Millennials and Slots
The value of global gaming market increases by 8-10% every year, while it is mobile gaming which mainly drives growth the most. The creators of mobile hit games have learned how to perfectly monetize their projects constantly involving more players in the process.
Millennials (born from the early 1980s to around 2000) grew up on video / mobile games, and they get their adrenaline spending money online, not having to go outdoors or travelling to a special casino place. They don’t play the slots like their parents did. This is the reason why casinos need to invent something new. In order to attract a new audience, casinos already put machines with 3-match games in the halls. A quite logical next step is to transfer mechanics of some shooters and casual games to the land-based machines. Moreover, these land-based gaming devices already resemble big tablets. The only thing they need to do is to attach a cash dispensing module. Devices resembling large tablets gain more and more popularity in casino halls.
We are aware of the high popularity of poker-like table games for the young audience in China and Japan. These are really trendy gaming tables where you can win a fortune (real money) by killing a monster, but its gameplay is lead out for a team play. Certainly, you can draw a distinction between this gaming table and a poker table, especially when comparing playing generations.
Where it goes
If we go back to the gambling industry and take a look at the slot machines’ evolution, we’ll notice that the games being created by market leaders completely differ from those of a couple years ago. Everything started in a simple way – with transferring the mechanics of a one-armed bandit slot machine to a web interface (in general, it was Flash) and providing a player with the vibes of a habitual casino hall at his home. Sounds of coins pouring from a slot machine, shiny elements resembling one-armed bandit backlight, well-known symbols of “BAR” and “Cherries”. All that made a feeling of a real process, and it was real money. Now let’s take a glance at the hits of 2015-2016 years: games featuring film or cartoon characters (Terminator and Jurassic Park by Microgaming or Dracula and South Park by NetEnt), 3-match gaming mechanics, a bonus shooter game in Aliens Slots, or an amazing show in Guns N’ Roses, where your prize is not just a jackpot with coin sounds, but a real performance with striking lights and music. These games are launched pretty much in the same way as Hollywood blockbusters are, with trailers, teasers, marketing campaigns, and announcements.
The focus of casino (slot) games are shifting to “skill-based” games, rather than “chance-based” ones just to target Millennials in a better way. For example, Gamblit Gaming is keen on games not traditional for casinos, these are “make a word – get your money” or “match 3 animals – get a fortune”. Their games are popular among the youngsters because they are designed to let players win gradually, instead of hitting a random jackpot.
Real gambling trends
After communicating a lot with our gaming clients, I would highlight these industry trends:
- Not using Flash technology anymore and porting games to modern technologies like Unity3D and HTML5.
- The variety of gameplay and additional functionality, which engages and encourages a player in different ways, like using visual and auditory rewards.
- Applying habitual gaming mechanics in gambling, like a progression system or storytelling.
Since early 2016, we’ve started observing the industry trends more closely, so we’ve allocated our R&D team, which created a framework to speed up the development of HTML5 casino games. Now we can port Flash games fast enough or easily create games with basic mechanics from scratch. At the moment we are improving our library of interesting complex mechanics for potential clients.
We’re keen on visiting gaming events of all sizes, as every time we find something new or useful: inspirational ideas, fruitful networking, groundbreaking technology insights etc. Our local gaming conference has confirmed the fact that the youngsters are already involved and engaged. I think that land-based machines will be ousted by some kind of “very big tablets”. Gaming is a great community which unites excitable people.