Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all fun and games here at the AbZorba Games. Or, rather, it is, but we still manage to tend to a few serious issues, like helping build the kind of business environment that will enable social gaming to prosper. It’s not an easy task: it involves influencing policy, developing standards, educating the public and regulators on social gaming, and a whole lot of industry co-ordination.
It was with the social gaming community interests in mind that Andrew Hughes, our CEO and co-founder, helped create the Social Gaming Association (SGA), back in November 2011 ― an organisation aiming to provide the social gaming industry with a united voice and a unified set of socially responsible standards, and take a proactive role in educating policy makers about social gaming.
In the almost two years that followed its launch, the SGA has been quite busy. It gained traction in the social gaming community, enlisted over 120 members, spread the social gaming gospel at several gaming conferences and collaborated with the UK Gambling Commission in the preparation of a report on social gaming.
Today, we’re happy to announce that the Social Gaming Association and the International Social Games Coalition (an independent US based organisation with the same goals as SGA) have merged to create a unified international voice to represent, protect and further the interests of the social gaming industry. AbZorba has its place on the founding board joining Aristocrat Technologies, Bally Technologies, Enteraction, Gamesys, Gamingo, IGT, PlumBee, Playtika, PlayStudios, MGM, Slingo and Zynga.
The newly consolidated organisation, to be named the “International Social Games Association” (“ISGA”), will represent social gaming industry interests worldwide, and assist social gaming companies from established global operators to up-and-coming start-ups.
This merger, which will further the reach of our collective efforts, is coming at the moment that it is needed the most, a time when social gaming is more popular than ever, the social gaming industry has established itself as a serious business, and numerous changes in the way people access, play and pay for games are taking place.
The new organisation’s core objective will be to educate and inform the public, policy makers and regulators on what the industry does and what value it generates for the digital economy, while at the same time helping push the boundaries of social gaming by establishing a set of socially responsible values and best practices for its members, aimed at increasing innovation, ensuring the health of the industry and safeguarding the consumer.
ISGA’s leadership team will combine each respective organisations Executive Boards, with Luc Delany appointed as CEO. The merger was welcomed by the chairmen of both organisations, while our very own Andrew Hughes (an SGA co-founder) commented: “This merger demonstrates the importance that our industry places upon working together, no matter how big or small, to provide a collective and unified voice to represent this great and vibrant industry”.
So many companies working together amicably in what is seen by many as a very competitive, if not cut-throat, industry? It figures that it would be the social gaming community to pull this off. Being social, after all, is our core competence.