Online casinos are in existence for over two decades already and, despite what many call a dying gaming format, it has managed to thrive in cyberspace. This is not only because people love to gamble, but it is also based on the online casino brands that have traditionally driven the virtual casino industry and can continuously adapt to new trends. Gamification is the latest trend sweeping through the internet and is a case in point of how dynamic online gambling is. In this article, we investigate the idea of gamification and how it is being implemented, with mostly positive results, across the online gambling industry.
- In-Depth Explanation of Gamification
- 10 Reasons to Explore Gamification Casinos
- Types of Gamification Features
- Benefits of Gamification Casinos
- Gamification Casino Promotions
- Top Rated Gamification Casinos
In-Depth Explanation of Gamification
Gamification is a relatively new term and, if you have never heard of it before, don’t feel bad, a lot of people haven’t as yet. By definition, gamification is adding design elements usually associated with the video game industry to the online casino industry. More specifically, it is the application of these elements to non-game contexts; in other words, features that are not related to the actual games being played (such as slots, for example).
What is Gamification?
The idea behind gamification within the online casino gaming context is to add to or improve the overall user engagement and appeal to new potential users looking for a new way to experience online casino gaming. Aside from the fact that the online casino platform is the ideal recipient for gamification, we can see its use in a wide array of industries. Let’s face it; we all love to feel more involved in a given platform, website or industry, as well as getting the best experience possible.
Gamification elements are ideal for creating this feeling of enhanced value and immersion. By definition, video games require players to become wholly immersed in the gaming environment from the word go. In fact, if players were not fully engaged in the gaming environment, they would not succeed in the game at all.
Why Gamification is the Perfect Fit for Online Casinos
The Gamification concept may be a bit unfamiliar to most online casino gamblers in its current form. But you may be surprised to learn that you have been part of online gamification for some time and probably didn’t even know it. Think about it for a minute. Do you remember ever playing games on Facebook back when the world’s biggest social media platform was still entirely new?
From various free to play poker and bingo games to themed simulation games like Farmville, Cityville, Empires and Allies, and many other social media games (usually released by Zynga), most of us have already experienced gamification. How are these games examples of gamification? Simple, because these games were made available through the Facebook platform, and you needed to create a Facebook account to access these free to play games. To keep players interested, they would need to collect specific components such as gems or coins to progress. Gamers would also be able to collect extra bonuses for recruiting their friends to sign up. That’s gamification in its essence and was the testing bed for the sort of gamification platforms we encounter today.
The online casino industry is relatively old, at least by online standards, and has been successfully operating on the web for over two decades. The fact of the matter is how many more online casinos can the industry still sustain without total redundancy commencing? As with any thriving enterprise, new ideas and new methods are required to keep the industry alive and healthy. Gamification has the unique ability to accomplish exactly that by adding new behaviours, new ways of engaging with casinos, and new innovative ways of rewarding loyal players. Gamification also has the added benefit of enhancing player retention. Any online casino that uses gamification elements is already a more unique and exciting prospect than an online casino that only offers standard versions of slots, roulette or other casino games.
Enhanced Player Experience – Gamification Elements in Practice
One could almost think of gamification casinos as a unique style of online casino experience for a new generation. As the internet grows and more users find ways to combine various interests and features, it does start making sense that gamification in online casinos would begin to take place. After all, more online gamers are starting to experiment with playing online casino games and, in turn, more online casino gamblers are beginning to unwind with online video games. The two seem as though they would be a perfect match made in heaven. Gamification then becomes the perfect tool, allowing newer online casinos to stand out from the oversaturated online casino market by presenting a more unique, bespoke online gambling experience. Gamification pioneering online casinos such as Casino Heroes, for instance, uses elements of gamification to produce a unique story that, in turn, uses casino games as stepping stones in telling that story to its audience, aka their players. This creates a unique and enhanced player experience which ultimately results in a growing fan base of players eager for something new and rewarding. Instead of playing slots until your bankroll inevitably runs out, you can now be part of an adventure or a quest. You can even earn additional rewards, which makes you feel better about how you choose to spend your time and money even if you lose all your money on the slots.
We used Casino Heroes as an example a little earlier for a good reason. Casino Heroes was one of the first online casinos to successfully merge gamification and virtual casino gaming in a way that made everyone in the industry sit up and take notice. There are many different ways in which online casinos choose to add gamification elements to their casino platforms, and Casino Heroes decided to weave a story and adventure into theirs.
Folks signing up to Casino Heroes still get to play games, but instead of just signing up, taking a bonus and then spending all of their bankroll, they get to be part of the adventures, the ups and downs of a hero sworn to destroy an evil dragon and save a kingdom. Now that beats just playing online casino games in most people’s books! The way that the gamification elements translate back to the player experience is through task completion. Each player needs to help the hero get more into the adventure by completing various tasks, including playing various slots and other casino games. Tasks can typically include completing specific slots bonus rounds to trigger the dragon’s defeat, who happens to be guarding a treasure chest filled with free spins.
Are Gamification Casinos Just a Passing Trend?
Perhaps it is still a bit early to call this one since gamification in online casinos is still entirely new compared to how long online casinos have been around. However, the online casino industry happens to be one of the most innovative and dynamic web-based sectors globally. The live dealer element and the mobile casino element have already proven. Why shouldn’t the gamification of online casinos be the next significant evolution in the online casino journey?
The great thing about gamification is that the scope is just so enormous. There are many directions online casinos, which wish to add gamification elements to their platforms, can go in. The mission-based aspect at Casino Heroes is also present in other new-generation online casinos like Kaboo Casino. Kaboo members can choose from four separate missions to complete, all containing great slots games, bonuses and mission points.
