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Forget That Fake Money

Forget That Fake Money

Meet Your New Addiction: Derby Jackpot, an OTB for Casual Gamers, Lets You Bet on Actual Horse Races

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“Any horse that has the name ‘Awesome’ in it? I bet on it!” Walter Hessert told us earlier this week from inside one of those noise cancel-ish sofa pods in the south wing of General Assembly. Also present in said pod: his brother Thomas Hessert. Along with a third brother (Bill) and their CTO Eric Gay (no relation), the Hesserts are the cofounders behind Derby Jackpot, an addictive online game that almost made Betabeat late for our meeting.

Showing up for an appointment seemed more professional than waiting to see if we’d parlayed the $2 offered to beta users into something more, so we sucked it up and hopped on the N. But it was a heady example of why companies like Zynga are counting on real money gaming to offer real revenue in the otherwise hits-dependent social gaming industry that relies on ad revenue or virtual sheep.  Read More

Forget That Fake Money

New Deal with Zynga Shows That Facebook Wants to Keep Its Frenemies Close When It Comes to Real-Money Gaming

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Both Facebook and Zynga filed documents with the SEC today detailing the terms of a new, more lax partnership. The two-year-old contract between the once interdependent companies–just check out their IPO filings–was slated to expire.

Under the loosened agreement, Zynga is free of a number of obligations, including implementing Facebook credits on Zynga game pages and using Facebook as its exclusive social platform. Naturally Zynga is interested in establishing its own network, with the ability to own its own players and establish its own ad relationships. Zynga also no longer has to display Facebook ad units, for example.

But Facebook also got one (big!) thing: the ability to develop its own games. That might explain why Zynga stock is trading almost 13 percent down after hours.  Read More