Followers of the online casino industry will be well aware that there has been something of a dynamic shift in focus of the live gaming sector. We know that brands like Playtech, as well as Evolution and Authentic, have been busy opening up new studios to deliver live gaming, but we also know that the types of games on offer have evolved. Sure, traditional games like roulette and blackjack remain the beating heart of the live sector, but the emphasis is slowly shifting towards those new genres of games like Adventures Beyond Wonderland (Playtech) and Monopoly Live (Evolution).
The new genre of gaming has loosely been called “game show”. Nobody seems to have come up with a specific title, but “game show” will serve for now. There is a game show feel to these casino games, even down to the fact that the croupier is more like a host than a classic dealer. And titles like Deal or No Deal Live, which is based on the Endemol television show, are natural fits for this genre at the live casino.
Live slots exemplify community gaming
But the true dynamic shift mentioned earlier comes not within the structures and rules of these games, but rather how the player experiences casino gaming online. At a stroke, these live games have changed the online casino experience from a solitary activity to a communal one. And, that’s probably best exemplified by live slots, something that Playtech has been keen to promote as a groundbreaking addition to the casino sector.
You can view two of Playtech’s most popular live slots, Buffalo Blitz Live and God of Storms Live, on the casino.com live gaming platform. While the slots don’t technically fall into the category of game show, the fundamentals and the goals – croupiers as hosts, communal gaming, immersion – are the same.
But there is a wider point to be made here, and it’s about entertainment as a shared experience. It’s no coincidence that Playtech has set up the presentation of these live slots in imitation of casino streamers on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Those platforms feature slots streamers, who present live-action slots play to audiences. In a sense, Playtech is doing the same thing, with the exception that the audience is no longer passive – they engage with the game.
Wider gaming industry values interactivity
The point, as such, is that the casino industry is following the wider trends of gaming and entertainment by offering a more fundamental interactive experience. Yes, playing live slots might not be all that different from playing a standard slot with a chat function. But it is an insight into where the industry will be moving.
If you consider activities like watching sports. Several broadcasters like BT Sport have been pushing the idea of watching Premier League games in-app. There are advantages to this, such as instant replays. But more importantly, there are options to watch with friends (Watch Together functionality), making the entire presentation like a virtual living room. In the wider gaming sphere, there are numerous examples of similar experiences.
The example of a Premier League game is a good one to convey our meaning here. If you watch a match through BT Sport’s app with friends, the football match itself doesn’t change. The same goes for playing live slots like God of Storms. The game is just the same as the virtual version, and there is no benefit to be gained from playing live. It is the experience that matters and is the main selling point.
Playtech’s live slots first appeared in 2019, and they have proven to be popular two years after first hitting live casinos powered by the Estonian-based developer. While it’s a simple idea, you can argue that they are precursors to more communal immersive experiences that will surely be delivered further down the line.