While the U.S. market is still largely out of the online poker arena and most European countries on the decline, nearly all online poker sites have been forced to look for alternative ways to bring new players into the ecosystem.
The market leader, PokerStars, recently launched their largest ever marketing campaign to entice sports lovers and make them discover the game of poker. Soon after, they introduced a number of significant changes to the platform with the hope that it'll make the site more 'recreational players-friendly.'
The world's second-largest poker room, 888poker, decided to go a different route. Over the past twelve months, the poker site launched an impressive number of promotions focused on building a real community feeling through their 888live events, probably the best and most entertaining low buy-in live poker events spread in Europe.
Looking at the numbers, 888poker's new marketing approach seems to have worked well. Data from PokerScout shows that site traffic experienced a small but steady growth during the past six months, right when most of their competitors suffered a contraction in the number of active players.
Now, Full Tilt has decided to try something new by entering a universe that could potentially turn into a true goldmine: video games.
If approved on Steam, Full Tilt would become available to more than 100 million video gamers.
Back on October 12, Full Tilt made headlines when it was revealed the poker room was listed on Steam Greenlight, a system where video game developers place their creations with the hope of being accepted on Steam, the uber-popular platform launched by Valve Corporation in 2003.
Created to be a point-of-access to the gaming world and to serve video gamers with a one-stop-shop where they can download all their favorite games, Steam has evolved into a gigantic and powerful community of video gamers.
With more than 3,500 games available for download and more than 100 million users - Steam is the ideal environment where to look for new players to bring inside the poker world.
Full Tilt Now In The Top 50 On Steam Greenlight
One month later, the poker room's future on Steam looks bright. So far, Full Tilt seems to have won the consensus of a big part of the community and beat the initial skepticism of those who thought Steam was not a platform for an online poker brand.
"Thanks to your support over the last few weeks, we now find ourselves in the top 50 ranked games on Greenlight," a Full Tilt representative stated. "We are extremely grateful to those who have made the effort to vote. We continue to push towards our target of getting greenlit and hope that Full Tilt.net will be amongst the other quality games available on Steam in the very near future."
However, the game available on Steam Greenlight — and hopefully soon on Steam itself — is not the one we all know. Steam's terms and conditions do not allow real-money gambling games, and this obliged the poker room to submit their free-to-play application where the players will have the opportunity to top-up play chips through in-game purchases.
"We have submitted the Full Tilt software to the Steam Greenlight process because we want to introduce the game we love to a whole new market of players who already enjoy competition, strategy and online games." a Full Tilt spokesperson said when the poker room announced they decided to go the Steam route. "We believe that poker is a fun, safe, and competitive game that anyone can play, and that Steam is a great place to introduce poker to new audiences."
If approved, Full Tilt would become available for download to millions of video gamers and allow the poker room to reach millions of potential new players. Then, eventually, a portion of them will also decide to move from the play money games to real money ones - adding new liquidity to an ecosystem that is finally doing its best to keep the game healthy and alive.
If you believe that Full Tilt's presence on Steam could help the game and the online poker industry, head to this page to cast your vote.