What is the future of casino games: do hybrid games have priority for casinos in 2018? When it comes to the fast-moving world of casinos and gambling, it’s not that often that a new type of game emerges to become a serious part of the mainstream. In fact, traditional often wins out in the battle for gaming supremacy. A 2014 survey from marketrealist.com showed that 51% of younger gamers prefer video poker and slot games to other gaming formats, putting this sector way ahead of the others. It is clear that these games are still the priority for gamers who enjoy dipping in and out of online gaming experiences.
That said, both online and land-based casinos are clearly prepared to innovate to keep gamers coming back. Indeed, back in 2015, the innovation of skill-based slot machines hit the state of Nevada, showing that in a world where gamers like tradition, there is still room for new technology and new formats to emerge. In fact, it is this acceptance of change that has helped to see the world of iGaming truly take off, proving that the gambling industry is not stuck in the past and has indeed changed the whole complexion of the industry.
Will Hybrid Games Be Land-based Casinos’ Fightback?
Online casinos have managed to edge in on the market share compared to 25 years ago, a time when land-based casinos ruled the roost. This increased competition forced land-based casinos to innovate, like River Rock Casino, who have reacted to these challenges in creative ways.
Indeed, River Rock Casino, with its 62,000 square feet of gaming space, has pioneered and patented a new hybrid of craps and slots called Turn and Burn craps, which not only takes advantage of the fact that craps can’t normally be played in California (where River Rock Casino is based) but also simplifies the game so that those who aren’t used to the full game of craps can enjoy it without feeling the need to research the rules first. With a house edge that means that the game should pay $5 for every $100 wagered, the casino isn’t likely to be making big money through the game itself, but the game has a patent pending and could well be taken to other casinos to help spread the diverse world of hybrid games even further.
While of course this doesn’t mean that this particular game will be the next big thing in casino games, it highlights the fact that new, innovative hybrid games could help to engage with those who might otherwise not be interested.
What About the Online World?
While online casinos are experiencing huge growth in popularity, with revenues potentially hitting $66 billion plus by 2020, that doesn’t mean that the industry is able to sit on its laurels and watch the profits simply roll in. The industry is not without its challenges; games are having to be adapted for ever-smaller devices, meaning that game development is not always simple, adding to the pressure of the sheer weight of online competition. The need to keep innovating is extreme. With this in mind, it is clear that hybrid games may well have a place online as well as offline.
So far this has only really happened with games like Battlejack, which offers the fun of a fast-paced RPG with a light-hearted blackjack twist (and with engaging graphics that should appeal to comic book fans, even if they are normally not overly drawn to gaming). However, online casinos are making splashes by offering similar twists on traditional games; Betway Casino offer a range of roulette games such as multiplayer and live gaming as a twist on the traditional version, and other operators have jumped on trends such as virtual reality technology, supported by the likes of Oculus Rift, to bring a modern day twist to classic gaming options. In fact, the sheer pace of change and the fact that we continue to bring you stories about Every Matrix getting involved in virtual reality gaming shows that the online world is as open to the idea of hybrid games as land-based casinos, especially as the audiences tend to be younger and less tied down to classic games.
Innovation Rather than Revolution?
While all of this sounds very exciting and could bring some really engaging games to the world of casino, whether online or land based, hybrid games don’t represent the sole aspect of this story. Perhaps the world of casino will enjoy innovation rather than revolution in another area, as shown by this interesting concept, which shows how casinos could look in the future.
Of course, the ultimate deciding influence as to what will happen will be based not on what seems trendy, but on what gamers actually find works for them. With this in mind, if we are going to see hybrid games start to really take off, it will because of the demand for them, meaning that the games will need to be engaging, have a house edge that means gamblers feel like they can win, and also be capable of attracting a new demographic who can accept them as part of their gaming routine.
Examples of success in this respect are there; look at the world of bingo and how the social online element to online bingo has come back with a bang in the UK (with around 1.9 million monthly players, compared to 1.7 million for tennis!) and you can see that while hybrid games don’t make up the whole picture, they represent an exciting part of the future.