Other online casinos that have chosen to go the gamification route often combine mission-based gaming platforms with enhanced player rewards systems. Take an online casino like Ikibu, for example. This cute and trendy online casino features cool backgrounds that look as if they’ve been water painted. The entire gaming platform occurs on an imaginary island where new players have to use a map to get around, befriend various local villagers and earn points known in the Ikibu language as seeds. Acquired seeds can then be used at the in-house Ikibu store to purchase anything from enhanced bonuses to free spins and more.
Other gamification casinos tend to focus more on players interacting with each other, earning enhanced bonuses and points along the way. Rizk Casino, for example, offers all players a shot at climbing the casino leaderboard. Once signed up with the casino, anyone can put their name on the leaderboard and play various prescribed games to earn points, allowing them to climb up the leaderboard. The higher players can get, the more loyalty points and other rewards they will accumulate.
These approaches work well in attracting new players to these online casinos and do a great job of keeping existing players happy. It seems that gamification is the natural next step for the online casino industry, judging by how they have grown over the past few years. It appears that gamification is here to stay. As more and more gamers cross over from pure video gaming platforms to online casinos, more gamification platforms will become available. In other words, gamification in online casinos is indeed not a passing trend, so it may be a good idea to get yourself over to one of the brands mentioned here and try it for yourself. After all, not only do you not have anything to lose, with enhanced player rewards, you have everything to gain!
10 Reasons to Explore Gamification Casinos
As you have no doubt realised by now, the online casino industry is a massive global marketplace that takes up a significant proportion of daily web traffic. The iGaming sector is now entering its third decade, and more online casinos are operating in cyberspace than ever before. With so many operators competing for the same customer base, it is relatively easy to see how new online casinos simply fail before they even operate for a month. With too much competition and too many online casinos using a generic [latform approach, has a point been reached?
Aside from the fact that the online casino industry is saturated, newer online gamblers are looking for something innovative and different. The casino gamblers of the nineties might still be around, but they are the veterans. They are probably used to the regular online casino design aesthetics. On the other hand, new players have grown up with sophisticated video gaming platforms, both offline and online. They are not merely content with just playing a few video slots or table games online; they are looking for a more immersive, value-driven platform. This is why some online casinos, particularly those launched after 2012, are borrowing heavily from the online video gaming industry to attract these players and corner a share of the overdriven online casino industry.
Borrowing heavily from the online video gaming industry is called gamification, which is a relatively new term most industry outsiders have possibly never encountered. Essentially, gamification is a kind of repurposing of popular elements found in video games to create a more attractive and exciting online casino platform. It merges the two worlds into an entirely new way of engaging in and playing online casino games.
Forget about just signing up with an online casino, making your minimum deposit to get the bonus offer, and then playing the same stock standard casino games. Gamification still offers the opportunity to play casino games, of course, since this is the platform’s bread and butter, but you get so much more on top of that.
Once you understand how both industries work, it begins to make sense why online casino operators and designers would believe that borrowing specific video gaming concepts would work so well. They are alike in many ways in both form and function, so it makes perfect sense that elements from one could easily integrate into the other.
The first online casino credited with introducing gamification elements was Casumo Casino back in 2012. Casumo Casino introduced the idea of a ‘hero’ or mascot to online casino gamblers and allowed them to play casino games and complete various tasks to win additional prizes. The concept was a huge success, and pretty soon, other online casinos were launching with gamification right out of the box.
Top online casinos, including Casino Heroes, Rizk Casinos, Thrills Casino, Kaboo Casino, Ikibu Casino, and others, offer various gamification concepts to add additional value and immersion to gamblers. From the overall design and the look and feel, where players are greeted by crazy characters and action-packed pages, to an array of side games, quests and missions, gamification casinos are turning the industry on its head.
Why Play at a Gamification Online Casino?
Gamification online casinos are the ideal option for anyone looking for something a bit different from the norm. Perhaps you’ve already experienced a regular online casino and found it either dull or off-putting for some reason. Maybe you were just about to give up on playing online casino games altogether. If this is the case, then gamification online casinos could be the ideal option for you since they do not follow any conventional or regular online casino pattern. Gamification online casinos are also the perfect option for anyone that is already into online multiplayer video games and would like to try out an online casino for the first time. Signing up with a gamification casino is a much smoother transition since the entire look and feel will be instantly familiar to you.
Top 10 Reasons to Try a Gamification Online Casino
If you’ve never played at a gamification casino before but have gotten this far and wondering, should you or shouldn’t you. Well, then the following top ten reasons to try a gamification online casinos are just what the doctor ordered!
1. Getting Some Side Action
One of the simplest and undoubtedly most effective gamification forms proving to be hugely popular with gamblers is the side game. Side games can come in several different formats, although they are usually always part of some bonus or reward. For example, you can get access to various side games at top online casinos as part of your initial bonus package or as an additional prize for completing a certain number of games or reaching a specific score. Side games are usually rapid and straightforward games and typically resemble a wheel of fortune or even something along the line of a carnival arcade side game. The reason for this specific style of games is that they offer a visually exciting and enticing game of fortune where you can immediately see what you have won. Prizes can be anything from free spins or free bonuses to real things like gadgets or even a holiday to some exotic location. Rizk Casino does this exceptionally well with their fabulous and fun Wheel of Rizk, where players get to spin the wheel and collect instant prizes.
