The future of slots and gaming apps


Millennial and Generation Y gamers play things their way. They’ve grown accustomed to app games that test their levels of skill every bit as much as their ability to succeed through luck or chance. Smash hit games such as Candy Crush and Pokémon Go are played on mobile platforms and are packed with skill-based challenges – so will slot games (both in casinos and online) eventually go the same way? How will traditional slots fare in an increasingly technological and arcade-style world of gaming?

We asked Daniel Lazarus of Revolver Gaming for his thoughts on the matter.

slots gaming bgo

Today’s technology makes slots popular and easy to play.

In the past decade, with the rise of wireless and mobile technology and ever increasing broadband speeds, slot games have become far more accessible than ever before. Players and consumers expect a certain level of instant gratification and slot games provide this by offering quick rewards, straightforward game play, and rules that are easy to understand.

Know your audience and how they want to play.

Some slot game developers have tried to focus on creating exciting new content and the best possible game-playing experience on new technology platforms and devices. Some designers have the foresight and ability to produce and test games on new emerging technologies in the confidence that it will become mainstream to game players in the mid-term.

The best games developers also understand how players’ expectations change over time. They’ve reflected this in the way rewards are presented, and included new innovative features and engaging audio visual content that is able to compete with the world’s best entertainment visuals.


““The best games developers also understand how players’ expectations change over time. They’ve reflected this in the way rewards are presented, and included new innovative features and engaging audio visual content that is able to compete with the world’s best entertainment visuals.””

The younger generation loves skill-based app games.

Pokémon Go is a recent phenomenon that has taken the world by storm due to a smart mix of game play and pseudo-augmented reality. Before that came along, Minecraft presented kids with a great concept that allowed their imaginations to run wild by giving the player the ability to create their own world using simple tools.

Another huge success is Candy Crush – a game that was so well timed that it became a global phenomenon. Using the simple and popular elements seen in Bejewelled, the makers of Candy Crush created a colourful theme with modern, polished graphics and added the ‘saga’ feature, making the game extremely sticky and addictive.

Traditional slots need to include a skill element to survive.

I think the highly immersive experience of slot games that have a skill-based arcade game element will attract a younger generation of gamers who are on the hunt for real rewards. However, slots traditionally offer the ‘luck’ experience, and if skill and strategy gameplay do become the preferred norm, then the traditional ‘slots’ concept will eventually cease to be.



“The highly immersive experience of slot games that have a skill-based arcade game element will attract a younger generation of gamers who are on the hunt for real rewards.”

slots arcade game

An element of chance can still feature in skill-based gaming.

I can imagine a number of ways in which a certain level of chance could remain in skill games. For instance, hidden barriers in the game - whether physical or virtual - that restrict players’ abilities to win certain prizes, and keep them headed in a relatively structured direction. Game items or prize elements that appear randomly or interact with the player, requiring them to make a choice, could help to achieve a level of chance too. Also, making games that are pure slots but play out like a more familiar video game will enable the new game-playing generation to better understand and enjoy it.

The next generation wants immersive gameplay.

I think that there will always be a place for traditional slots, but its popularity will eventually decline due to the next generation’s desire for more immersive and sophisticated experiences. I also see a merger between slots and video games becoming more mainstream. We just need to find the winning formula for a game that mixes both elements.

author

About the Author: Daniel Lazarus is the co-founder and creative director at Revolver Gaming, a games studio based in London.

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