The online casino games industry is as extremely competitive as the games being developed are intriguing. It’s a genre of online game that has come a long way from the humble beginnings of the internet gambling websites that went live in the mid-90s. Those early sites and games bear little resemblance to the modern gambling hubs and libraries available today, though some of the early developers of casino gaming remain heavily influential in deciding the future of online casinos.
So now 2021 is packed away, what can we expect from this mercurial industry over the next few months? It’s a fool’s errand trying to make predictions, so we’ve made just two confident forecasts that will come to fruition throughout 2022.
Big & Small Screen Success
Roulette, blackjack, and slots have all seen the opportunity to entice new players with an officially licensed movie or TV show tie-in. Even the bingo game developers have gotten in on the action so that you can play play bingo games on mobile devices with a Deal or No Deal theme. There are other gambling games based on previous blockbusters such as Terminator 2, but also movies with a niche fan base like Sausage Party and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The popular TV tie-ins are largely game shows, like Britain’s Got Talent and Deal or No Deal.
It’s not rocket science, popular movies or TV characters have been used to sell a vast range of merchandise, thus they can make a casino game more appealing. When done correctly, the characters, sound effects, soundtrack, and even the plot of the movie or TV show are used to create a gaming experience that compliments the source material, rather than just lazy branding. Pick any of the biggest upcoming movies of 2022 and there will probably be a slot, bingo, or roulette game built around it by the end of the year. TV shows aren’t as ubiquitous as the developers are creating their own unique game shows, but if there isn’t a Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon casino game by 2023, I’ll eat my hat!
Casinos moving online was a huge development, but moving to the Metaverse might eclipse that evolution. There remains great confusion over what the Metaverse is, but broadly speaking, it’s a combination of technologies, including VR and AR, that create persistent virtual worlds that we can inhabit and that are interconnected. Maybe you haven’t yet been persuaded by Mark Zuckerberg that the Metaverse is the future and it remains very much at the conceptual phase thus far. Yet, vast sums of money are being spent and big tech is convinced that the Metaverse is coming and the implications for the online gaming sector are monumental.
For those that visit online casinos, the most interesting proposition is probably in sports betting, where the forecasters predict you’ll be able to strap on a VR headset and be in the stadium watching the action and making bets. For other casino games, you’ll essentially be stepping into a casino, but the potential for what the casino will look or feel like is as yet unknown.
There have been false dawns for VR and AR integration in the past, but this feels different and while no one’s predicting a Ready Player One scenario just yet, we are expecting exhilarating progress.
A continuation of officially licensed game tie-ins is a no-brainer, and everyone’s enchanted by the developments in the Metaverse, so not exactly stunning predictions. Nevertheless, these are exciting outcomes that make the online casino games industry one to watch.