2. You Don’t Have to Be Yourself
The great thing about gamification casinos is that they offer an alternative to the usual sign up and play with your username kind of approach. Instead, players can create cool avatars, give them fun names, and even dress and accessorise them to their heart’s desire. Creating a fun avatar to play with adds an entirely new dimension to online casino gambling that has never been there before. Some gamification online casinos even allow you to use your avatar character within the games particular tasks or missions, really giving you a seriously immersive player experience.
3. Adventure Seeker
One of the most compelling reasons to sign up with an online casino that features gamification elements is the chance to go on an exciting adventure or two. Top online casinos like Casino Heroes and Ikibu Casino offer players the opportunity to get away from the average online casino experience and go on an adventure. Help the hero defeat the scary dragon that’s terrifying a faraway kingdom in Casino Heroes, fight level bosses, score points and gain your share of the treasure along the way, all while playing the best casino games in the world!
4. Mission Not Impossible
Similar in many ways to the adventure element found in some gamification online casinos, the mission is a popular feature. Located in great online casinos like Kaboo, players get to play various assignments woven into a series of casino games. Complete each mission to gain additional points, bonuses and prizes. Mission-based gamification is hugely popular with gamblers that are already into playing various online multiplayer games that also centre on specific missions, so it’s a great natural transition into gambling online. Tasks can include role-playing elements (avatars etc.), multiple levels where each level ends or begins by reaching a specific bonus amount, and much more.
5. Leading the Pack
If you happen to be a competitive type, then getting into gamification online casinos that use leaderboards could be your top reason to sign up with one. Leaderboards are a great way to compete online, playing a wide variety of casino games. Leaderboards work exceptionally well with video slots since they are fast and easy to play. Top online casinos like Thrills Casino do this sort of thing well with their Daily Races feature. Here players can compete in exciting daily challenges and races and get their names on the casino’s leaderboard. Winners walk away with all sorts of great instant cash prizes, free spins and other bonuses.
6. Sharing Your Successes
Of course, since we now live in a socially driven world, sharing everything that happens in your life has become a must for most internet and social media users. This need to share now also extends to online gaming, and online casinos have decided to join the party. Gamification online casinos allow their players to share their success at the casino instantly on top social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In some instances, they also offer instant rewards for getting friends to sign up with the casino. Online casino gaming is no longer something to be ashamed of or secretive. It’s perfectly okay to play online casino games and share them with your friends, and you can even play casino games directly on your Facebook page for free, without ever spending a cent.
7. Power-Ups and Level-Ups
The ability to increase your character’s strength in a game has long been a part of video gaming. Now online casinos are starting to offer this cool feature. Power-ups or level-ups give you the chance to boost your play and rocket ahead of the pack, and increase your winnings exponentially in the online casino context. Once again, thrills casino is an excellent example of how video game level-ups can be applied to an online casino. Here you get a progress bar that you can fill as you play their casino games. The nice feature is that you get to watch your progress bar fill up in real-time and, once filled, you level up. Every time you level up, you get to collect instant free gifts and then start again, with endless abilities to level up and collect prizes.
8. Scoring Points that Mean Something
Loyalty points have been a feature in online casinos forever and are nothing new. Loyalty points (also known as player points) are incentives to keep playing a given online casinos games. Every time you play or make a real money bet, you get one point. Once you’ve collected enough points, you can exchange them for cash which then goes right back into your player account, not too bad. More besides that can be done with points, as top gamification online casinos like Energy Casino have shown us. At Energy Casino, players earn something called Energy Points (better than regular points). Instead of just getting a little extra cashback, players can take their Energy Points to the Energy Store. Once at the store, players can bag all sorts of fabulous goodies, from free spins and bonuses to authentic merchandise, including t-shirts and lighters and more.
9. Unlocking Extra Content
Some online casinos that now use gamification have come up with fun ways to unlock extra content. Most top gamification online casinos will offer some additional content, including side games like a wheel of fortune or mini-games such as mini-slots and so forth. The idea here is all about fun and a quick win, promoting a more immersive and high-value player experience.
10. Not Your Dad’s Online Casino
Ultimately, what you can take away from gamification in online casinos is that this is undoubtedly an indication of where the online casino industry is heading. It could be the ultimate reason to get into gamification casinos over regular ones. Gone are the days of stock standard casino games offered by lifeless casinos that want nothing more than your money. Gamification casinos almost seem to be less about money and more about people (kind of); offering a more intensive, value-driven service is the game’s real name.
Types of Gamification Features
Gamification at online casinos is on the rise. If you haven’t yet heard of this concept, this article about the most popular gamification techniques currently used by today’s online casinos will help. Our analysis also provides you with deep insights if you are already playing at a regular online casino and exploring new gaming options.
There has, in fact, never been a better time to sign up with an online casino, thanks to incredible cutting-edge mobile casino gambling, live dealer options, and of course, the new gamification idea. Today you can indeed find the perfect online casino to suit your specific tastes and needs if you have the proper knowledge to guide you to those choices.
What is Gamification in a Nutshell?
If there was a definition for gamification, we could say that video gaming elements in non-video game platforms promote vital aspects of those specific platforms. This is particularly apparent in the online casino industry as we start to see an increased number of operators who implement distinctive video game characteristics, elements and in-lobby features.
Over the last few years, from around 2012 onwards, both the online casino and online video gaming industries have benefited from the same sort of leading-edge digital technologies. There has also been a striking congruency within both groups’ demographics. Mobile slots (for example) rub shoulders with mobile FPS (first-person shooter) games, gem or candy crush games and more, in various online app stores.
