SGN Launches MiniTycoon: Casino, a New Mobile Social Game

SGN executive chairman Shervin Pishevar is presenting a new game on stage today at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, for the iPhone. It’s called MiniTycoon: Casino, the first in a series of three business simulation mobile social games that the company is rolling out before the end of the year.

He’s calling it the first fully social game for mobile, at least that SGN has launched to date. “Most of our competitors have been cycling games out very fast, but we’ve been working on it for more than a year,” he says.

We haven’t had the chance to play it ourselves yet — it’ll hit the app store within the next two weeks — but it appears to be along the lines of what we’ve seen on Facebook, and more recently on mobile devices. The mechanics are similar to others we’ve seen: planting slot machines, crap tables, roulette tables, hiring friends. There’s a social network inside of the game, using SGN’s internally developed social service, Sign, as well as Game Center integration. You can visit your friend’s casino, and earn or lose money there.

The game is also aiming to take advantage of Apple’s viral channels. When its time to harvest your slots, you get a notification; you can send gifts to your friends, decorations, and other features.

The overall art and user interface design, led by 16 year EA veteran Margaret Foley-Mauvais, looks polished compared to many of the other interfaces in mobile. Stay tuned for our full review when the game comes out.

Pishevar also shared some more of the company’s strategy for the launch — it is aiming for this game to be the first of many social games that can scale to many millions of users, like what Zynga was able to do with FarmVille last year.

“Zynga’s acquisition of My Mini Life was one of the greatest in the history of technology,” he said. “Even Playfish was having problems. MyMiniLife allowed them to scale to 75 million to 80 million. We have 25 million users on the iPhone, we’ve learned how to scale really well. We’ve taken what we’ve learned on other games, and brought it today. We’ll deliver the FarmVille moment on the iPhone.”

SGN took a year to build this game. And as Ngmoco has done with its “We” series — We Rule, We Farm and We City — SGN is working on the next one. The company will create an even stronger tie-in than just theme, though with three separate Mini Tycoons apps that all interconnect and share currency.

“I love Steve Jobs, but Apple took too long to allow in-app purchases. It didn’t really happen until 2010,” Pishever said on stage. Now that they can be done, “we think it’ll be doing 1 million dollars plus a month,” he said.

And while the game and its sequels are coming to Android eventually, he said that there are no plans to bring them to Facebook (where SGN began) nor any plans to integrate Facebook’s mobile APIs.

People can follow @minitycoon on Twitter for more details on the game.

More screenshots below: