Virtual sports are the latest fad in gambling. Thanks to the high influence of technology on the entertainment and outcome of games, virtual sports are one of the most in-demand areas in the gaming industry.
Today, gambling operators (like Betradar) allow betting on the following virtual disciplines: Soccer, Tennis, Motorcycle and automotive racing, Greyhound races, Horse Racing, Speedway, Cycling.
This article reviews the principles of action, future development prospects and challenges of virtual sports.
Despite the fact that the principles of betting in this variety of gaming are extremely simple and completely analogous to real sports, the mechanisms influencing the outcome of the game are completely different. In particular, since these sports competitions do not take place in reality, the responsibility for their development is borne by an artificial intellect, which is tuned to observe the rules of the particular sport. On the other hand, all events occurring within the match are under the minimal influence of random factors and are logically justified.
Fortunately the current, main suppliers of virtual sports betting software have studied the portrayed sports thoroughly enough that matches taking place in the virtual world are no different from those occuring in reality, except for their duration. For example, the result of a match can be affected by the parameters of individual players (their speed, strength, physical data, preferred tactics and other parameters specific to the individual sport). As the games are played, all the specified parameters for each virtual player are increased or decreased according to specially devised criteria.
One of the main challenges of virtual sports is the fuzzy definition of its target audience. who is interested in this?
First, there are the gamblers who are too impatient to bet on real-life sports (the need to wait any time for the end of a match is too long, etc.) or casino games (the excitement wanes). As practice shows, virtual sports games are exactly where this “intermediate” category of gamblers find their wanted challenges; The matches end much faster than in reality. Betters do not need to wait for the final whistle, and at the same time, they are inspired with genuine sporting excitement since the familiar names of teams and star athletes appear on the screen.
As for the accuracy of crystal balls, it is much easier to predict individual games (here, after all, the human factor is minimized). This is especially true for those types of virtual sports in which only two players participate (tennis, for instance). Assessing and comparing the characteristics of the competitors is not difficult for a child, which means the probability of making a winning bet is notably higher.
However, it is important not to lose sight of sports activities of teams/individual athletes in real life. Because artificial intelligence takes into account this data, the outcome of some controversial matches can be successfully guessed due to the constant monitoring of the progress of the real games.
As the technologies used to create gaming software develop, the prospects for virtual sports in the gaming industry constantly grow. If a few years ago it was just another niche for creating experimental products, nowadays this IT sphere is characterized by high demand and intense competition. In particular, virtual sports are in fifth place in popularity among all types of gambling.
As for the prospects of virtual sports in the gaming industry from the developer’s point of view, it is possible to improve this software almost indefinitely starting with graphics and sound improvement and including the integration of machine learning algorithms. Another aspect of these games is their efficiency. Video game publishers are trying to make their products more accessible; any gambler, no matter who they may be, can place bets. For the next couple of years, the vendors of this software are aiming specifically at creating fast, compact and undemanding mobile gaming applications.
Particular attention should also be paid to the attempts of some development companies to move from 2D to 3D graphics. This is an expensive solution requiring the use of modern technologies. For example, in order to maximally, reliably reproduce a match in 3D, special sensors are attached to separate parts of a real player’s body capturing their movements. The high financial investments are justified completely since not even the most talented 3D animator is able to reproduce human body techniques as reliably as motion capture beacons do. If we also take into account that unlike in real-life, in virtual sports, the match background/landscape and appearance of the athletes can be whatever is truly impressive to active watchers.
Undoubtedly! The main motive inspiring people to wager on a particular sport is the drive to experience fun and excitement, and not the need to make moolah. That is why many skeptics about virtual sports, complain they are much less exciting and much more predictable. Thus, some of gamblers who are hungry for jazzy experiences probably do not appreciate alternatives to real sports.
In practice, things are somewhat different. The main concern of most players is the athlete or the team they bet on. It does not matter whether the chosen personalities are in-the-flesh or not. Both real and virtual games from time to time are accompanied by all sorts of surprises ranging from ordinary injuries to conflict situations (fights) on the playing field. The tension for those who make bets is the same because there is real money at stake, and in exactly the same way, the results of the match are recognized as fair.
Let us sum up the prospective future of virtual sports. Of course, as the technologists responsible for the similarity of virtual games to reality evolution, we believe the number of gamblers who have chosen virtual sports as their main niche for betting will grow exponentially.
The quality of sounds and graphics, the dynamism of the events developing on the playing field, as well as the logical behavior of virtual athletes will be responsible for the “acuity” of the sensations experienced by gamblers. Moreover, it is virtual sports that can “quench” the thirst for adrenaline for those who are in constant motiom and lack the opportunity to devote hours or days tracking real games.
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