Penn National Gaming to Kick Off Exclusive Online Casino Games Creation Via Penn Game Studios Launch

  • The acquisition of HitPoint Studios and LuckyPoint will help kickstart Penn Game Studios
  • The first exclusive online casino games are set for release before the end of the year
  • Penn Game Studios will develop games with Barstool players and mychoice customers in mind
  • Penn also operates Barstool Sports-branded sportsbooks and online casinos in numerous states
Penn National Gaming logo on smartphone
Penn National Gaming is set to launch Penn Game Studios, which will see it create exclusive online casino games. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Acquisition pending

Penn National Gaming has announced the creation of Penn Game Studios, an in-house team that will focus on developing exclusive online casino games. The casino company has entered an acquisition agreement to help get Penn Game Studios off the ground.

in the process of acquiring HitPoint Studios and its spun-off studio LuckyPoint

Penn National Gaming revealed on Monday that is in the process of buying HitPoint Studios and its spun-off studio LuckyPoint, with the deal set to close in the near future. No financial terms have become public knowledge as yet.

HitPoint Studios has been designing and developing games since 2008. The Massachusetts-based studio has created over 50 games for major brands and publishers such as Google, Disney, and Microsoft. One of its main focuses is on casual multiplayer mobile games. HitPoint Studios spun out its LuckyPoint division in 2019. The latter mainly focuses on the development of real money games and the running of a remote gaming server. LuckyPoint has developed a range of online casino slots and table games, as well as puzzle games and retro arcade games.

The rollout of exclusive games

Following the closing of the acquisition, the 30 employees at LuckyPoint and HitPoint will integrate into Penn National Gaming’s online subsidiary, Penn Interactive.

According to Penn Interactive head Jon Kaplowitz, the first exclusive games should be ready for release later this year. He added that the creation of these games will help drive customer acquisition and develop a loyal player base.

first exclusive games should be ready for release later this year

The exclusive games will fall into two categories. Penn Game Studios will work on developing table game offerings for Barstool players, who tend to be younger and lean towards these types of games. Meanwhile, slots-style products will have Penn National Gaming’s mychoice loyalty cardholders in mind. Here, the customer base tends to be older, retail casino players who prefer spinning slots.  

Speaking about HitPoint’s upcoming takeover by Penn National Gaming, CEO Paul Hake said: “We look forward to adding our creativity, design and engineering skills to an already well-accomplished team at Penn National.”

Penn National Gaming CEO and president Jay Snowden touched on how the launch of Penn Game Studios is an important step in the evolution of the company. He believes that the company’s ability to now create exclusive content will help to “further leverage the Barstool Sports brand and our database of 20 million mychoice customers, and create cross-marketing opportunities with our brick and mortar facilities.”

Penn National Gaming’s online expansion

Penn National Gaming currently has 41 retail properties covering 19 states, operating through brands like Ameristar and Hollywood. It has also recently been focusing on expanding its online gambling offering.

The company bought a 36% stake in popular sports media company Barstool Sports in February 2020 for $163m. This led to Penn National Gaming launching Barstool Sports-branded sportsbooks and online casinos across numerous states.

Barstool Sportsbook is currently live online in Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Further launches are in the works before the end of the year, including in Indiana later this month. It also has retail sportsbooks operational in numerous states.

The Barstool online casino offering is only fully live in Michigan at the moment.

The operator is currently undergoing a two-day soft launch in Pennsylvania until May 4. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is overseeing the testing period to make sure everything runs smoothly before authorizing a full rollout.