The online casino industry dates back little more than two decades, but over that time has been propelled forward by technological advances and innovations from forward thinking gaming providers. One of the more interesting of the new wave of online slots developers is Skillz Gaming, the company responsible for titles such as Gems Odyssey and Fruit Blast. Their games have heralded a revolution in the way we think about gambling online and the types of games we play.
When Fruit Blast was released in April of 2017 by Skillz Gaming (in partnership with Microgaming) the world was introduced to a new type of gambling game. This deceptively simple looking title was in fact different to anything that had come before. It was a ‘social’ style game whereby player input affected the outcome of the game. You click to remove clusters of the same symbol, and your choices in which groups to remove will affect the amount you can win. This was the skill-based online gambling game that the industry had been waiting for and has proved to be a big hit straight out of the gate.
At the end of 2016 a group of casinos in Atlantic City took the step of bringing in skill-based games, in an attempt to win over younger casino-goers. While the initial trial was not an unqualified success – those first games were removed again after six months – the concept remains strong and other casinos have followed suit. Online casinos are looking to implement a similar social gaming ethos – hence the way sites like Casumo and Rizk have developed gaming style loyalty programmes. The range of titles on offer from Skillz Gaming is still very small with just three games currently operational, but they have generated a lot of interest from the online casino industry already.
The indications are strong that the future may see more blurring of the lines between social and traditional gambling games. After all, games like blackjack and poker let player input affect the outcome, so why should slot games be any different? We look forward to where the next phase of the skill gaming revolution will lead.