The iGaming markets have become a stand-out in the global iGaming industry over the past decade. Thanks to ongoing development and innovation in gaming technologies, iGaming is now one of the most popular gaming verticals, reportedly on track to be worth $134.5 billion by 2027 (PR Newswire).
In certain territories, online casinos, poker gaming rooms and sports betting websites are actually outperforming their brick and mortar counterparts, proving that the digital space is where operators need to focus their efforts if they want to future-proof gaming resources.
iGaming in 2021
As it stands at present, the iGaming sector is one of the most innovative in the global gaming industry. Today's gamers can access a wide range of exciting and engaging experiences via online gaming platforms, while sports betting apps online bookmakers deliver up to the minute betting odds and markets.
In order to engage the next generation of players, who by their nature are inherently tech-savvy, gaming developers in the iGaming realm are creating gaming mechanics, formats and features that offer new and immersive experiences. It’s not enough for today’s gamer to simply play online versions of roulette, poker, or slots games, there needs to be extra gamification and additional elements that transcend the limitations that would ordinarily be associated with casino gaming in its more traditional format.
Game Design for Online Casinos
Providing provably fair gaming experiences is at the heart of reputable iGaming operators, so games developers working in this vertical are tasked with different objectives than traditional video game developers.
As Lloyd Butler, Chief Exec of digital gaming studio Live 5 stated, these new measures are allowing the best-designed games to stand out above lower-quality alternatives (which typically feature faster and more frequent gameplay) since “quality will be an important factor for players”.
As the gaming industry as a whole undergoes advanced development over the next few years thanks to the widespread integration and adoption of the ‘next generation of digital technologies, we can expect iGaming to experience the same.
The standout technologies that will help to ensure iGaming is future-proofed for the next decade and beyond are VR/AR, cloud gaming and 5G.
We typically associate VR technology with gaming industry leaders like Oculus Rift, Razer OSVR, PlayStation VR and Samsung Gear, but virtual reality is an avenue that iGaming developers and operators have already begun to explore.
In recent years, we’ve seen the release of VR poker games, which transport players to exotic, imaginative locations. Newer applications of the technology, however, will be in the realm of live dealer games, which will release the vertical from its current restrictions and provide gamers with real-time interactions in fully-equipped virtual casinos.
AR (augmented reality) is also expected to disrupt how iGaming mobile apps are designed and played, enhancing players’ realities even while gaming on the go.
Cloud computing is another technology that’s been doing the rounds in the wider gaming landscape, with major players like Amazon and Google jumping on board the train. As the technology becomes more mainstream and adopted by iGaming developers it’s likely to cause significant changes in the way that people can access games and add further layers of competition to an already highly saturated market.
Due to the accessibility of cloud gaming, players will expect the latest games at their fingertips almost instantaneously. The process of developing and distributing games will need to be sped up and developers can expect to see the periods between game design, creation and time to market shorten significantly.
The 5G rollout is an exciting time for game development, particularly here in the iGaming world. With the technology promising to address gaming bugbears such as lagging and slow-loading games, it will open up a whole world of possibilities for the type of gaming experiences developers can create for the sector.
Multiplayer games, for example, are a hit with online casino players and 5G, coupled with the availability of cloud-gaming platforms will provide the optimum landscape for multiplayer slots games or casino tournaments with friends.