Crosslinking is at work within many gaming sub-industries: in the social and mobile, and in the regular gaming sphere. It can be done via crosspromotion that is a well-developed industry standard. Any indie developer, or any gaming company that has a number of readily available games, does cross-promotion between their games. And this entails crosslinking of real money games with social games to boost conversions in both.

Crosslinking via introduction of similar features

As mentioned in our previous article on “Social casino game trends”, crosslinking can be done via the introduction of features that are customary to real money games into the social gaming sphere. The great example is a recent introduction of live dealers in online card games in social games to imitate the feel of a real casino and the real presence. It is an option with lots of potential, as social casino gamers are paying on equal terms as the real money gamblers, just in different ways.

 

PokerStars as Great Example of Real Money and Social Gambling Crosslinking

PokerStars is a top online platform to play poker for fun and real money. Accordingly, all that relates to real money play requires a strong regulatory policy that it had issues with. Not so long ago all online poker was banned in the US, and the company had to pay hefty fines to avoid litigation. Nevertheless, after this slump, the company was able to reinstate itself as a leader while putting an emphasis on social gambling in the lucrative countries where the legislation did not allow for real money stakes.

To reenter the real money gambling, PokerStars has to regulate the mechanisms, the probability of winning, as well as its back-end and front-end processes, and check the clients’ eligibility to gamble. All of this takes a bunch of tests, and everything has to be documented. Having done that the social and real money play is very similar in its essence and allows for a seamless crosslinking. And with the recent introduction of BetStars and PokerStars Casino, the company took crosslinking to a whole new level, as they have not only introduced sports betting and casino games in one single platform but interconnected both of them with poker experiences.

Crosslinking of Skill-Based Gambling to Be Introduced Across Industry

Interconnection of casino mechanics with poker as a skill-based game is the best way to attract millennials and the older generation as well. In most cases, casinos attract females over the age of 35 and the online poker community is a trove of younger under 25 folks who love and have the know-how in skill-based gaming.

Even without taking into account the meta gameplay, the successful introduction of crosslinking of skill-based gambling is a great source of revenue and new software developments. This can be done with the help of industry professional software development outsourcing companies that can introduce new features with ease. You can read the latest whitepaper on gaming and gambling here.

Financial Benefits in New Approaches to Attracting Online Traffic

Gaining traffic for social and real money gambling is though quite different. While most operators do their best to offer a unified platform where people can easily switch between fun and cash gambles, the end goal for many of them is to drive more traffic into the real money gambling.

Indeed, social gaming lets the real-money gambling industry attract new gamers via the social media feed and create a new and less expensive source of traffic that has a high probability of converting into paying customers. Attracting real-money gamblers through the standard advertising and promotion means remains highly competitive and requires a lot of funding that needs to be returned through active gambling and customer retention. This becomes even more complex taking into account the strict winning probabilities that need to be counted in when developing gambling software.  To save costs and keep the quality on par, gambling corporation employs companies like Innovecs to outsourcing software development. Get to know more by following this link.

Moneywise it is clear that attracting social gamblers is much more attractive. But another reason is that with social gambling there is no need to follow strict legal rules as the gamers’ winnings cannot be converted into real money. And by offering the interlinking with real money platform, gambling companies can build on the success of social games and boost the popularity of new game types and get paying customers cheaper. It is better to use such mechanics to attract new customers. Other ones can easily cost $50-100 per user and can be compensated (and that is not always the case) over a longer period of time as the LTV and retention costs should be factored in as well.

 

Legal Woes As a Major Differentiating Factor

The major issue remains: Will the regulatory policy get in the way of real money and social gambling?

Let’s go back to the most important difference between the two. Real money casino games are based on the fact that real money is invested, and users can receive the real money back as winnings. And there is very strong, good quality and elaborated regulatory policy to support this. Although such policies are regional, they are still governed by strict rules and laws. So why is social gambling much more interesting legal-wise? The main positive point is that the regulatory policy is operated on the platform itself. By this, it means that there’s no need to pass some kind of legalization or getting approved by specialized bodies and have in check the probabilities of winning as the prizes have nothing of value, except for the fans.

But the question of supporting legality and strict regulatory policies in crosslinking may still be an issue to some. If a platform has a crosslinking of social and real money and vice versa, the regulatory policies are actually not interchangeable.

The fact is that the operators who provide a link to its real money platform should clearly state that the game is for money and that the platform received all necessary regulatory confirmations and the paperwork is in order. Accordingly, when users come to the platform, their information is recorded, they read and agree to the rules and see a clear difference in the social gaming part of the platform, where all the information needed is first name, email and not much else. This is not a problem, and there is nothing illegal about such crosslinking.

Key takeaways:

  • Crosslinking of social and real money gamblers is worth it as both player groups are well-paying;
  • PokerStars is a great example of crosslinking and cross-promotion between social and real money gaming and gambling on one unified platform;
  • Attracting real money gamblers via social gaming is more cost-effective compared to standard advertising models;
  • Legal issues are not a concern for social gamblers which makes this niche more lucrative.

Discover Latest Social Casino Games Trends 

Social casino gambling grew into a $3.4 bln industry in 2016. In 2017 the market situation will only improve with $4.4 bln revenue to be expected, according to the data from Eilers Research. The overall gambling market is set to reach $91 bln, and the 4 percent social casino market share is a lucrative piece of the pie. Getting to know the latest trends for this year will help direct your investment goals, especially taking into account the software outsourcing market that is there to help gambling businesses reach out to new players on a short time-frame and budget.

Addition of skill-based gaming mechanics

The first place in social casino games trends takes the introduction of skill based game mechanics. It helps attract the millennial generation that focuses on skill gaming like e-sports, and daily fantasy sports betting, as well as the older customers that enjoy random chance games and would like to experience the social casino games. This combination lets gambling companies provide attractive features to both generations and help improve revenue. Such route provides a firm way to expand the demographics of social casino games in 2017 and onwards. We talked a lot about this issue in detail in our previous article “VR is a smart choice for gambling industry”, which we highly recommend you to advise.

Live dealer introduction to imitate real money casino

Another point is the potential addition of live dealer gambling. This can help imitate the feel of a real casino, the real presence in gambling. It is an option with lots of potential as the live dealer feature has been reserved for high-end paying customers in real-money online gambling and its introduction to the social gambling may attract a large audience.

But it’s social casino gambling, and you may wonder if this option is too expensive to maintain. Many businesses that would like to enter the social casino industry misunderstand the value of customers. In reality, it has a fairly large and paying audience, which is willing to spend money but in a different way.

Creating a flow of money through traffic procurement

According to SuperData Research, the average age and gender of social casino gamblers is 36-41 years, and over 72% of it is comprised of females. And the younger auditorium is more attracted to mobile devices, and it is paying on average 4-10% more than the desktop gamers.

The prime sources of revenue with social gaming is in-app purchases and in-game advertising. It is clear that today the social casino games have great opportunities for creating a flow of money through traffic procurement and advertising. This traffic is quite versatile, and engagement can be generated both on the desktop and mobile casino versions of the game.

Streams as a key way to attract new gamblers

From the point of view of attracting new gamers to the social mobile casino, there will be even more marketing resources spent. Live streams, YouTube channel, Instagram videos, for example, are among the key resources. These efforts should be coupled with the ability to install the game on mobile, or social media platform. The options are pretty endless.

The main reason for streams to rival traditional sources of traffic purchasing is because gambling players traffic is quite expensive to get and the cost can sometimes reach totally insane dimensions. And in order to reduce these costs, online social gambling businesses will continue to look for opportunities to generate traffic via new ways, like streams.

The Middle East as a key growth market for social casinos

Online social casinos in the Middle Eastern market are starting to get traction, although, taking into account the cultural specifics, real-money gambling has not always been welcome there. But social casino gambling is a very promising direction as it does not require direct money wagering. To get a firm footing in this market gambling companies need to develop some additional casino game mechanics that are popular there.

The legislation regarding the social casinos is not as strict there, and this adds another layer of benefit, as it attracts those real-money gamblers that have no option but to play social due to strict government rules.

Cross-linking of real money and social gambling

The combination of real-money gambling and social gambling is on the rise. Operators in the market of real money online casinos have many ways to generate paying traffic, but these resources can also be well-spent on social gamers as well. Similarly, social gaming opens up new ways to attract customers via social media platforms, and this will make it possible for gambling operators to create a cyclical traffic, where people playing social casino games will convert to real money players and vice versa.

