Pechanga Races on with 2nd Social Game Zoo Derby

Newest Game from Pechanga features an innovative mix of animal racing, life simulation and slot gameplay, with the ability to win and buy more exotic zoo animals.

TEMECULA, CA Pechanga Resort & Casino, the largest casino in the Western USA, today announced the public beta release of its newest social video game, Zoo Derby, playable on Facebooknow for free at The game is expected to have all elements and features fully implemented for its official release on August 1, 2012, with additional animals being added to the mix in the coming months.

Pechanga has been an industry leader in social gaming, realizing the need to engage its casino players outside of the resort and provide a branded product to introduce to global audiences. Following the award-winning success of their 2011 social slot game Pechanga Slot Wars, a first for any casino, Pechanga created Zoo Derby to build an online gaming platform that can generate revenue with microtransactions to buy virtual currency within the game.

“An increasing number of our slot players are spending a significant amount of time playing social games as well,” explained Pechanga Development Corporation President Joaquin Fletcher. “With Zoo Derby, we are looking to meld the aspects of multiplayer social games with the exhilaration of slot machines and their bonus rounds and jackpots.”  

The game requires that players build a virtual zoo in order to have animals strong enough to compete against their friends and families in the races. Inside a socially-driven and beautifully-rendered 3D environment, Zoo Derby allows players to spin a slot to fuel their racing animals in head-to-head multiplayer competition. The game also allows players to win or purchase more exotic animals for their virtual zoos and to race.

“We wanted to create a game that was not only truly social, but unlike anything anyone has ever seen,” said Ryan Chartrand, senior social media strategist at Pechanga. “Zoo Derby is the kind of game that makes you smile just watching someone else play it, and I think it brings a lot of personality and social excitement to some of the most fun casual game genres.”
Available now to play on Facebook, Zoo Derby will feature multiple modes, an ongoing storyline, unlockable content, social competition and more:

  • Save the Zoo: Due to slow business, a small-town zoo owner is forced to file for bankruptcy. Even worse, the owner of a nearby big game hunting park is eager to buy the zoo’s animals at auction when the zoo goes under. As a last-ditch effort, the zoo’s owner starts the Zoo Derby, the first-ever zoo animal racetrack, to raise money to save the zoo and its animals.
  • Off to the Races: Compete against friends and family by racing the zoo’s animals to earn in-game currency that lets players unlock more animals to race, or purchase even more exotic creatures at the in-game store.
  • Slot Machine Excitement: To race, players must spin the Zoo Derby slot machine to receive powerups. With the cheer of the crowd and special effects built into the game, each race is captivating from start to finish.
  • Ante Up: You can’t have a racetrack without the thrill of risk and reward. In the ‘Bet Mode,’ players can bet on Zoo Derby races alongside other players by using their earned in-game currency and potentially gain significant winnings to advance in the game.
  • Unlockable Content: At the launch of the game, players can unlock five animals to race with, including the zebra, rhino, kangaroo, camel and panda. Pechanga plans to add more animals and unlockable content in the coming months.
  • Become the Best: Zoo Derby lets players show off to their friends and family by earning badges and trophies based on their race performance. Move up the ranks and become an Expert racer to go down in the Zoo Derby’s Hall of Fame.
  • Win Real Pechanga Resort Experiences: Players get the chance to win actual Pechanga amenities, such as hotel stays, concert tickets, dinner, golf and more.  

Mobile apps for both the iPhone and iPad are set for release in the coming months. The mobile version will offer a varied take on the Facebook app, with a heavier emphasis on the slot play. With mobile’s emphasis on touch screen play and GameCenter integration, Zoo Derbymobile will not be a straight port of the game, but instead a mobile experience optimized for both phone and tablet screens.

Pechanga’s first social game, Slot Wars, won the 2011 Casino Buzz Sherpie Award for ‘Best Interactive App.’ In order to achieve an even more ambitious game with Zoo Derby, Pechanga decided to partner with cutting-edge web development studio X-Team, an Australian-based global team that created the hit iPhone game FingerKicks.

Zoo Derby is part of Pechanga’s overall social media strategy, one of the most well-respected in the casino industry, boasting more than 160,000 fans on Facebook and nearly one million views on YouTube.

As the largest casino in the Western USA, Pechanga offers an all-inclusive AAA Four-Diamond luxury resort in Southern California’s Wine Country. An hour from Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, the casino boasts more than 3,800 slots, 130+ table games, and a 54-table poker room. The 445-acre resort includes the top-ranked Journey at Pechanga golf course, a full-service spa, nine award-winning restaurants and a 24-hour food court; superstar concerts in its theater, a comedy club; world title boxing events; and two clubs and lounges.

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