It adds a new component to an otherwise standard online casino experience with elements usually associated with video games, such as leaderboards, missions or quests, task completions, level-ups, hidden items, and gems. The fact that you don’t just log in to play a few slots and then log off, but are instead required to complete a particular task, defeat a level boss, or unlock a new game while playing your favourite casino games, is a massive plus for many players.
Why Today’s Players Need a Bit More
The online gambling industry is currently in its third decade, making it a relatively old niche by web standards. The first online casinos were quite basic and featured a handful of video slots and virtual table games, which was, for its time, a somewhat groundbreaking concept. For the first generation of online casino players, using their computers to play casino games in the comfort of their own homes was a mind-boggling concept. Needless to say, they were happy with the underlying quality of these early graphics, slots gameplay and limited range.
However, as web technology evolved, so did the generations of players that followed. Players became accustomed to faster games, high definition graphics, sophisticated platforms, the option to choose playing games on virtually any device, including smartphones and tablets. In turn, competition between online gaming operators increased as each sought to outdo the other, vying for potential players’ maximum attention. Each operator sought to add more sophisticated games and options such as live streaming games and more.
The cycle of technology increases online games’ quality, and the demand for even better games is a never-ending one. The same can be said for the level of competition within a finite marketplace. Operators are always looking for the next big thing, as are players of online games. Today’s players are savvier than previous generations and will not be satisfied with anything humdrum or conventional. Innovation is vital in today’s environment, and the online casino operator that can offer something fresh and different will win over those that prefer to stick with old standards.
Top Gamification Techniques and Features
Gamification can cover quite a lot of ground, making it one of the most valuable additions to an online casino’s look and feel. However, while gamification does add an entirely new and fresh element to online casino brands, operators cannot lose focus on the core reason for their existence, offering the best casino games on the market.
To this end, the majority of online casinos that choose to add gamification elements to their platform usually stick with three or four popular elements. Some casinos decide to use all of these elements, while others prefer to focus on just one or two. Ultimately the aim is to create the best possible user experience for the player, which includes game immersion and plenty of rewards to go along with it.
We’ve broken down the main gamification elements for you to get a better idea of what you could expect at any of the top online casinos that have added gamification elements into their platforms. Top online casinos such as Rizk Casino, Ikibu, Kaboo Casino, Casino Heroes, and others all use one or more of the gamification element types as follows.
1. Mission-Based Accomplishments
Perhaps the most popular type of gamification used by online casinos today is the mission-based platform. This concept is closely similar to online role-player video games, first-person shooters, and other popular online gaming styles played on the web today. The mission-based platform can come in a variety of versions. This can include straight-up missions with a start and endpoint, in-game tasks, or adventure modes, where players are required to help a protagonist character complete a quest.
From the above summation, it is quite clear that adding missions and quests to a casino gaming platform can considerably boost the intensity and immersion factor. Casino Heroes is an excellent example of how players are roped in to help the hero defeat the evil dragon that has beset a magical kingdom. Kaboo Casino features various missions which players can select to achieve or unlock additional bonuses and points. Some of these missions or tasks also occur within a game (such as playing a slot). Players need to complete a specific bonus round or reach a particular total score to unlock additional prizes and bonuses in their mission.
Leaderboards are another big part of online video gaming platforms and are a favourite feature in a wide assortment of gaming styles, from shooters to multiplayer games. Leaderboards seem to be a natural fit for online casinos since many are already running competitive tournaments with ranking systems in place. However, from a gamification point of view, online casinos like Rizk Casino have revamped the leaderboard concept and made it far more fun and funky for the online casino community. Leaderboards are incredibly simple in structure, making them ideal for all levels of player to enjoy. Leaderboard gamification casinos may feature a series of select slots (for example) where players must play slots in a particular order to begin climbing the leaderboard. The better you do, the more you score, and the faster you climb the leaderboard to win big prizes. Some leaderboards also allow players to share their social media platforms’ progress, adding an extra fun and immersion element.
3. Online Casino Gamification and Loyalty
Loyalty points are nothing new to online casinos and have, in fact, been around since the early days of the industry. Loyalty points, also called player points at some online casinos, reward players who choose to stick around and play games regularly. The primary point system works on betting frequency. For example, you get one point for every ten bucks you wager at the tables or on slots. However, online casinos like Ikibu Casino use gamification ideas to full effect. Instead of the standard loyalty points, Ikibu has something called seeds, which effectively work as its currency. Players use a map to travel through the mythical island of Ikibu, befriending locals and collecting seeds along the way. Harvested seeds can then be spent in the Ikibu store for bonuses, free spins and so forth.
4. Social Media
Social media is a significant feature in many peoples lives, and it seems like there is no escape from the influence. Of course, social media can be great for gamification since if affords online casino operators some free publicity via their players. Players can ‘share’ their progress and success on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and, at the same time, create some much-needed exposure to online casinos.
Should You Sign Up with a ‘Gamified’ Online Casino?
Gamification in online casinos is still a relatively new concept, and there are only a handful of operators that use gamification principles within their platforms. However, gamification’s popularity is rising, with more gamification online casino options emerging in 2018 and beyond. Should you sign up with a gamification online casino? It all depends on what you want from your online casino gaming experience. Suppose you’re among those who enjoy added excitement and challenge over that of merely beating the house in a casino game. In that case, gamification casinos are worth checking out. On the other hand, if you would rather have a more no-nonsense and traditional approach where it’s all about the games and nothing else, you would probably want to give it a miss.
Benefits of Gamification Casinos
The online casino industry continues to grow steadily, with multiple online casino platforms launching every month. But one of the most significant problems facing the online casino industry today is the inescapable fact that almost every online casino operating right now is nothing more than a cookie-cutter version of a successful online casino model. They all provide much the same thing, a range of online video slots, a variety of virtual table games, a few video poker terminals and perhaps even a few live dealer options.
To make matters worse, a good majority of online casinos all offer the same sort of slots sourced from the same range of online casino software providers. There is virtually nothing to make one online casino stand out from another, apart from perhaps their customer service level and maybe their bonus offers, although these are mostly all more or less the same as well. Putting all of these factors together, it’s little wonder that most online casinos have been reporting a noticeable reduction in traffic over the last quarter or two.
How the Online Casino Industry is Changing Once Again
The industry has always been one of the most dynamic web-based sectors and has always been quick to adapt to changes and trends as they’ve come along. In fact, gambling platforms are often at the forefront of new technologies and trends, continually pushing their boundaries. The mobile gaming sector is a perfect example of how online casinos and software developers have helped to drive the industry to where it is today.
So it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the online casino industry is, once again, in a state of flux. With so many online casinos vying for the attention of gamblers, eventually, something has to give. We’ve seen how online casinos that decided to adapt live gaming platforms to offer a better and more varied experience to their players have started to outdo their rivals. Those that chose to remain purely within the virtual realm have not been able to keep up with those that sought a more hybrid path, and many have paid the ultimate price.
Now, once again, the online casino industry is changing. This time it has a lot more to do with adapting to the future than ever before. As the older online gamblers begin to retire from playing online, they are being replaced by more recent generations. This is the natural way of things and is one of the main reasons any industry dealing with service provision will naturally need to adapt.
Smart casino owners and those looking to make an immediate impact in the virtual casino realm have figured out how to attract more players, particularly the new generation players. Now, before you go off half-cocked and make assumptions about bigger and better bonuses, you’re mistaken. Believe it or not, bonuses are not nearly as efficient in attracting new blood as you may think.
The way that new online casinos (those that launched in 2012 and after) are attracting players is through something called gamification. While this may sound like some bizarre accident that happened in a sci-fi lab in a cheap B grade movie, gamification is actually a thing. Not only is gamification a thing, but it could also be the most significant development in online casino gambling since casino gambling went mobile.
Understanding Gamification in Online Casinos
The term gamification is still a relatively new term that has only been in widespread use for around five years. In fact, the first online casino to use the term was Casumo Casino back in 2012, which many credits with being the first online casino to use gamification features successfully in an online casino platform.
Essentially, gamification is the practice of using gaming elements usually associated with online video games such as strategy, adventure, and first-person short (FPS) games. In these games, players can enjoy immersive and interactive elements such as daily missions or tasks to win additional prizes. Leaderboards are another feature where players can head to head to see who the best player is and earn bonus money, points, and other rewards.
The question is, did video gamers bring these elements with them when they decided to play casino games for the first time? Or did some clever casino designers have a light bulb moment in trying to come up with new ways to entice people to play games at their casinos? If we think about it for a moment, it seems to be a bit of a no-brainer since there are so many attributes to both commonly shared attributes. Both online video game platforms and online casinos attract players through the use of bright lights and loud noises, the chance to play exciting games and win prizes in the process, and the chance to spend quality time on the net.
So what’s wrong with the Regular Casino Then?
There is nothing ‘wrong’ with regular online casinos regarding what their actual function and purpose is. When you boil it all down, any casino, be it a brick and mortar establishment or an online casino, is about making money by offering you the chance to do the same. How do they go about this? Simple. They fill their establishments with many different casino games to appeal to the broadest number of demographics. You get a ton of slot machines, a few table games like roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker, and craps, along with other games such as bingo, video poker and so forth.
Next, you have to get feet through the door (virtual or otherwise), and the easiest and quickest way to achieve this is to offer them some free money for signing up and making a small cash deposit. Once you’ve got all that right, bingo! You now have a running establishment. Now, as competition grows, you need to hang on to the players you have; you need to try and attract new ones to sign up continually. How do you do this? By offering every player a few ‘extras’, which can include points and free spins.
This is a great model, and it has been working successfully for years. The trouble comes when the market becomes saturated, which is what’s happening to the online casino industry at present. There are simply too many ‘regular’ online casinos trying to operate in the same small ocean. Many regular players feel that once you’ve played at one online casino, you’ve pretty much played them all. The games are the same, and promotions vary in size and scope, but work on the same fundamental principle of offering a cash match percentage on your bonus and, maybe, a few free spins to sweeten the deal.
Older online casino gamblers have no problem with this model, it is safe and familiar, and for them, it’s working just fine (if it isn’t broke – don’t fix it). However, for younger gamblers and gamers, particularly the so-called ‘millennial’ generation, this simply isn’t interesting enough to compel them to commit by signing up and making a cash deposit. The drop in customer turnover in most online casinos is clear evidence of this in practice.
Should You Rather Play at a Gamification Casino?
Many industries are changing drastically. Mainly due to the constant evolution of digital technologies. We’ve already seen how the mobile device industry has radically altered all of our lives. There’s no one left today who does not have a smart device, be that a smartphone or a tablet (or the in-between ‘phablet’).
Playing games on the go has become the number one option for most gamers, and buying games at your particular app store is straightforward to do. This is where the lines blur between video games and online casino games, and we start seeing a crossover happen. Should you at least try playing at a gamification casino? Absolutely! If only to experience for yourself and discover what all the fuss is about!
