RockYou taps into Facebook’s bingo trend with publishing deal for Bingo by Ryzing

RockYou is throwing its hat into the bingo sub-genre of social games, announcing today that its third party publishing unit Studio Partners will now be publishing Ryzing’s Bingo by Ryzing.

Available on Facebook since July of 2010, so far Bingo by Ryzing has shown the slow growth that most other bingo games have on the platform, with the game’s monthly active users peaking this month at 250,000 according to our AppData traffic tracking service. What sets Bingo by Ryzing apart from the other bingo games on the platform are the game’s real world prizes, which are awarded via a sweepstakes method to skirt Facebook’s restrictions around cash payouts.

“Facebook doesn’t allow gambling and Bingo by Ryzing does not incorporate gambling as there is no purchase required and purchasing does not improve a player’s chances of winning,” explains Ryzing’s CEO Manu Gambir when asked about the game’s prizes.  “Bingo by Ryzing is a sweepstakes exactly like other sweepstakes you may be familiar with, such as the popular McDonald’s Monopoly sweepstakes.”

According to Gambir, the game uses multiple types of bingo cards, only some of which allow players to win prizes, which can be either cash, merchandise or gift cards.

“The first, and primary type of bingo game, is played using blue-colored bingo cards. Players purchase these bingo cards using virtual currency which can be obtained for free (by playing often, completing achievements, inviting friends, or watching videos) or by purchasing,” he says.

While blue bingo cards don’t allow players to win prizes with any real monetary value, one of the prizes a player can win with them are gold and silver bingo cards. Those cards function like entries in a sweepstakes. Like other sweepstakes, no purchase is necessary — players can either win gold and silver cards, ask for them, or be awarded them for free when purchasing in-app currency for the game. Players must be at least 21 years old to win or earn the gold and silver cards.

Other than its cash prizes, Bingo by Ryzing drives engagement with social features like live chat, gifting and voting on charity initiatives. According to Josh Grant, RockYou’s GM of Studio Partners, the company is targeting fans of bingo games and fans of what he calls “traditionally social parlor games” as a core demographic.

Under the terms of the agreement, Studio Partners will provide analytics, product management support, user acquisition, advertising and monetization help for the game and Ryzing will continue to manage the game’s  product development, customer service, prize fulfillment, game operations and sweepstakes compliance.

Overall, competition in the bingo sub-genre on Facebook is beginning to heat up as bingo games continue to gain traction on the platform. The current leader of the crowd is Buffalo Studios’ Bingo Blitz, which currently has 3 million monthly active users and 980,000 daily active users, according to AppData. Other competitors in the genre include BitRhymes Bingo Bash, Mytopia’s Bingo Island and SpiceRack Media’s Bingo!. Zynga’s take on the genre, Zynga Bingo has just gone into closed beta.

Bingo by Ryzing is RockYou’s first foray back into publishing since confirming it would be laying off more than half of its staff, selling Playdemic back to its founders and parting ways with Loot Drop in November.