Yahoo! is looking to grab a greater share of the social and mobile gaming markets with the launch of its new Yahoo! Games Network.

Yahoo! Games Network is a gaming platform, and software developer kit (SDK) that gives developers the framework to build out games for both the Android and iOS mobile operating systems. Besides the SDK, Yahoo! is also providing game makers with a host of analytic tools to help them track downloads, social shares and revenue.

This attempt to crack into the mobile and social gaming space is the latest effort by Yahoo! to return to its former (pre-Google) glory. Given the company’s gaming pedigree, it’s probably not such a bad idea.

In the early days of the web, Yahoo! Games was a very popular destination for web-based gamers and, you could argue, was the prototype for the social gaming networks of today. Yahoo! Classic Games (the current incarnation of Yahoo! Games) will also be getting a redesign as part the Yahoo! Games Network launch.

Though Yahoo! is a shell of its late-1990′s glory days, it does still boast a massive user base that should be pretty appealing to gaming developers.

The company claims to have 800 million users, about 400 million of whom are accessing the site from mobile devices. In a Tumblr blog posting, Yahoo! Games General Manager, Jesper Jason described those end-users as a, “largely untapped market.”

Will Yahoo! be able to step in and compete with established social gaming distribution sources like Google Play and Facebook?

It’s definitely a major undertaking. As any casino affiliate can tell you, there’s a big difference between having 800 million users and actually converting 800 million users.

One trump card the company brings to the table is buy-in from some of the biggest names in gaming including Rumble Entertainment, DreamWorks, SGN, ChangYou, Namco Bandai America, Playtika, FlowPlay, and Con Artist Games.

Though Yahoo! advertising hasn’t always been friendly to the igaming world, it’s a near certainty that gambling games will play some role in the new Yahoo! Games Network.

Gambling games such as Bingo Blingo, Vegas World and Slotomania are already very popular on the site.

So far there’s been no word on what, if any role, real money gambling (RMG) games could play on the site. RMG social games are already legal in some markets, including the UK.

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