PokerStars: The Next Generation--Inside Aurora, the Operator's All-New Game Engine

Last December, pokerfuse exclusively revealed that PokerStars was working on a new game engine, codenamed Aurora.

Based on new image assets deployed in the free-play “dot-net” poker client, it appeared that under Aurora, PokerStars was redesigning the online poker experience on desktop. Every theme, game type, and poker variant had been tweaked, with new animations, graphics, and sounds.

In some table themes, the changes are subtle—more legible fonts, a muted table felt, and clearer buttons. In others, particularly the older, less used themes, the changes are much more dramatic. The “classic” table has gone from a rather confused affair to a minimal orange glow.

The old Saloon theme has seen the biggest overhaul. It has gone from a rather ugly, 90s style design to much more refined—if still busy—design complete with beer bottles on the table, cigars in ash trays—even a sheriff’s badge as a dealer button.

Files also suggested that, beyond the cosmetic changes, the company is using a whole new game engine behind the scenes, Cocos2d. Previously only used for mini-games like The Deal, it appeared that the operator was preparing to switch all its poker games over to the new development environment.

PRO reached out to PokerStars at the time, but the company remained tight-lipped with its strategy. Four months later, and the company is finally ready to talk.