Carnival Corporation, one of the world’s largest leisure travel companies, has launched PlayOcean, a portfolio of original mobile games and in-person interactive experiences that expands gaming into new categories by providing the opportunity to play anytime, anywhere, for cruise guests and consumers alike. With the launch of its PlayOcean gaming portfolio, Carnival Corporation will be the first travel company to produce original mobile games catering to the vacation market.
“The cruising industry has historically defined gaming as casinos, which have always has been a great feature for our guests,” said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. However Padgett and other Carnival executives realize the gaming market presents even more opportunity, pointing toward a recent report on the Global Games Market by Newzoo that estimates that 2.2 billion gamers across the globe are expected to generate $108.9 billion in game revenues in 2017, with mobile (smartphone and tablet gaming) accounting for 42 percent of the market.
“We realized that casinos are just one element in one dimension of gaming, and that if we expanded our approach, we could appeal to a broader cross-section of people,” Padgett said. “What we are doing with PlayOcean is fusing together spaces that don’t traditionally intersect—mobile gaming, casino, original content and travel. We’re about helping people interact with the world around them and engaging them in authentic experiences.”
PlayOcean Casino games, powered by the company’s proprietary O·C·E·A·N experience platform, were unveiled this past January, and the PlayOcean Casino app will be available for game play later this year on the company’s Regal Princess, as well as other Princess Cruises Medallion Class ships in 2018. “No one else has pursued this with the intent that we are,” Padgett said. “Our motivation is different and our capabilities are different. Not only is this gaming strategy helping to bridge the digital and physical worlds, but it’s also creating awareness about a cruise vacation.”
LOOKING BEYOND THE CASINO
It is no secret that there is a growing global demand for gaming across all audiences, and the combination of social, competitive, chance and location-based games available within PlayOcean could be the solution that gives Carnival an opportunity to engage broader audiences in the unique experiences and fun already associated with its cruise vacations. PlayOcean gives the company’s guests the flexibility to engage in experiences when, where and how they choose, whether it be at home, on a plane or relaxing on the ship.
But for Carnival, PlayOcean isn’t about recreating a Las Vegas-style casino experience; instead, the company is taking some of the concepts found there and making them more interactive and fun than a facsimile of a traditional casino-based slot machine. And unlike the approach that many mobile gaming companies in the industry follow, Carnival’s new gaming platform doesn’t revolve around driving revenue through app downloads or online stores.
“Carnival Corporation is a different player,” Padgett said. “We’re not a development team trying to battle other creative studios to create games that outsell and out-engage other popular game titles. And we’re not a casino operation taking land-based casino games and retrofitting them. We’re developing original games for our guests to increase the experience, engagement and interactivity physically and digitally.
With PlayOcean Casino, guests onboard Princess Cruises Medallion Class ships can place bets with real money once the vessel is in international waters, allowing them to take the action of the casino wherever they please. While cruising, guests on the select ships will have access to social and real-money casino games, based on house rules, both inside or outside of the casino, including poolside, in staterooms or in any other ship location. In addition, virtual games on the casino app can convert to real-money gaming once at sea to take the experience to a new level.
“There’s a much bigger purpose involved in our strategy and with a greater focus on the quality and richness of games and experiences the platform will include,” Padgett said. “We have the benefit of leveraging the marketing reach of all cruise brands within the Carnival Corporation portfolio to promote PlayOcean, as well as to engage the travel agents to help evangelize these games. Medallion Class Games are created to unite families, engage friends and challenge guests in a fun fashion while cruising.”
PlayOcean Everywhere and PlayOcean Casino feature four social casino games that can be played anywhere at any time with play money, in addition to in-app purchases to boost gameplay for even more fun. The four social casino games available on both apps include:
Queen Sea Poker is an immersive and engaging experience that takes players on a journey with the Pirate Queen in a new kind of interactive and multiplayer online social poker game.
Tipsy Tentacles Slots packs the fun and excitement of traditional slot machines. Tipsy the Octopus is the game’s entertaining guide who introduces bonus features and free spins.
Roulette on Deck is a continuous live event in which players place virtual bets on regularly occurring spins of a virtual roulette wheel. Players can also invite their friends to play (or merely watch). When it’s roulette time, all players are treated to an exciting reveal as they see the wheel spin—and their bets play out in real time.
Bingo on Deck reinvents a cruise favorite with multiple bingo variations and many opportunities to win. Bingo on Deck offers a unique experience for guests to play bingo anywhere they please or to seamlessly interchange between their mobile device and traditional bingo card while playing bingo onboard the ship.
Meanwhile, the version of PlayOcean that will be available exclusively onboard Princess Cruises’ Medallion Class ships later this year, will feature the aforementioned interactive and social location-based games that unlock once onboard. In addition, Medallion Class Games were created to unite families, engage friends and challenge guests in a fun fashion while cruising. These onboard, immersive gaming experiences were derived from Carnival’s award-winning Ocean Originals TV programs.