However, if you are more of a serious online gamer or online gambler, you would be wise to start paying attention. Gamification at online casinos is a clear indication that you will be playing every on a single platform one of these days. Throw the potential of VR (Virtual Reality) into the mix, and the future starts to look incredible. Getting into a gamification casino now is a great way to start moving with the gaming industry’s flow and where technology will be taking things.
If you love the idea of something that is out of the norm, where you can enjoy innovations and immersive, interactive gaming enhancements, then gamification casinos are definitely for you. The idea of enjoying the additional gameplay of missions, quests, or tasks is appealing to many players over and above the games themselves. If gamification enhanced online gambling sounds like your kind of thing, there are plenty of enjoyable ‘gamified’ casinos worth checking out.
Gamification Casino Promotions
The online casino industry is easily one of the most competitive industries on the web, with literally hundreds of casino brands competing to target more or less the same demographics. To compound matters, new online casinos are launching every month to get a slice of the pie. While it appears that the most critical consideration any online casino operator has is to supply casino games to an eager public, the reality is entirely a bit more complicated.
There are several tricks that online casino operators have developed over the years. Not only entice new players to their casino but to also retain the customers that they have already successfully attracted. Gamification casinos have an entirely different approach to how their players interact, not only with their games but also with their entire platform. We look at how these “new breed” casinos use innovative promotional techniques to build and sustain player engagement over an extended period.
How Standard Online Casino Promotions Work
When one considers that online casino platforms are now entering their third decade on the web, one would expect to see a vast difference in how online casino promotions looked at the beginning of the industry and how they look now. However, you may be surprised to learn that they haven’t changed all that much since the mid-nineties. The basic structure of the casino welcome bonus, for example, has remained essentially the same, with the only real difference being in the amount of reward a casino offers new players.
While the welcome bonus is all about getting people to sign up for an account in the first place, online casinos are well aware that they have to do a lot more than just that. Motivating new players with additional rewards is an excellent way to keep players from exploring other enticing casino options. One of the most effective reward schemes has been the loyalty points program, along with referral bonuses for anyone that manages to convince their friends to sign up for an account and make a deposit. Of course, all of these options have downsides too, but let’s take a closer look at how your standard garden variety casino bonuses work.
The Welcome Bonus
The welcome bonus is probably the most well-known of all online casino bonus types and is offered by virtually every online casino in existence. The idea behind the welcome bonus is to attract and entice as many players as possible with a great offer. The welcome bonus is usually sold as a great way to get a solid start with the casino since you get a cash boost on a reasonably small deposit instantly.
For many casino gamers, particularly newbies, the welcome bonus seems like an excellent opportunity to have a bigger bankroll right away. This is true to a certain extent, although, as they soon discover, every bonus offer or promotion made by ‘regular’ online casinos always come with terms and conditions. Some online casinos will also throw in free spins or free points to use at the casino to outdo their competition and entice potential new customers with a seemingly enhanced offer.
The No Deposit Bonus
The no deposit bonus is often the first thing new players see when thinking about signing up with an online casino or, indeed, shopping around for the online casino with the best-perceived value. The no deposit bonus is extremely effective and is a favourite marketing tool for many online casinos. Players do not have to use their own money to get the benefits of a bonus.
However, the no deposit bonus is not without its drawbacks. For one thing, most no deposit bonuses are relatively minor since the online casino doesn’t want you to get too much use out of them. The idea is to get your feet wet and have a little look around the casino. If you like what you see after spinning a few slots or playing a bit of roulette, you will then be encouraged to spend some of your own money by taking up their welcome bonus offer. Be warned that the no deposit bonus also comes with terms and conditions and, if you happen to win any money when using it, you will have to meet specific wagering requirements before you would be able to withdraw those winnings.
Free Spins, Player Points and Other Promotions
Free spins are almost like an online casino multi-tool and can be used to affect different ways significantly. Since free spins don’t technically cost the casinos anything, they can add them arbitrarily wherever they see fit. For example, you may find online casinos that offer free spins as a bundle deal with their welcome bonus. Free spins can also be provided in place of a no deposit bonus and can even be provided as part of a rewards program or other incentive.
Loyalty and Player Points
Player points, also known as loyalty points, are offered to every player that signs up for an account and makes a deposit. For every wager or game that the player engages in, the casino will issue points (usually somewhere around one point for every ten dollar bet). This is one of the most popular ways an online casino tries to retain its player base and encourage new players to sign up.
The Cost of Wagering Requirements
One of the more significant drawbacks to taking any online casino bonus is that a welcome bonus, no deposit bonus, free spin bonus and so on are all of them come with terms and conditions. Among the most important of these terms and conditions is the wagering requirements. If you’ve never heard of them, Wagering requirements require players to wager their bonus amount a certain amount of times before being eligible for a withdrawal of their winnings (if any). Wagering conditions are set by individual casinos and can vary quite drastically. For instance, one online casino might only require you to wager your bonus amount twenty times (20x) but offer a smaller bonus amount. In contrast, another online casino might provide a more substantial, more enticing bonus amount but with higher wagering requirements, up to fifty times (50x).
Gamification Promos – A New Approach to Player Engagement
With so many online casinos offering virtually the same services and features, picking a top online casino to play at can be quite a bore. This has led to a noticeable decline in new sign-ups at top online casinos, as well as a marked decrease in players willing to stick around for the long haul. Some online casinos have now resorted to various gamification techniques to reignite a spark in online casino gamblers. Adopting these techniques, usually associated with the online video gaming industry, is also a way to keep up with online casinos that are already coming out with a so-called ‘gamified’ approach to their platform. Online casinos sporting various gamification features are already doing better than those online casinos that have chosen to stick with a more conventional or ‘traditional’ approach to customer attraction and retention.
