Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

October 6, 2011

MGM Meets Zynga?

Posted by Hunter

At this week's G2E conference in Las Vegas, birthday boy and MGM CEO Jim Murren gave a keynote that included some thoughts on the future of the company's gaming operations online (along with him openly wondering why the markets don't love his company).

Not a lot of groundbreaking news except for the fact that Murren alluded to new social programs or apps that he described as 'MGM meets Zynga'. Zynga is the popular publisher of Farmville, a Facebook powerhouse. This jives with what we've heard about former Wynn exec Andrew Pascal's new project, IncuBet.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - this is gonna be big time stuff for these gaming companies. My guess as a first foray is something that fits well within existing law - a way to push MGM brands and hmmmMlife through Facebook - some sort of game that lets you either build casinos or pretend to be a high roller. Not all that innovative (it's been done) but this time it will have real gaming brands behind it, which could make all the difference.

Expect more of this. A lot more.

Murren's slides are here. Also, don't miss this G2E related gem.

Thanks to Detroit1051 for the tip on the slides being up.


Read archived comments (3 so far)
October 7, 2011 4:14 PM Posted by jinx

I disagree from the standpoint on whether incorporating social media is going to be a boon for casino companies. There's likely to be a novelty to posting to twitter or facebook your slot win, but nothing long lasting.

Online gaming once legalized is going to be a huge moneymaker for anyone who has the licenses in the US. Given our politicians choice in handling online gambling already, I just don't see any kind of social media incorporation being legal for any company that's not licensed. It's another form of advertising at best. By the time the mindest allows incorporation outside of a virtual casino in my opinion is 1-2 generations away.

Let's not forget the casino companies have tried online incorporation before, the Wagerworks disaster is the best example and Harrahs online gambling company is nothing more then Hoyle online.

There's not going to be a lot they can do here that's revolutionary in anyway and I'm guessing they aren't going to get much in the way of casual fans for this.

October 7, 2011 8:02 PM Posted by Hunter

Well, I guess we'll see about how long-lasting it is. I think the propensity for younger people to share (i.e. brag) is incredibly high and we'll see that reflected in future slot technology.

Wagerworks as a disaster? It was way of ahead of it's time and suffered from some people using automated click systems to game it but I think there was a lot of valuable knowledge gained there - the people that used it enjoyed it and that was a loooooong time ago in technology terms.

October 8, 2011 5:00 PM Posted by Paolo

It seems like the gaming industry is always a little behind when it comes to tech... with the rapid developments in the mobile tech space, it seems like there is a lot of opportunity for any company willing to get creative. I'd wager to say that it may be the only way to get younger people engaged. I'm not much of a gamer to begin with, but shitty technology is a HUGE turn-off. I'm sure many of my peers feel the same.

As far as Murren wondering why the market doesn't love $MGM... why does he care? If the stock is so undervalued, he would be buying it back hand over fist, both for the shareholders and for himself. A good CEO with confidence in his company could give a rat's ass what the market thinks.