The next few years are going to be big for the global iGaming industry as a whole, though nowhere more so than the United States. According to a recent report from industry analysts Technavio, the iGaming market in the US is forecasted to grow at an annual rate of 51% during the period 2016-2020. The market is clearly thriving right now, which also makes it a hotbed for investment. iGaming operators are not only popping up left, right and center, they are continually innovating their services by combining modern technology with cultural references and new ideas for user engagement.
We’ve compiled a snappy list of three specific trends that we’ve spotted over the last 12 months, and that we expect to become more cemented in the world of online gaming as 2017 starts to take shape.
Themed spin-off games
“Alice in Wonderland 3-Blackpool Illumina” (CC BY 2.0) by isox4
We’re beginning to see more and more iGaming operators combine traditional gameplay with creative, topical themes. Popular titles that we’ve seen recently range between everything from classic Las Vegas to fairy tales and mythology. Nowadays, online providers have a huge range of themed slots. Looking at bgo’s slot games for example- you can find Zeus, Zeus 1000 and Zeus III, to go with the ancient mythology theme, or The Big Bad Wolf and the Glass Slipper for a taste of the fairy tale world. Such new themes also serve to enhance the user’s experience by making traditional elements of gameplay more entertaining from the moment they click through.
Not only is the thematic concept of these games interesting, they are also seamlessly designed in terms of look, usability and sound, all of which helps to improve user retention. New additions are being developed and added all the time, which goes to show that the demand for more themed games is not only there, it’s rising. Many other operators such as Slot Boss and Prime Slots also offer ongoing promotions and bonuses as part of their range of hosted games. We can certainly expect more along this line over the next 12 months.
Virtual reality (VR)
“Virtual Reality Demonstrations” (CC BY 2.0) by UTKnightCenter
With new virtual reality devices and headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive coming onto the market last year, it’s safe to say that VR technology, although in its infancy, will have a massive impact on the iGaming market in years to come.
We’ve already started to see a few online poker rooms turning to VR technology to help achieve their aim of creating the most lifelike casino experience possible. So now, by being able to customize their own VR avatar, players can have a drink at the bar, interact with other players from all over the world and enjoy a card game of their choosing – all from the comfort of their own couch! These are crazy times we live in.
“smartphone teen” (CC BY 2.0) by pabak sarkar
Mobile devices have become an increasingly integral part of our everyday life over the past five years or so. They’re certainly considered far less of a luxury item than they once were, that’s for sure. In fact, experts predict that the number of Americans who own a smartphone will increase to nearly 230 million people by the end of this year. No surprise then that online casinos, poker rooms, slot providers and bookmakers of all shapes and sizes are starting to focus less on desktop and more on developing a strong mobile presence – again, with bgo being a prime example of this. Custom apps and responsive apps are essential to guarantee a positive playing experience for the user, and also allow them to log in and play their preferred choice of game on the go.
So there you have it, three top iGaming trends that we expect to see plenty more in years to come. Whether you’re into the prospect of VR poker or even just having a wider range of gaming options on your mobile, there’s plenty on the cards to keep you entertained for the next 12 months and beyond.
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