Let’s look at some of the more popular gamification techniques used by top online casinos today.
Re-branding the Loyalty Point Concept
As we have already seen earlier, the loyalty reward or player point reward systems are nothing new and online casinos have been utilising the concept for years. However, as with any tried and true method, an innovative approach can often do wonders. Newer online casinos such as Ikibu Casino and Energy Casino are two perfect examples of reimagining the loyalty rewards or player points system.
In Ikibu Casino’s case, the loyalty points system has been re-engineered to fit in with their overall gamification concept. Ikibu Casino offers an elaborate adventure-based online casino platform that allows players to compete for various adventures and tasks, thereby earning something called seeds. These seeds function similar to conventional loyalty points, except that they can be used to purchase a variety of casino favourites, including free spins and unique bonus offers. Every new player starts with a few seeds that they are given for free, and there are various ways to earn even more throughout the platform. This creates a more fun way to earn loyalty points and is a far more flexible feature.
Energy Casino has a somewhat similar approach to the loyalty point concept, and it too is designed to fit in with their overall theme. Perhaps not surprisingly, Energy Casino offers something called Energy Points, which can be thought of almost as fuel cells that can be exchanged in their local Energy Shop. The cool thing here is that players have a much more comprehensive range of options to choose from at the Energy Shop, including actual merchandise in the form of baseball caps, lighters, t-shirts and so forth. Again, the emphasis here is on fun and a more value-enhanced approach to how players are treated.
Enhancing the Gaming Experience with Missions and Tasks
One of the most unique concepts that have been borrowed from the online video gaming community and used to significant effect within the online casino gaming platforms is the mission or task-based idea. The mission-based concept can best be seen at casinos like Kaboo Casino, Casino Heroes (adventure/quest), Ikibu Casino, and others. The idea here is that players sign up. Instead of just playing a bunch of online casino games like they usually would, they get to either choose missions or have to complete a variety of tasks in between playing casino games.
The idea is pretty cool as it serves to keep players from getting bored and moving on. At the end of each completed task or mission is a reward that makes it fall neatly into the player promotions/rewards/incentives category. Players get a considerable boost to their bankrolls while, at the same time, enjoying a far more immersive and ultimately rewarding online casino gaming experience.
Engaging Players with Leaderboards
The leaderboard concept is another one borrowed from the world of online multiplayer gaming, and it can be seen in various ESports tournaments the world over. The idea behind leaderboards is quite simple but, at the same time, highly effective. Online casino operators have also found that adding a leaderboard to their online casino platform ups the excitement level among players, particularly among slots players. Quite simply, players are given a range of games to play and must compete for certain rounds or titles within a given period. Their best performances or scores are then recorded on a leaderboard for everyone to see. More significant rewards or prizes are given to those higher up the leaderboard once the tournament or promotion ends. Leaderboards work brilliantly to bring out everyone’s competitive side. Apart from dishing out great rewards, it is a highly effective way to create player loyalty as future events will also feature the popular leaderboard.
Social Sharing – The Millennial Approach to ‘Refer a Friend’
Social sharing is one of the latest concepts added to gamification casinos and a powerful tool in marketing the online casino and increasing players’ participation across the board. Social sharing involves using various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and offers a channel for players to share their progress at the casino or compare game stats and so forth. Gamification casinos also use social sharing to encourage players to get their friends involved with the casino to exchange rewards (seeds, power points/energy points etc.). In other words, social sharing is the new and improved refer a friend bonus, and it works brilliantly!
Top Rated Gamification Casinos
Gamification is the latest innovation and trend sweeping through the online casino industry. In case you have not yet heard of this concept or even know what it is, here’s a quick crash course in online casino gamification.
Top-Rated Online Gamification Casino Brands for 2021
Gamification in online casinos essentially refers to incorporating various elements associated with the online video gaming industry generally. This can include gaming platform components such as mission-based gaming, task completion, and multiple reward elements or situations where players must collect specific objects to obtain rewards. These gaming elements are then interwoven into a regular online casino platform to enhance the overall online casino gaming experience.
What is the Point of Gamification?
The idea behind the online casino platform’s gamification is to create a broader and more rewarding experience for the average player or gambler. Instead of the standard approach of merely signing up with an online casino, making a cash deposit, taking a bonus offer, and then playing a series of traditional casino games, players can experience and enjoy more. In fact, many experienced online gamblers, along with the majority of industry experts, believe that the conventional online casino approach is outdated and is one of the leading causes for the recent drop in online casino traffic.
As more and more gamification online casinos begin to appear, online gamblers can pick and choose how they would like to enjoy their time spent gambling online. The new way of gambling online means that players don’t just experience the thrill of a jackpot slot machine; they want more value for their time. Players participating in competitive elements will be more invested. Consequently, they’re happier to spend time and money at casinos offering gamification elements within their platform.
Popular Gamification Options Available in the Online Casino
The exciting thing about gamification in online casinos is that it can offer a diverse range of options to suit either a particular casino’s goals or meet a specific player demographic’s needs. For instance, an online casino that wishes to engage in gamification may feel that its customer base responds more positively towards a reward-based system. However, on the other hand, another online casino may find that their customer base is more enthusiastic about in-game or platform related benefits, such as accomplishing specific goals. With an increasing number of online casinos choosing to add gamification features to their platforms, players can now cherry-pick the sort of enhanced gaming features that they are after. This is especially attractive to the emerging generation of new players who have grown up playing online games and are looking to diversify their online gaming interests with some casino entertainment.
