Online gaming group Unibet has announced that it will be launching new standalone poker software in early 2014.
The new software, developed in partnership with Estonian based Relax Gaming, was crafted to support Unibet’s strategy of catering to recreational players.
“In a way, our goal is to bring the fun back to poker by creating software with a clear focus on the casual player,” Daniel Eskola, Head of Gaming at Unibet, stated in a press release.
Being involved closely in the design gave Unibet “the possibility to start from a blank piece of paper,” and define “everything [it] believes is important for a fun poker experience,” Eskola stated.
Lack of faith in the future of the online poker network model prompted the development of the new product. According to Eskola: “The environment in the online poker industry has changed over the years and we have come to the insight that being part of a poker network is not sustainable for Unibet in the long term.”
As a result of the new launch, Unibet will be leaving MPN, Microgaming’s poker network, but will continue to offer Microgaming’s Quickfire games through its casino. Unibet’s operations in Italy on the Ongame network and in France on Playtech’s iPoker network will remain intact, Eskola told pokerfuse.
The new software will have both PC and Mac versions available as downloadable clients and browser-based apps along with mobile versions for iOS and Android devices.
It will also include many features viewed as friendly to the casual player, including “user friendly table selection, rich 3d backgrounds, ability to change avatar and screen name and gameplay features such as achievements and missions.”
Relax Gaming currently operates a fast-fold only poker network, which debuted in March 2012. Unibet was among the first to offer the fast-fold product as an alternative to its primary poker software. To date, the network has failed to gain any significant traction.
As part of the new partnership, Unibet has invested €1.25m into the company.