The gaming industry is slowly becoming a homogenous entity. In the past, when video games were the only ways to play, any idea of there being any other gaming outlet was unheard of – today, however, things are very different. Video games have evolved and split into subgenres such as virtual reality (VR), eSports, mobile games and iGaming such as online casinos.
Although each sector falls under the broader category of gaming, each one has its own nuances. Because of that, they have tended to operate separately over the last decade. However, as the industry as a whole has grown, these once separate entities have started to merge and borrow ideas from each other. Perhaps the best example is casino gaming. Today, the top sites and game developers have started to take inspiration from video games, providing a familiar, much-loved aesthetic in a more relaxed online atmosphere.
The Gamification of Casino Games
Slots are a great example of the two merging gaming cultures; from the active environment around the reels to varied mini-games and dynamic character choices, there’s a clear collection of evidence of gamification. In fact, the iGaming developer NetEnt recently teased a VR version of an up-and-coming Gonzo’s Quest game.
As well as this, many of NetEnt‘s casino games now feature game-progression narratives and allow gamers to pass through levels – an uncommon trait for casino games, but a staple for classic video gaming.
Embracing this idea of sharing, video game developers have borrowed some ideas in turn from iGaming developers – the most prominent being loot boxes. The in-game bonuses share a number of traits with modern casino offers, with bundles of bonuses up for grabs depending on performance and as a reward for completing levels and objectives.
Tonight is the night! First Overwatch Stream on Twitch begins in about 2 hours! I’ve got around 35 loot boxes, and I’ll be playing plenty of rounds of games! See you there! #Dave_Games_ #TTVDave_Games_ #Overwatch #gamingcommunity #loot #lootbox pic.twitter.com/8AqSaOfa2r
— Dave Kay (@TheDaveKay) February 27, 2019
For example, NetEnt Casino provides UK gamers with details of the latest offers and bundle bonuses. By reading the reviews and comparing star ratings, readers can get £20 free no deposit payments and more, which incentivizes new and existing players in much the same way as loot box rewards.
Crossovers Create Interest Across the Industry
No doubt, the individual sectors of the gaming industry will continue to cohabit the gaming world, providing enjoyable hybrids of games into the foreseeable future. However, the important point to take away here is that gaming is becoming a more homogenous unit. Because the industry has grown rapidly over the last two decades, developers in all sectors are developing new ways to attract customers.
The best way to do that, and continue the growth of the industry, is to target like-minded communities such as video gamers and iGamers. By taking creative inspiration from one another, businesses on both sides are able to expand their customer bases. For that reason alone, the fragments of gaming will continue to merge, and the industry as a whole will continue to be the largest player in the entertainment sector.