If you are looking to get into online casino gaming that offers something a bit more innovative and rewarding, the following shows the main gamification enhancements available at top online casinos.
One of the most effective gamification elements used by top online casinos to enhance their customers overall playing experience is to offer entry to leaderboard competitions. Leaderboards are popular since most gamers and casino gamblers are already competitive. After all, competing for prizes is what gaming and gambling are all about.
Leaderboards can come in a variety of options, including daily, weekly, or monthly leaderboards. Most of these boards work through a system that offers points for either playing certain games, attaining specific scores, or reaching predetermined milestones in slot games and the like. Leaderboards are not an unfamiliar concept to online casinos since operators have been offering various tournaments such as roulette, slots, or blackjack tournaments for many years.
The leaderboard concept is straightforward, making it easy for all levels of player experience to participate instantly. The more points earnt, the higher up the board you climb. The exciting thing is that you can measure your progress in real-time, which can be seen in a real-world context at Rizk Casino, one of the best examples of this type of gamification in practice. Rizk Casino offers a range of fun online slots as part of their ‘Daily Races’ leaderboard platform. As players progress, they climb up the leaderboard and, at the same time, fill up a special power bar’. In turn, the power bar leads to another exciting gamification element called the ‘Wheel of Rizk’. This gives players even more opportunities to score points and win prizes, enhancing their overall player experience exponentially.
Loyalty Points Systems
The concept of loyalty points is nothing new, and most online casinos have been using these for decades. However, the difference with gamification casino lies in how they are presented and what they do precisely. In a standard online casino, you will be able to earn loyalty points, also known as player points, by merely playing certain casino games. For every wager you make over a certain amount, you earn perhaps one loyalty point. After a certain period, once you have accumulated a certain number of loyalty points, you can then exchange them for ‘free’ casino cash or rewards.
While this is of benefit to some players, the entire process is a bit dull and boring. You may also be somewhat surprised to learn that most players don’t even care about casino loyalty points, dismissing them as nothing more than a gimmick used by the casino to keep you playing. While that may be true, it doesn’t do anything to enhance your overall player experience. So, how can an online casino that uses gamification innovate the loyalty points concept?
Presentation and function can make all the difference to a tried and true rewards system, and Ikibu Casino is the perfect example of this in practice. Ikibu Casino offers a loyalty rewards or player points system based on their entire gamification concept, including their platform being set on a mysterious and mystical island. In the world that Ikibu Casino creates, players travel worldwide, collecting ‘seeds’ that equate to loyalty points. Some seeds are earned as part of a bonus, while others are acquired through finishing games and collecting the seeds. Players can then exchange their accumulated seeds for free spins and other cool things in their seed shop. Another gamification casino, Energy Casino, has a similar thing going but with a slightly different look and feel. Instead of seeds, Energy Casino offers ‘energy points’, which players earn by playing select casino games. The big difference here is that players are not just restricted to free spins or enhanced bonuses; they can use their energy points to buy anything from t-shirts and mugs, gadgets, lighters, baseball caps, etc., branded merchandise.
Mission-based gamification is arguably the most popular option of them all. It is probably the closest example of gamification relating to video games that you will find. There are various ways an online casino can present this particular type of gamification, and it can either be goal-orientated, mission-based, or adventure-based. While these may all sound the same, there are subtle differences.
Which one is used to the best effect is primarily up to the individual casino that employs gamification in their casino. For example, Kaboo Casino leads the way in creating a tremendous mission-based gaming experience. You get to pick from various missions, each with different rewards upon completion of the task. The entire platform is very reminiscent of an old-school sci-fi video game and is an excellent enhancement to the already great slots and casino games on offer. However, you will find it tough to beat Casino Heroes when it comes to a more adventure-based gaming experience. Here, players get to explore a magical kingdom, complete with gaming avatars, which players can choose to help. Casino Heroes has chosen a classic video game platform for their gamification. Players can complete levels, battle level bosses, play casino games, and earn various casino bonuses in the process.
Our Top Gamification Casino Picks and a Little about Them
After learning a little more about gamification and how it’s used in top online casinos, we figured you would probably want to know a bit more about these and other gamification casinos. Here is a list of our top gamification casino picks for 2021:
1. Casumo Casino
Casumo Casino launched in 2012 and is considered by many to be the first real example of a gamification casino. Casumo Casino’s entire look and feel is dedicated to fun gamification, complete with a mascot who seems to be a little cartoony martial arts student. New players are greeted by the character who is essentially your partner in playing at the casino. The more games you play and missions you manage to complete, the more points you earn. As you progress, the characters’ belt colour will change, just like in real martial arts, which will also help you accumulate rewards faster. The casino itself consists of a series of ‘worlds’ or planets and, as you progress, you unlock more planets where you can play.
2. Rizk Casino
One visit to Rizk Casino, and it is relatively easy to see that these guys are Marvel and DC comics fans. Rizk Casino is centred on a superhero character called Captain Rizk, who is there to help you share rewards, including free spins, super spins, and mega spins. All these different spins can be used on a range of slots to unlock substantial bonus rewards and jackpots. Players can also win the opportunity to enter exclusive race events, complete vital missions and can even get a shot at the casino’s own wheel of fortune called the Wheel of Rizk, where huge prizes await.
Another one of the newer gamification casinos, TonyBet looks the part of a modern-day online gambling platform! Launched in 2016, it is the ideal option for players looking for something cute, funny, and light-hearted. The whole casino is filled with lovable characters and a mission-based reward system, allowing players to collect seeds. Seeds can then be used to purchase free spins to play tons of fantastic slot games.