The Best of Both Worlds: BBO and Funbridge
By Alex J. Coyne © 2019 Great Bridge Links
Bridge Base Online and GOTO Games’ Funbridge are two highly successful bridge platforms in their own right, and the recently announced merger has a lot of players wondering about why the two companies have decided to join forces – and how it will affect the future for players on either platform.
Great Bridge Links and Alex found out more, and spoke to BBO and Funbridge CEO Olivier Comte about just what the changes could bring to the table.
A Tale of Two Companies
Bridge Base Online first made their appearance on the bridge scene in 2001, a product of Bridge Base Inc. founded by Fred Gitelman and Sheri Winestock. As of 2007 the company is owned by Gitelman, Uday Ivatury, Bill Gates, Sharon Osberg, and David Smith. Read a historical recap by Fred Gitelman here.
GOTO Games first bridge platform was launched in 1994. Their flagship product, Funbridge, was first introduced as an option for PC in 2003.
According to a 2019 press release, BBO sees 2.5 million deals per day and Funbridge is a close second with 1 million deals.
The two options often get compared when players look for online bridge options – it’s either one or the other, and sometimes both for a lot of players. Now, BBO and Funbridge has put their experience together – but they’re clear about the fact that they’re after improvement, and still keeping the two platforms going as separate entities under the same umbrella.
BBO and Funbridge
“We are so pleased to have created a combined group that will be able to draw on the strengths of both companies to better innovate and offer an enhanced gaming experience to our players.” says Olivier. “In fact, our main goal is to offer nice, fun entertainment to our players.”
“Having said that,” Olivier continues. “We also think that our new size will give us more resources to support the promotion of bridge all over the world.” He says that this only becomes possible when working closely with all NBOs, which many out there are doing already.
“Attracting new bridge players should be our common objective, and now we’ll be able to use our online tools to achieve it.”
Does the merger look to bring any new features to BBO and Funbridge, or lead to new research? Olivier says both. “First, our wish is to let both platforms continue delivering the same services. Each one has its own specificity, and each one should keep its own DNA.”
Olivier also hints at the development of new features, but says that this is still in an early stage – and too early to announce any specifics. “We need to keep some secrets! As soon as this is ready, we will be very pleased to share it.”
“The idea has been around for 2 years.” says Olivier. “It’s been a long process because we wanted to make sure that we shared the same vision – of what the combined group is, and more importantly, the same vision of bridge.” He notes that while bridge is played by millions of people, the core still remains a small world. Thus, he says the idea to merge was logical from there.
“We’re all excited about this new adventure, and we do believe that this marriage is a real chance for bridge” Olivier says that they’re also looking at bringing new actors on board the adventure, and asks anyone who would like to be more involved to get in touch.
“The most important remains to stay fully committed to meeting our players’ expectations and to try to attract as many beginners as possible and deliver a really fun online experience.” says Olivier.
Links and Thanks
- Bridge Base Online
- A special thanks goes to Funbridge translation manager Virginie Delattre. Merci!