Crazy Panda Poker is Taking on the West in Style
It’s acknowledged throughout the online and mobile poker world that it’s increasingly difficult to launch a new site and successfully attract cohorts of players. One site that’s currently trying to tap into the European and American online and mobile poker markets is Crazy Panda, and while this Russian site might not be a name you or I recognise, with 110 million reported players having used the site to date, they have to be doing something right.
Last week I wrote an article about the demise of Yahoo Poker, and share my thoughts about how players were increasingly moving to dedicated and specialised poker sites which have the expertise, experience and resources to offer great poker games. It is around these sites that the best players will congregate, and as a result, it is at these sites that you’re likely to find the most enjoyable games. For this reason, any new kid on the block has a lot of work cut out if it wants to make a name for itself in the competitive poker markets of the west.
Crazy Panda’s secret? Starting out in the east, of course; in Old Mother Russia to be exact. It seems that by consolidating its core base of players in Russia and other eastern countries before switching to focus on its English language operations, Crazy Panda has been able to ensure that its player numbers are well up to the competitive standards required to take on the bigger western based sites like Party Poker and Poker Stars.
Figures released by the site last week showed player numbers above 110 million, with a hugely impressive growth of over 45% since July of 2013. It seems that one of the biggest draws of the site is its ‘World Poker Club’ mobile poker app which accounts for 70% of all new player traffic globally.
Most players at Crazy Panda are opting to use it for social poker gaming rather than real money gaming. While its real money experience has few differences as compared to its social counterpart, it seems that players are voting with their feet and opting in their droves for the free to play choice.
Of course, with in-app purchases in free to play games accounting for an almost $2 billion industry globally, Crazy Panda won’t be hurting from a loss in revenue, but if players remain focused only on social gaming, this Russian panda bear is going to have difficulty looking eye to eye with its real money European and American counterparts.
Of course, the alternative way to look at it is that Crazy Panda has intentionally managed to tap into a market overlooked by sites in the west… who knows?
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