The GSN Games supervisor released Sparcade app that allows customers play some of the world’s most famous arcade titles dealing with their comrades for real-money prizes. The vice president of the company posted a blog last June and says they will release an app on iOS. While the Android version is set to be released later this year 2016.
Read the rest of this exciting story below…
How Sparcade works
Sparcade is a new, real-money gaming ecosystem that will allow users to compete against one another in Tetris, Scrabble and Pac-Man, as well as an in-house-developed Solitaire game, for either cash prizes or for free. Players can earn tokens by playing the games, and use those tokens to play for free. According to VentureBeat, GSN will take an undetermined rake on two-player cash games.
“We leverage the huge market for casual and mobile games, tap into the energy and enthusiasm around competitive video gaming, and deliver … a single, free-to-download destination, offering high-quality, skill-adapted versions of the biggest and most popular mobile game franchises of all time,” wrote Greg Canessa, Sparcade’s senior VP and general manager, in the announcement.
The app has been in development for nearly the entire two-and-a-half-year period that Canessa has been at GSN. During that time the company struck licensing deals with its current titles’ owners – Electronic Arts (Tetris), Bandai Namco (Pac-Man) and Hasbro (Scrabble) – to be able to offer the popular titles on its platform.
Skill gaming vs. Chance gaming
“The option of putting a little money on the line makes familiar games more interesting and fun. It adds a little bit of excitement to the gameplay that feeds friendly competition and keeps the game fresh,” wrote Canessa, the Blizzard Entertainment veteran and man behind the Microsoft Xbox Live Arcade.
“Skill” is a word that’s tactfully used in Canessa’s blog post. Echoing the popular refrain of proponents of the daily fantasy sports industry, Canessa told VentureBeat, “This is about skill, not gambling.”
The cautionary DFS tale
DFS has come under intense scrutiny in the last nine months, and the operators no longer offer their games in states like Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii that they traditionally considered safe. Furthermore, extensive lobbying efforts in states like Indiana, Colorado, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia have produced laws establishing expressed legal clarity for DFS.
GSN will likely have a head start in determining that its games are skill-based by virtue of gamblers betting only on their own performance in this scenario; it is not offering a marketplace for observers to bet on people playing a two-player Pac-Man contest. Furthermore, it’s hard to argue that said Pac-Man contest involves much chance.
Potential for regulatory need
One promising development, according to CalvinAyre.com, is that players will be matched together in various games by skill level in an effort to discourage bumhunting or “bottom-feeding,” a tactic of which several players in the DFS industry have been accused.
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