Therefore, we can expect a potential mixing of user-bases. But to achieve that, companies will have to attract more creative talent to develop software solutions that are attractive to real money players who decide to drop in on the social gambling, for example. Adjusting and adding recognizable templates, promotions and other relevant things, foresees the use of gaming software development outsourcing expertise to go through all of this workload. You can get to know more about gaming software outsourcing by following this link. Another beneficial point in the inter-linking of social and real-money gambling is in-game cross-promotion. This lets companies attract paying customers from various networks, at a lower cost.

Lack of social gambling regulatory policy boosting growth

Real money social casino games are based on the fact that real money is invested, and users can receive real money as their winnings. And there is very strong, good quality and elaborated regulatory policy to support it that includes both regional policies, and the probability of winnings per user. All of this is governed by state rules and laws.

So why is social gambling much more attractive? The main reason is that the regulatory policies it operates under are governed not by countries, but by the platforms themselves. There’s no such thing like needing to adhere to some kind of legalization or getting approved by specialized government bodies on the loss probabilities as the winnings have no real monetary value, except for pleasure for the fans. This means that in the social casino gambling all that you win is purely for fun. It has no financial value – you cannot withdraw any winnings.

Accordingly, it is not regulated. No matter what you do with your game, like dropping or increasing the rate of winnings, neither you nor the player will not lose anything. The only thing that matters is the level of fun from the process – gamers will either like it or on the contrary will not like to play. Therefore, contrary to real money operators there are no real limitations, and this helps boost the introduction of new game types and improve growth like nothing else.

Key takeaways

  • There are seven key trends impacting the social casino business
  • The introduction of new skill-based features is only a matter of time
  • Live dealers in social casino to attract new customers
  • Social casino gamers are paying through in-app purchases and in-game advertising
  • Online streams to become a cheaper way to attract traffic
  • Middles East is becoming a major player in social casino gambling
  • Inter-connection of social and real-money online gambling is becoming even stronger
  • Absence of social gaming regulations helps companies introduce new games faster

Most up-and-coming concepts like Virtual Reality (VR) have mixed reviews. People either admire it or are uncertain about its future. But still, it can’t be ignored as it is a step forward and opens up many new and exciting opportunities. Add gambling to the industries it can be used at as virtual reality gambling is already bringing in rewards to early investors.

Gambling Industry Development. Reaching out to VR to Continue Growth

VR is the latest technological breakthrough to make online casinos realistic. 20 years ago we saw the first attempts at making people enjoy a casino in the comfort of their homes. But the tools and ability weren’t there yet, and it all came down to poor quality slots with terrible graphics or card games with the minimal setting. And now we can get a fully immersive experience, still at a high cost, though, full of crystal clear 3D image sharpness and enjoy quality casino gaming. The images and sounds are in perfect harmony, and software developers and designers did their best to provide us early on with gambling animations like in the best Pixar films.

For those who prefer 100% life-like experiences, online gambling sites already offer live casino features, where you can play Baccarat or Blackjack while interacting with a real dealer in a casino setting. This setting can be an optimal choice to be taken advantage of in VR.  Combining social elements with gambling is vital to attracting millennials and keep the older generation happy while spinning the virtual wheel. We’ve talked about the importance of immersion of social elements into Virtual Reality casinos with leading specialists in gaming and gambling. Feel free to get to know about this issue in depth in our latest whitepaper.

Of course, VR is still relatively in its infancy, and many obstacles are about to come with regards to making it more user-friendly and affordable, like a smartphone, to the general audience. But in this tech world, things change rapidly, and online gambling is at the tip of it all. Taking into account how lucrative and competitive the gambling market is, the companies that embrace innovation and creative potential of Virtual Reality can take a large chunk from the industry market leaders as the VR application is endless, especially in online gambling.

Gambling VR Presented to Large Audiences

As a matter of fact, Innovecs recently participated at ICE Totally Gaming, Europe’s premier gambling conference, were the CEO presented the VR casino gambling tech. VR also made it into other gaming events where multiple companies shared latest developments in VR technology and provided unique virtual reality casino gaming experiences for all to enjoy.

