Glu Mobile launches first real-money gambling game, stock surges
Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU) introduced its first real-money gambling game Samurai vs. Zombies Slots, boosting the U.S. publisher's shares more than 20 percent Tuesday to $2.91.
Samauri vs. Zombies Slots
Launched in partnership with mobile betting game designer and platform provider Probability, which handles player payouts, Samurai vs. Zombies Slots leverages intellectual property from Glu's popular Samurai vs. Zombies Defense title. The slot machine-inspired game, currently limited to the U.K. market and available for both Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, requires players to first choose the cash stake per line they wish to bet, then the number of paylines they wish to play (from 1 to 50). Gamers can earn a maximum payout prize of $9,000 (£6,000).
Glu and Probability entered into a strategic relationship for real-money gambling last year and plan to offer additional Glu-branded mobile gambling titles in the months ahead. Glu casino games will be marketed as part of the Probability portfolio and will be offered to a range of Probability's bookmaking partners like Paddy Power and William Hill. The firms also plan to expand their gambling efforts to additional international markets.
While it is uncertain when or even if Glu will be able to roll out real-money mobile games to U.S. audiences, Reuters notes New Jersey has legalized online gambling for residents and Nevada lawmakers have approved both interstate online poker and state-to-state gaming agreements.
Last month, reported fourth-quarter revenues of $21 million, up from $15.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Smartphone games (including new releases Death Dome, Contract Killer 2 and Dragon Slayer) yielded 89 percent of revenues, representing an 85 percent year-over-year increase. Operating losses narrowed to $6.7 million compared to $9.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Glu plans to release approximately 15 new mobile games this year, including five in the first quarter: Dragon Storm, Gun Bros 2, Stardom Hollywood, Small City and Samurai vs. Zombies Defense 2.
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