Zynga, the Californian based social network games developer, has launched the test version for Zynga Texas Poker, its new poker game that will target the Taiwanese and Hong Kong markets. Zynga develops browser based games that work in association with social networking applications such as Myspace and Facebook. On Facebook more than 28 million people play their poker game monthly, which is a testament to its popularity. Their other games include FarmVille, Mafia Wars and Café World.
By expanding to Chinese speaking audiences, Zynga Poker will become the world’s largest poker game. The new game will enable users to test their abilities against other players in their native Mandarin. They can also play in tournaments, with friends or even enter a VIP area. A gift shop included in the game will allow the user to personalize their seat at the table by purchasing virtual gifts.
It will also be possible to play for free and potentially win real prize money and trips. The tournaments will include ‘shoot-out’ modes where the user has to battle through several single tables to reach the final table to compete for the grand prize. The first prize totals at $880,000 Taiwanese dollars. This is a clear marketing ploy to seduce the Asian market with the number 8 being considered lucky in Chinese culture.
There are also the group challenges that allow users to team up with their poker friends to compete in various time sensitive challenges. Challenges include winning three hands in a row and going all in successfully. Zynga Poker users can also earn collections where they get the chance to win these collectible items every time they play. These can be items from the gift shop or poker chips for future games.
Sadly, the game will not be released in mainland China because Facebook is not accessible there. Being a socially network based game this will make the game unavailable to those located in China.