Gamified slots, virtual/augmented reality, online bingo in a social world, crypto-enabled casinos, and many more positive changes swept through the iGaming industry in 2021. Read on to know more.
The iGaming industry has seen massive consolidation in 2021. Fewer new casino games were released compared to the last few years, but we got major updates on existing games. We got to see a lot of partnerships between game developers to reimagine popular games in the new age light.
Major technological trends that swept through the industry are a rise in mobile gaming, iGaming Blockchain, gamification of betting ecosystems, foray into virtual/augmented reality, social gaming through online bingo, and strong growth across all verticals of esports.
Overall, we started a shift from quantity to quality in the year 2021. Let’s delve deep into the meteoric growth of the iGaming industry.
Mobile-Friendly Games: Punting on the Go.
Mobile gaming technology stole the limelight in 2021. Game developers took a fair amount of time introducing mobile-friendly features, improving mobile graphics and gameplay, and introducing seamless social gaming through live casinos. Some bold moves were seen at NetEnt and Microgaming studios to bring in augmented reality slot machines on your mobile phones.
Major industry trendsetters like Microgaming, Evolution Gaming, NetEnt, PlayTech, and Amatic bridged the gap between PC-available versions and their mobile counterparts. Almost all titles from influential game developers are now available in HTML5 mobile gaming. With the kind of mobile gaming now available, it’s hard to imagine that a brick-and-mortar casino was the only legit place to place a bet just a few years back.
Crypto Casinos: Anonymous, Cheaper, and Faster Payments.
The advent of crypto payments is overshadowing conventional payments methods in online casinos. Crypto payments not only help maintain anonymity but it is also faster than traditional payment methods. You can deposit/withdraw any amount in online casinos within minutes.
Crypto gateways also offer some of the cheapest transaction fees. On average, crypto withdrawals cost 50-80% less than card payments or bank transfers in online casinos. If you are betting big, it’s best to place those bets on a crypto-enabled casino where you can get huge discounts on all your transactions.
Virtual Reality: Experience Games in A Whole New Light.
Today, virtual reality (VR) is in the same developing position where the internet was 15 years ago. It has enormous potential to change the way we bet and interact in an online casino. VR technology in online casinos enables realistic slot games, 3D online bingo that you can play with your real friends in a digital world, free-world gamification, etc. It opens up a lot of betting opportunities in ultra-realistic gaming environments.
The top two gaming behemoths-Microgaming and NetEnt, have both launched VR slots and roulette at ICE 2021 on the Oculus Rift platform. The only impediment in the adaptation of VR is the low penetration of VR headsets among gamers. As the cost of prominent VR headsets like the HTC Vive, Samsung Gear, and Oculus Rift saturates, we expect more gamers and games to be included in the world of VR.
Social Gaming: Connecting Punters, Creating Communities.
Though social gaming is a renowned concept in iGaming circles, many gamers went through a sea of change in 2021. Due to the corona-virus induced lockdown, game developers have provided incredible gateways to digitally connect with your friends while you play bingo, live casino, or slots.
Most social gaming casinos now provide exciting interfaces where numerous gamers join and play the game simultaneously. These games primarily rely on your existing relationship in social media platforms like Facebook to take real friendships into the casino gamification sphere.
The players can interact through gamified competitions, shared scores, and joint quests inside slot games while maintaining great communicability. This is the most significant shift in the iGaming industry for 2021, and we could foresee a hip-and-happening gambling environment for punters ahead.
eSports: The Elephant in the Room
The semi-shutdown of real sports in 2020 for an extended period due to pandemic has led to a rapid evolution of the eSports industry. While the volume of normal bets was down, we got to see a lot of action from the non-sports category, including gamified horse racing, video game bets, mobile gaming bets, and automated football bets.
We felt a massive shift for players from the traditional online casino products to these more sophisticated bets in eSports. We observed this general trend as punters moved away from luck-based games to skill-based games in 2021. E-sports offer a lot of analysis and strategizing that the new age punter likes. With traditional sports reopening in a big way, we can expect fans to pile up on popular leagues and tournaments during the gaming seasons.
The ease of placing a bet on esports has also increased. Punters can now place bets live from the arena through their mobile phones as bets and spreads are intuitively designed for a faster betting experience.
New Age Gambling: Faster, Cheaper, Mobile-Friendly, Gamified and Social.
These gaming trends are likely to escalate with the deeper penetration of technology and betting products. The head-to-head competition among game developers will also be a significant factor that drives the gaming experience in future.
The gaming industry has built an entirely new base of users as there is a surge in time spent indoors due to the pandemic. This wave of engagement has given the global game industry a colossal impetus to invest in developing more dynamic gaming interfaces, deep-gaming products, social gamification, and more.
Overall, we predict a brighter and stronger future for the iGaming industry. The year 2021 has redefined the industry, and we punters got glimpses of the future in a new light.