Live dealer games started appearing at most online casinos somewhere around the middle of the last decade. Effectively, it’s created a whole new genre of online casino games, and a lot more choice for players, helping keep interest in the industry. Developers should be applauded for rolling out the games so seamlessly, and, make no mistake, the technology involved in delivering live dealer is innovative and complicated.
Yet, recently we have seen something of a shift in emphasis on the live dealer platforms. Essentially, there is momentum behind the idea of creating new gaming concepts beyond the usual table and card games like roulette, poker, baccarat and blackjack. Those games remain popular, of course, and many new variants have popped up, but other games can deliver what casino operators desire most – for players to see the sites as a social sphere.
This is best summed up by the new rollout of live slot games. It’s just beyond the prototype stage, but we can cite the example of Buffalo Blitz Live, which has been launched by Playtech, one of the biggest names in casino software development.
Playtech Launches Live Slot Studio
Buffalo Blitz is one of the most popular slots that you will find online today, a massive hit for Playtech and one of its signature games. You can view it here at mansioncasino.com/new-zealand/slots, and at other select casinos which carry Playtech games. It’s quite a simple game in terms of design, although it does have the draw of a unique 4,096 potential paylines – making large payouts possible from (relatively) small stakes.
So, what is a live slot game, and why does it offer a clue to the future of online casinos? Essentially, the game is exactly the same as the virtual games you will find on a casino site. The differences being that the game is streamed live from a studio on a big screen, with a community of players placing bets on the outcome. “Community” is the keyword here, as the live version offers players the chance for players to chat with each other and the croupiers in the studio.
This idea of creating social spaces within an online casino has not been plucked out of thin air, of course. There is a trend, especially among millennials, of socialising around games. Consider the massive communities on Twitch TV watching games like Fortnite and eSports. Casinos are looking to tap into that, and they are aware that gaming is no longer widely something that is done in isolation.
Moves Away from Traditional Card and Table Game Formats
To be fair, live slots aren’t the only example of a move away from traditional forms of casino gaming. Indeed, Playtech, Evolution Gaming and other top developers for the live format are experimenting with several new concepts that could upend our perception of casino games. At the heart of all of them, however, is the idea of social gaming.
It’s difficult to stress how important the casino industry views this issue, including the land-based casino industry. They see millennials being, at best, passive about traditional casino games. And they see the key to unlocking that market as being the creation of these social settings. Throw in the use of VR and some innovative gaming concepts, and there is no reason why they can’t get millennials to flock to live dealer sites in the same way they do to video game and eSports sites. It’s a gamble for the casino industry, but one that looks like it will pay off.