“The one industry that has the most potential by getting ‘VRfied’ is the gambling industry. Top gambling corporations are going to employ software development outsourcing companies to create VR casino environments for them as this sub-industry is going to make a lot of money in 3 to 5-year term”, believes Alex Lutskiy, Co-founders, and CEO of Innovecs.

The online gambling world is not standing still, and slot machines are becoming add new features, advanced graphics, meta-game features, pre-game movie sequences and use famous brand names in the game to take your past time to a new level. But as of now, it seems to have hit the ceiling and to progress further the industry needs VR tech.  The infrastructure to provide users with VR gambling experiences already exists within Innovecs, and we are ready to provide the power for major operators to have VR as the part of their operations.

To support the claim, technology giants like Samsung and Facebook have been active in 2016 providing mobile VR experiences. They are betting on a mobile market that is cheaper to produce, though it lacks true VR capabilities.  And we believe that VR gambling will focus on complete and immersive casino experience and the technology will follow suit in the nearest time.

Investment in VR Gambling Industry. Growth Prognosis at least 800% by 2021

Driven by ‘high rollers’ the amount of bets placed using VR this year is $58.5 million, so the potential growth is massive. Even smaller companies focus on investing in VR. A Japan-based COLOPL has been developing a number of solid games in VR and in early 2017 decided to create a $50 million fund aimed at investing in VR game development.

According to Juniper report, the VR hardware revenues in 2016 was $5 bln, and it came from VR headsets, accessories, cameras and other accessories bought by mostly well-off gamers. By 2012 the market would be over $50 billion. And that would be achieved by decreasing the cost of manufacturing, increasing the quality of hardware and reaching a broader audience.

VR Tech Advancement

The only obstacle to the rise of high-quality VR gambling is the high cost of devices, therefore, the user-base is still quite limited. Thanks to large investments we expect this issue to be solved in a medium-term perspective.

Presently, the VR gamblers consist of players with basic smartphone-based headsets (Samsung Gear), and advanced computer-dependent VR (Oculus Rift). With the tech advancement, a niche clientele of high-rollers will be firmly established that would enjoy mobility and high-usability at the same time.

Conclusion

There are various industries that are willing to take the lead in adopting VR in their services. This, consequently, leads to higher overall investments in VR technology development and the gaming and gambling industry will take a major part in it to create a critical mass of users. Of course, for VR still has a long way to go to revolutionize the gambling industry truly, those willing to join the industry should lay out the framework early on to make out the most of what VR has to offer. This is probably the biggest opportunity since the launch of iPhone.

So far VR has affected a number of industries, and millions of people experienced it firsthand, with the primary focus on the entertainment. It is for you to choose if your company is among the innovators who are willing to take the risk and adopt new VR ideas, or among the second fastest businesses who are the early adopters. And, finally, you can be in late majority and join the laggards, who missed out on investing in VR gambling.

Mobile game development will continue to grow in 2017, and this entails the fantasy sports market growth as well. Fantasy sports games allow players to control and manage fantasy teams that reflect the real-life performance of the athletes they choose. These games fuel the mind and give players a rush of adrenaline as well as instant gratification. Fantasy sports games have become extremely popular within a short period of time. Here are some of the trends to look forward to in the world of fantasy sports.

Growth of Daily Fantasy Sports

Advanced varieties of fantasy sports such as Daily Fantasy Sports will most likely allow the market to grow further in the future. Daily Fantasy Sports is a subdivision in the fantasy sports industry. Traditional fantasy sports require team owners to play with the same group of players throughout the entire seasons. DFS games, however, allows participants to change their players and play several games every day.

Daily Fantasy Sports websites are becoming more popular, and one of the reasons for its popularity is the fact that they create more fan engagement and get more attention on websites and broadcast for a longer period of time.

However, this also means that DFS websites should think mobile first and consider porting to mobile platforms. Fantasy players are using their mobile phones to play their favorite games, and DFS websites should cater to this need. Simplifying how players use DFS websites or streamlining the games themselves might be the future of the fantasy sports market.

