Skill games are seen as a big opportunity for cross selling, enticing people to join up with online poker and other gambling sites.
There has been a growing amount of interest in licensing deals across Europe recently, as gambling organisations shift their focus into European markets. Scandinavian poker and bingo sites seem to be popping up all over the place as Sweden is being seen as the biggest growth market at present. Swedish poker players also rank amongst the highest and best poker players in Europe. Spain however is not too far behind in terms of sites being launched and players contributing to European tournaments. The likes of Juega Poker Ya on the IPN Poker network for example, are enticing customers to pay and play, while enjoying the skill involved in poker. The Spanish Poker Championship also hit Valladolid on 23rd March 2007 with an all Spanish final table leading to a winning amount of 1900 euros for one lucky Spanish player. The European Poker Tournament will also hit Barcelona in August 2007 adding fuel to the Spanish poker phenomenon.
Spanish residents love skill games, and with poker riding the thin line between being classed as a skill game or a gambling game, it is not too difficult to see the potential in cross marketing skills games with poker sites.
Of Spain’s 19 million internet users, some 8 million play some form of skill game online every day, whether simple flash based games like Sudoku, or more complex downloadable action based games. Couple that with the gambling market in Spain set to reach some 39 billion Euros by 2010, and it is easy to see that there is a lot of money to be made in cross selling to online gamers.
Cross-selling can at times be a bit of trial and error. Many poker players for example might enjoy a night out at a casino, but they may not enjoy playing online Sudoku or other similar web based skill game for example?
Achieving the right deal with the right licensing arrangements is important when establishing a skill game to poker crossover. Virgin Games for example have a high proportion of players on their games site that also crossover to play poker and bingo online. Virgin see their role as providing entertainment to customers, the consequences of which should encourage people to stay on the site longer, and eventually discover pay to play online poker. Virign have developed many brands and games which keep customers interested and playing long enough to get a good feel for those brands, and then increase trust in paying to p lay other games.
Discovering what helps acquire and retain a customer is the most difficult aspect of any form of online poker marketing. The cost of acquiring players can reach into hundreds of pounds, yet the long term benefit of retaining that customer is obvious.
Poker sites that have a large database of players and that have good back-end management software can gain some idea of the other types of softer games that their customers enjoy playing. It is important not to cross sell the same product to everyone in the database, but to research and select games relevant to the right person.
Developers love designing skill games. There is nothing more exciting than transferring a set of characters and a narrative over to a game with feature rich cutting edge graphics. Designing a poker site can be similar, as the graphics and technology that drive the games are becoming more advanced and more complex.
So, iif you get the right deal and licensing strategy, it is possible to create a skill game that provides a good relation to playing poker and also enables you to achieve brand trust to entice players onto your poker site.
A licensing agreement with a brand to offer skill games is not necessarily a direct line to making money. It is not just a question of making a good looking game and to throw most winning ingredients at it in order to make your mark. It is about being selective in terms of the design elements of the game, in terms of how the game is to be played and how you engage different types of players into a complete skill experience to make them want to return for more.
By Morgan Collins
Written by Morgan Collins for Juega Poker Ya, juegos de poker en espanol. Resource and links must be retained in reproduction of this article.