Why Players are Ditching Regular Online Casinos for Gamification Platforms
The online casino industry is continuing to grow at a steady rate, 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 level of customer service 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.
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, often pushing the boundaries themselves. 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 much of 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, and 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, so they are being replaced by the newer generation. This is the natural way of things and is one of the main reasons that any industry that deals 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 a way 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 wrong. 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.
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 really 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 types of games, players can enjoy immersive and interactive elements such as daily missions or tasks to be completed to win additional prizes, leaderboards, where players can go head to head to not only see who the best player is but also 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 smart 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 that are commonly shared. 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.
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 a bunch of different casino games to be sure 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 not only hang on to the players that 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 in when the market becomes saturated, which is what is 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.
Many industries are changing drastically which is 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 is 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 ridiculously easy 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 clear indication that one of these days, you will be playing every on a single platform. Throw the potential of VR (Virtual Reality) into the mix, and the future starts to look incredible. Getting into gamification casino now is a great way to start moving with the flow of the gaming industry 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, over and above the games themselves, is appealing to a lot of players. If gamification enhanced online gambling sounds like your kind of thing, there are plenty of interesting ‘gamified’ casinos worth checking out.