If you had to build a mobile casino gaming giant from a startup, you could do much worse than to found said company with a bunch that produced a Facebook game that draws millions daily: This was exactly the enviable position from which Rocket Games began back in 2013. Among Rocket Games’ founders were three folks from the social-media gaming specialists Zynga, including that company’s general manager (Niko Vuori), lead software engineer (Steven Jian) and product director (Bill Gelpi). This trio was among the staff which got social-gaming company Zynga recognized in a hurry with its Farmville, developed for Facebook, and the company continues to produce games for social media sites, though its official partnership with Facebook has ended in what was a bit of a strange decision.
When Facebook went public in an IPO offering in February 2012, Facebook representatives reported that 12% of its revenue originated in Zynga products. Zynga experienced a mass exodus of key staffers beginning shortly after the disappointing Facebook IPO (not to mention Zynga’s own decreasing share value) which continued into 2014. Among the first to leave, Vuori, Jian and Gelpi embarked on their startup Rocket Games, which would have them devote their energies to creation of social casino games. Many more ex-Zynga employees were taken on as well.
You bet. According to company figures, Rocket Games showed 500% growth from its first full year of business. For the first half of 2016, Rocket turned $5.6 million in operating EBITDA. And the best news of all came in Q3 of 2016; more on that below.
Rocket Games produces mostly casino-style game titles for iOS, Android, Amazon and social media (read: Facebook). As of mid-2016, the Rocket catalogue includes 50 titles, all of which are available for iPhones, iPads and Apple devices with varying amounts available in the other aforementioned formats.
Titles include Big Bear Bonanza; Bingo Gem Rush; Bingo World Rush Jackpot; Casino Kitty Meow; Casino Classic Slots; Cowgirl Ranch; Deluxe Slots Free; Downtown Deluxe Vegas; Emerald 5-Reel Classic; Emperor's Way; Enchanted Tales; Gameshow; Gameshow Fortune ; Golden Dragon; Hollywood Classic; Jackpot Fortune Casino; Jackpot Inferno; Jackpot Isle; Jackpot Panther; King's Fortune; Liberty Wild Eagle; Longhorn Slots Jackpot; Lost Treasure; Lucky Panda Titan Slot; Lucky Wheel Slots; Lucky Wolf ; Lunar Wolf; Multi Reel Jackpot Slots; Paradise Vacation; Pharaoh Ramses; Pirates of the Dark Seas; Popeye Slot; Reckless Rivals GT Moto Racing Game; Riches of Greece; Safari; Slots Diamond; Slots Dragon; Slots Eagle; Slots of War; Solitaire Vegas; Super Double Diamond; Super Safari; Super Tiger Way ; Tiger King; Triple Double; Vegas Jackpot; Vegas Vixens; Viva Slots Deluxe; Viva Slots Free Classic; Viva Slots Las Vegas; and Viva Video Slots.
All Rocket Games are available through iTunes, the App Store, Amazon and the usual online locations, and all titles are absolutely free to download.
In August 2016, the Penn National Gaming (PN Gaming) and Rocket Games CEOs announced a buyout of all assets and intellectual capital in a $170 million deal. Vuori, Jian, Gelpi and their 30 employees were hired by PN Gaming as part of the acquisition.
Showing a firm grasp of businessese verbiage, Gelpi stated that “The entire Rocket team is delighted to join the Penn National family and leverage their expertise and nationwide reach to take our game development capabilities and company growth to the next level.”
Let’s hope they can make it so, because Rocket Games are certainly quite excellent examples of a synthesis between classic online casino gaming and mobile casino formats…Check out the below links for all of the popular Rocket Game slots apps.