Social online poker is about to get another boost thanks to an all-new PokerStars´ sponsored app available to Amazon Fire TV users.
Jackpot Poker — as the app is called, grants Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners the ability to compete in play-money Spin & Go tournaments directly on their Smart television set.
The app is now available for those who physically own the Amazon Fire TV media streaming hardware, which is capable to instantly playing customers’ favorite selections from Netflix, HBO NOW, and Amazon Instant Video. There is a separate Fire TV Stick that snaps into any HDMI slot for on-the-go use.
Here is a look at the promotional video on how the app works on iOS.
Jackpot Poker Equals Recreational-Friendly Platform
The world’s largest online poker conglomerate, Amaya Gaming, recently received Greenlight approval for distribution of its Full Tilt play-money app to Steam users. With PokerStars getting in on the act, it appears that the two major brands are poised to make a deep splash in the social online poker market.
One thing that immediately sticks out while watching the Jackpot Poker promotional video is that the app boasts online poker play with video game elements.
Old school online ambiance tricks such as applause after a winning hand (PartyPoker) and selecting your own refreshment (Paradise Poker) have given way to glitz achievement graphics — designed to make casual players feel a sense of accomplishment whenever they take down a big pot or “level up.”
The tactic has been used extensively in Free-To-Play mobile games which offer similar real money purchasable items (in the form of cosmetic skins and in-game abilities) to PokerStars´ play money chips.
Customer Experience Reigns Supreme in Mobile Apps
The potential success for Jackpot Poker will be based almost exclusively on customer experience. Unlike the traditional online poker structure that rewards real money players for their overall skill, this recreational, play-money app will seek to constantly reward users with actual gameplay enhancements, graphics, and sound clips.
Amaya’s focus on social gaming through launching play-money apps is an interesting strategy considering the ongoing debate of Free-To-Play´s long term viability.
Many in the video game industry believe that this model has run its course and resulted in a rapidly-matured player base whose expectations have increased exponentially. However, this view is not shared by all — including Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain developer Konami — which has all but relinquished its status as a Triple-A title maker in the hopes of cashing in on the mobile gaming model.
Is This Positive For High Volume PokerStars Players?
There will undoubtedly be some crossover from casual gamers who try out the new PokerStars Jackpot Poker app and try out real money games on a PC, MAC, Android or iOS client — but a large percentage of those players will likely move to real money Spin & Gos rather than cash games or tournaments.
Thanks to PokerStars’ new philosophy of marketing online poker as a “fun experience” instead of a potential job, the virtual form of the game can expect a new generation of poker players who prioritize gameplay mechanics over real money cashback incentives or profit.
To that end, the social gaming apps created by PokerStars and its sister site Full Tilt could spark significant growth in 2016 — both in player traffic and an already dominant market share.