Some of the most popular websites that offer Daily Fantasy Sports are DraftDay, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Victive. Daily Fantasy Sports also allow players to filter out injured players, something that traditional fantasy sports don’t offer. This is also one of the reasons for the growing popularity of the industry among fans. However, just like traditional fantasy sports, players are required to pay to enter. This can be seen as gambling by other people. DFS groups refer to these payments as fees, but players joining these groups often see it as a wager or bet.

Fantasy sports have a large impact on how people perceive sports. Television channels were made to let fans get immediate access to all scoring plays. Some people even spend a large amount of money on fantasy sports related products. So, it is not really surprising that Daily Fantasy Sports have become very popular within a short period of time.  The instant satisfaction of winning in DFS games is something that season-long fantasy leagues cannot give. Players are also provided with a chance to restart every week. The large cash prizes that await players are another driving force of its popularity.

Traditional fantasy sports leagues require team owners to create a team, change their roster throughout the season and hope that they can win the league’s championship. This can be a problem for many people as it requires a lot of work and patience and they may not even get what they’re hoping at the end of it. With Daily Fantasy Sports, team owners can determine their success or failure in just a few days.  If there’s an underperforming star player or the fantasy player is injured, the fantasy season can be over fast. With Daily Fantasy Sports, team owners can create a new team every week. Innovecs recently helped a leading operator of connected entertainment experiences to develop hit games based on some of the world’s most popular and iconic properties.

However, while the DFS industry has experienced a large amount of growth within a short period, there are questions about its sustainability. The truth is that there’s only one major thing that may hinder the growth of the DFS industry – legal issues. In some states, there are laws that either outlaw or restrict paid fantasy sports. DFS providers need to adhere to strict stipulations for their games to remain classified as fantasy games. However, from a legal perspective, fantasy sports games are defined by law as a game of skill. This makes DFS a totally legal industry. With the rapid growth of DFS, it would not be surprising to see it rivaling casino games and turning into a billion-dollar industry in the years to come.

Fantasy Sports Apps

App developers are aiming to make playing fantasy sports on mobile devices easier. Innovecs software development outsourcing expertise in fantast sports apps development is unparalleled. Get to know more about how Innovecs Gaming can boost Fantasy Sports engagement. This means that gaming platforms development will only get better and players can expect improved visual effects, virtual reality, and animation services. Serious fantasy sports players want to get the latest news about injuries and updates. Fantasy sports apps can help keep them informed throughout the game.

Investing in Advertising

Many people still watch television for entertainment. TW viewer information has allowed advertisers to precisely measure the TV watching habits of their target customers. DraftKings and FanDuel were able to gain hundreds of millions through strategic advertisement, and venture investors are expected to pay for a lot of targeted television advertisements to improve their brand visibility and market presence.

More Acquisitions and Mergers

Some big changes will happen in the fantasy sports industry over the next few years. Fantasy sports providers will continue to improve their market potential and presence through acquisitions and mergers. A lot of providers are also expected to get domestic and small suppliers to boost their market share to help them improve their market outreach as well as distribution channels. These acquisitions and mergers are expected to help fantasy sports providers improve their revenue and customer base.

The Global Fantasy Sports Market has a projected CAGR of 10.32% from 2014 to 2019, so it’s expected to continue growing in the future. North America holds the largest market share by far, followed by Europe. In terms of user base, the fastest growing markets are the APAC region and Latin America.

Introduction

Everyday, VR technology becomes more of a household name. Despite the fact that its products now have no more than 1% of the total  game development outsourcing market, we see new, higher usability devices hitting the market. If you want an example, look at Razer and FOVE. Moreover, there is nothing to prevent ‘established’ names like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive 2 from offering new generation augmented reality & virtual reality technology soon. This, in turn, inevitably cuts costs, provides higher usability, and excites minds with outstanding immersive experiences. That means, more prospects are open to VR gaming and gambling, and someone needs to fill this industry gap asap.

Game outsourcing prospects are more or less clear: virtual reality products already exist and evolve despite current hefty costs and device imperfections. As for the gambling industry, according to Doug Dyer, Innovecs VP of Gaming, “This tech [VR] will become handy and comfortable to be used for virtual casino travel or to play slots.” Recent trends show the goal of virtual reality & augmented reality is to run applications on high usability devices with prices comparable to the smartphone’s cost. In this case, these companies are predicted to dominate an industry that is already working on their virtual reality products and developments.

