it. This puts Zynga in the third rank as it only has 10.1 percent of the total market.
Zynga’s newly designed Zynga Poker for mobile devices is faster than its previous version. It has the ability to quickly adapt itself to players’ skill level and places them at a table that exactly matches their level of expertise, preferences, and style of gaming. The red and gold color scheme reminds players of ultra modern casinos. Since the icons are associated with color codes, players can decide quickly and easily if they are playing games such as Texas Hold’em or taking part in shootouts.
Referring to Zynga Poker as the company’s “cash cow,” Nick Giovanello, creative director for Zynga Poker, said: “Poker is a 200-year-old game. How do you reinvent that experience? We wanted to create an app that was re-architected for mobile and re-imagined. It’s not trivial to do that.”
Zynga Poker, which was launched in mid-2007, was the company’s first social poker game on Facebook. It soon attracted millions and millions of online poker players and became the first game to convince players to purchase virtual products with real money.
Zynga CEO Clive Downie is optimistic about the new design. He said: “We are going back to our roots in social and players will find that the new Zynga Poker delivers entirely new layers of social, making it easier for you and your friends to join the same table and instantly connect.”
According to Giovanello, changing the design of the old poker game was risky and challenging, but worth it. Zynga’s design team has a number of new faces, but many of them have been with Zynga for several years. He also promised that there is more to come.