Zynga Bingo hasn’t even finished beta testing yet and critics are already crying foul instead of bingo! The latest offering part of the company’s popular casino collection and offers a few twist on traditional bingo. But some software developers are alleging that the game is a direct rip off from other popular social gaming and mobile apps.
These kinds of accusations are the last thing Zynga needs as they deal with a floundering IPO and the specter of legal online gaming
Social Media Bingo
The new bingo offering is a fairly predictable play on the social gaming formula that’s brought huge revenues to the Bay Area based company. Players start in a bingo room with friends and strangers playing a traditional game of bingo with up to six cards. As they play more games they can unlock collections and more elaborate bingo halls.
While Zynga executives trumpeted their new game to the world, the development team at Buffalo Studios was less than impressed. They claim that Zynga Bingo is almost a direct copy of their Facebook bingo app called Bingo Blitz.
In a statement dripping with sarcasm, Buffalo Studios staffers said, “Dear Zyga, We are moved that your new bingo game was so inspired by our innovative product, Bingo Blitz. Bingo Blitz has been growing throughout the past year and has obviously earned the attention of Titanic forces in the industry.” There’s no word yet on whether Buffualo Studios plans to pursue legal action or not.
This isn’t the first time Zynga has been accused of plagarism games, in fact it’s not even the first time they’ve been accused of plagarism this week. Earlier this week the makers of the iPhone app Tiny Towers claimed that Zynga’s new Dream Heights game was a direct ripoff of their popular offering.
Similar allegations were lobbed at the company when they launched their biggest hits Farmville and Mafia Wars.
Cashing in on Gambling
Zynga is clearly hoping to cash in on the popularity of online bingo while getting an edge on potential real money gambling on Facebook. The more Zynga can keep their current user base pinned down with Zynga offerings, the less likely they’ll be to flee to real cash competitors.
This also gives the company the potential to switch over to actual gambling if necessary. Though company officials have denied this scenario, it wouldn’t be surprising given their slowly eroding user base and pressure from investors for new revenue streams.
Affiliate partners should be keeping a close eye on Zynga, Facebook and social media as whole. It’s pretty clear that something big is going to happen in this sector and affiliates should be able to grab a piece of the action.
What do you think Zynga’s entry into the bingo market means? Let us know in our General Discussion Forum.