Social gaming associations merge to create “unified international voice”

10th September 2013 12:44 pm GMT

Two social gaming industry associations have merged to develop what they claim will be a “unified” approach to educating policy makers and the public on the social games sector and furthering the industry’s interests.

The International Social Games Coalition (ISGC) and the Social Gaming Association (SGA) will be combined and renamed as the International Social Games Association (ISGA).

The merger comes at a time when greater scrutiny is being placed on the consumption of free-to-play content, with the new association working towards developing a better understanding of how the industry operates and its value to the digital economy.

The ISGA will develop a framework of what it describes as “socially responsible values” designed to safeguard consumers and safeguard the sector, which has come under a degree of regulatory scrutiny from authorities in countries including France and Australia.

The merger has seen a new management team established, with ISGC chief executive Luc Delany taking on the same role for the newly-formed entity while SGA director Stuart Tilly becomes a non-executive board director. ISGC chairman Paul Mathews, also co-founder and chief operating officer of Las Vegas-based developer Playstudios, will chair the ISGA.

Mathews said he was “pleased” to announce the two groups were to join forces, adding that the ISGA was “looking forward to representing the great work done by social games companies around the world together.”

Tilly added that the merger was a “continuing sign of the industry’s commitment to advancing its socially responsible agenda and the ISGA will give the industry a solid and powerful platform to do so.”

The Social Gaming Association was the first operator body to launch in November last year, with Athens-based operator AbZorba Games the first member, joined by Slingo and Bally Technologies. Social platform provider Enteraction also joined as an accredited member, while Alderney Gambling, the business development arm of the Alderney Government, was announced as its first governmental associate in February of this year.

The ISGC, meanwhile, first announced its formation in April 2013 before an official launch in June, and counts some of the leading social gaming operators in the industry among its members.

Aristocrat, Gamesys, IGT, PlayStudios, Playtika, Plumbee, RocketPlay and Zynga were announced as the founding members under the leadership of former Google and Facebook executive Delany, with a number of other companies understood to be close to joining the association.

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