Las Vegas Sands Shows Greater Interest in Social Gaming than Casinos

Las Vegas Sands Shows Greater Interest in Social Gaming than Casinos

as Vegas Sands is changing the way it does business. The casino operator is showing an increased interest in social gaming as it backs a new gaming company, Fortis.

Fortis executives
Fortis executives Shawn Foust, Steven Chiang and Calvin Lau. The trio is launching a new social gaming company with full backing by Las Vegas Sands. (Image: Fortis)

Tomorrow’s Las Vegas Sands (LVS) won’t be the company Sheldon Adelson founded and turned into a global empire. Before his passing three years ago, Adelson was hell-bent on seeing land-based casinos destroy all other forms of gaming.

The new LVS is certainly heading in a new direction. Enter the era of social gaming and the founding of a new company, Fortis.

Sands Blazes a New Path

Fortis is a global video game developer with industry veterans leading the way. A press release from yesterday points out that LVS is funding the company completely.

The founding members of Fortis include its president, Steven Chiang, the former EVP of Worldwide Production and Studios at WB Games, as well as President of Studios for Zynga. Joining him is former WB Games executive Shawn Foust, who is the new company’s chief operating officer, and Calvin Lau, the company’s chief product officer.

We are prepared to invest at scale for the long-term to help Fortis break through as a company of consequence,” stated LVS President and COO Patrick Dumont.

San Francisco-based Fortis is a games-as-a-service company, using game design and social mechanics to develop “digital societies.” The goal is to use games as the “primary form of social entertainment.”

The announcement adds that Fortis will capitalize on new technology and cultural shifts. The company will take advantage of streaming and new communication platforms, as well as the widest accessibility of high-quality game experiences in the world.

Fortis Launches in Acquisition Mode

Fortis isn’t wasting any time establishing itself as a global player. It has already acquired three gaming development companies, Doppio Games in Portugal, Oktagon Games in Brazil and Metagame Studio in Romania.

At Sands, we believe interactive entertainment is the world’s most accessible medium to provide people with fun and rewarding social experiences, and we see video games as becoming a core pillar as we diversify our business,” added Dumont.

Doppio has been around for a little more than three years. It has developed a range of solutions during that time. Most recently, it introduced Just Say the Word, an interactive clue-based game compatible with Zoom. Doppio is also behind Pac-Man Waka Waka, The Vortex and others.

Oktagon Games was founded 14 years ago and now offers 22 games for mobile platforms. Among its most popular titles are Magic Puzzle Quest, Armies & Ants and Dungeon Battles.

Metagame launched in 2015 and develops massively multiplayer online (MMO), role-playing video games (RPG) and other games. One of its more well-known titles is Tap Busters: Bounty Hunters, a mobile-based science-fiction game.

LVS is spending a lot of money on its international properties, such as Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. It has essentially given up on Las Vegas, which made Adelson rich.

However, it is still focusing on domestic casinos. It has introduced initiatives to try to bring gambling properties to Texas and Florida. Despite its attention, neither effort has, so far, panned out.

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