What will you find inside

  • Future of VR in gaming & gambling industry. Does virtual reality have a future, or is it just hype? Look at the purchase statistics and a poll to see what customers really need from VR.
  • Implementation issues of gambling in VR. What does VR have to do with gambling? It seems these two are too different. However, experts claim VR can attract the younger generation to gambling.
  • Games and gambling to dominate VR. Games are known as the key to opening up new technology boundaries. With this expansion, new application forms should appear and change the game development world.
  • The User Base and Financial Stance. Thinking of outsourcing game development? Get to know your products’ users as well as the financial aspects of building an application via stats and charts.
  • Beyond the gaming hype. What is the driving force behind the VR outsourcing market and are there real chances for virtual & augmented reality to shine? Read about why Playstation VR is to become mainstream.

Want to know more? Immerse in VR development while reading this paper.

Millennials and Slots

The value of global gaming market increases by 8-10% every year, while it is mobile gaming which mainly drives growth the most. The creators of mobile hit games have learned how to perfectly monetize their projects constantly involving more players in the process.

Millennials (born from the early 1980s to around 2000) grew up on video / mobile games, and they get their adrenaline spending money online, not having to go outdoors or travelling to a special casino place. They don’t play the slots like their parents did. This is the reason why casinos need to invent something new. In order to attract a new audience, casinos already put machines with 3-match games in the halls. A quite logical next step is to transfer mechanics of some shooters and casual games to the land-based machines. Moreover, these land-based gaming devices already resemble big tablets. The only thing they need to do is to attach a cash dispensing module. Devices resembling large tablets gain more and more popularity in casino halls.

We are aware of the high popularity of poker-like table games for the young audience in China and Japan. These are really trendy gaming tables where you can win a fortune (real money) by killing a monster, but its gameplay is lead out for a team play. Certainly, you can draw a distinction between this gaming table and a poker table, especially when comparing playing generations.

Where it goes

If we go back to the gambling industry and take a look at the slot machines’ evolution, we’ll notice that the games being created by market leaders completely differ from those of a couple years ago. Everything started in a simple way – with transferring the mechanics of a one-armed bandit slot machine to a web interface (in general, it was Flash) and providing a player with the vibes of a habitual casino hall at his home. Sounds of coins pouring from a slot machine, shiny elements resembling one-armed bandit backlight, well-known symbols of “BAR” and “Cherries”. All that made a feeling of a real process, and it was real money. Now let’s take a glance at the hits of 2015-2016 years: games featuring film or cartoon characters (Terminator and Jurassic Park by Microgaming or Dracula and South Park by NetEnt), 3-match gaming mechanics, a bonus shooter game in Aliens Slots, or an amazing show in Guns N’ Roses, where your prize is not just a jackpot with coin sounds, but a real performance with striking lights and music. These games are launched pretty much in the same way as Hollywood blockbusters are, with trailers, teasers, marketing campaigns, and announcements.

The focus of casino (slot) games are shifting to “skill-based” games, rather than “chance-based” ones just to target Millennials in a better way. For example, Gamblit Gaming is keen on games not traditional for casinos, these are “make a word – get your money” or “match 3 animals – get a fortune”. Their games are popular among the youngsters because they are designed to let players win gradually, instead of hitting a random jackpot.

Real gambling trends

After communicating a lot with our gaming clients, I would highlight these industry trends:

  • Not using Flash technology anymore and porting games to modern technologies like Unity3D and HTML5.
  • The variety of gameplay and additional functionality, which engages and encourages a player in different ways, like using visual and auditory rewards.
  • Applying habitual gaming mechanics in gambling, like a progression system or storytelling.

Since early 2016, we’ve started observing the industry trends more closely, so we’ve allocated our R&D team, which created a framework to speed up the development of HTML5 casino games. Now we can port Flash games fast enough or easily create games with basic mechanics from scratch. At the moment we are improving our library of interesting complex mechanics for potential clients.

We’re keen on visiting gaming events of all sizes, as every time we find something new or useful: inspirational ideas, fruitful networking, groundbreaking technology insights etc. Our local gaming conference has confirmed the fact that the youngsters are already involved and engaged. I think that land-based machines will be ousted by some kind of “very big tablets”. Gaming is a great community which unites excitable people.