Online poker giant, PokerStars, rolled out a brand-new lobby to its customers in Denmark as part of a software update late last week.
The updated lobby features a new more modern look, with perhaps the most noticeable difference being its new flat design—apparent on the buttons, tabs, graphics and logos—replacing the gradient-heavy design used by PokerStars for years.
In addition to the main lobby, the new design is also used for all dialogue boxes and individual tournament lobbies.
Overall, the new lobby and dialogue boxes have a less rigid feel, with its gradient elements removed, rectangular buttons replaced with ovals, borders of the tabs being less distinct from the background and muted grey tones giving the appearance of more white space on the screen.
The new lobby builds on the design introduced with the rollout of PokerStars’ latest graphics engine Aurora last year. Aurora brought new table themes to the PokerStars software featuring updated animations, graphics, fonts, and sounds. Aurora is currently in use in all markets globally except for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and India.
The Aurora game engine has been part of the development roadmap at PokerStars for quite some time, initially utilized in its now-defunct poker/esports hybrid game, Power Up. Though the game was removed last year after nearly a three-year run, the inspiration of modern video games is still driving development of the PokerStars client.
However, at first glance, there have been no new animations introduced as part of the new lobby design, indicating that the upgrades may be to bring the desktop software in line with another PokerStars development initiative, Mobile NG (Next Generation).
Speaking to Poker Industry PRO last year, PokerStars’ Director of Poker Innovation and Operations Severin Rasset said there were no immediate plans to apply Aurora to the lobby because a redesign of the lobby was already part of the Mobile NG initiative.
“Currently, we have no plan with the lobby, because we’re also revamping the lobby with Mobile NG,” Rasset said last April. “While these two projects are influencing each other, we’re also trying to avoid interdependencies that might slow them down.”
Indeed, new mobile apps for iOS and Android devices have also been deployed in Denmark featuring the same look and feel as the new updated lobby.
PokerStars rolled out its first version of Mobile NG in Denmark last year where it sought player feedback before distributing updates to its mobile gaming environment more widely.
“So the most important things about our new app are the fundamentals: simplifying choices for our users by grouping games together in a logical manner, implementing internal logic that adapts to each player by remembering what was played and recommending similar games that they might enjoy, designing a modern look and feel, and fundamentally changing the way players find the games that they want to play,” Rasset wrote in a blog post last year.
“We drew inspiration from some of the most successful apps in the world and adapted them to the needs of our customers,” he continued.
So far there has been no official word on when the new lobby and mobile clients will reach other markets. As a matter of practice, PokerStars typically deploys new games and software in jurisdictions such as Denmark, Italy and Spain before it distributes its upgrades more broadly around the world.