Published on the 2021-04-13
The last decade in the gambling industry has seen major, sophisticated strides forward in technology, incorporating a number of clever initiatives and features that have been developed by clever software providers and adopted by online operators.
First, the advancement in technology of mobile devices enabled software firms to bring online gambling literally to people’s fingertips via the simple, quick few swipe and taps of a screen. Then followed the development of live dealer casinos so that players could enjoy an enriching and authentic casino experience from the comfort of their own surroundings, instead of having to go to a land-based casino.
Suddenly, the number of payment options that were available to players increased almost tenfold as internet payment gateways such as PayPal, Neteller and Skrill became popular, not to mention cryptocurrencies and Paybymobile. The next decade is predicted to be the most exciting yet for the online gambling industry, with many believing that this is still in its infancy when considering the realm of possibilities available and the rate at which new technology is being developed. Even virtual reality for online gambling is being trialed.
One such introduction though that is beginning to gain popularity is the gamification of slots that software providers and industry operators alike are starting to develop, trial, and adopt for certain titles. Working in the same as video gamers being able to play their favourite video game over the internet against other people and challenge each other, gamification for slot games is being mooted as the latest in the next possible ‘big things’ for the online gambling industry.
This would effectively mean that players can challenge each other while playing slots (despite the completely random nature of how slots work) and as a result see where they stack up on a leaderboard for that particular slot game.
It also throws up many different possibilities for online slots and this on its own could become a standalone niche in the industry, the same way that live casino has.
The online gambling industry provides a vast number of options for slot players where gamification is concerned that can further enhance the experience that can be taken from this.
While online casino software providers have become even more creative with the slots that they design and develop, when you factor in the potential of the gamification option, it offers a lot of creativity within the slot itself.
Where this might lead is to virtual rewards within the slots themselves, such as tokens being awarded as a result of the progress that a player might gain while they are playing. This could be such achievements as unlocking bonus rounds and the more that a player unlocks, the more tokens that they receive which increases their position on a leaderboard.
This could also, ultimately lead to the possible exchange of tokens for bonus funds to use on the slot, however, the social element that is introduced could certainly open up the online slot industry. The same concept is easily applicable with jackpot slots, which while offering players the chance to win big could mean that the possible exchange of tokens for bonus funds could see them playing the game for longer and therefore increase their chances of winning.
Other initiatives for slots as far as story development goes, could include a character of the slot needing to achieve certain goals such as collecting objects for example if it is a quest-based slot. Such characters can often be depicted as a ‘hero’ that a player can form an emotional attachment with and therefore shift their concentration of winning money to more of an interactive element, but where losses are reduced to the possibility of collecting exchangeable tokens.
The future development of slot gamification could increase the social element even further by allowing players to form alliances with one another in a bid to collect as many tokens as possible and move up a leaderboard collectively based on their own individual progress.
As such, it could lead to more interactivity where different players can chat with each other while a slot is progressing and discuss such tactics that might include how many spins one player makes or how much they wager for each spin.
Similar to online video game multi-player mode, this could invariably work in almost the same way. As technology develops it could even lead to players even being able to play through a television screen using headsets to communicate with each other. In addition, players then share the risk with each other, though also share the winnings from a possible jackpot win depending on how much they each wager during their slot play.
Gamification of slots could also provide software developers with the opportunity to incorporate added bonus content that can be unlocked throughout the slot journey and as such, result in a significant leap up the leaderboard. This content could be an entry into a ‘winner takes all’ jackpot prize from one spin that is separate from the main prize and the player who achieves the closest result wins that prize in more of a lottery-style concept.
Again, this initiative may see slot developers incorporate the possibility that allows players to exchange tokens for various prizes depending on how many they have. These could be as simple as free spins or more creative such as merchandise like branded t-shirts and coffee mugs as a way of helping to promote a particular slot.
By allowing players to share their progress on social channels or via WhatsApp or text message from a gamification perspective, this could be a clever way for online casinos to increase their sign-ups. When a player shares their progress, it could well prompt their friends to sign up and that player is rewarded with a certain amount of free spins or more points as a result. The ‘friend’ who joins might be prompted to do so by the challenge on offer and the possibility of trying to better their friend’s score.
As far as online jackpot slots are concerned, it has the potential to add another exciting dimension to how they work. There already is a huge demand for NetEnt jackpot slots, in particular, especially those that have significant prizes, like the Hall of Gods, and adding this element could help to provide more variety to those players who might, after a while become impatient at not having won anything.
Whether NetEnt sees the value in this remains to be seen, though having recently merged with fellow software provider, Evolution Gaming, there is certainly more of a chance for this to happen. Evolution Gaming is one of the most innovative software providers of its generation and is regarded by many as leaders when it comes to creativity.