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VIRTUAL REALITY AND GAMBLING: WHAT’S IN STORE FOR THE FUTURE OF GAMING?

George Miller

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emerging trends and challenges facing the future of the games industry
Reading Time: 3 minutes

With games such as Destiny and Overwatch, along with sleek new models of consoles being released every other day, it seems as though gaming has finally come into its own. In recent years, the entire gaming culture has prospered, and we seem to be living in the golden age of gaming and possibly gambling.

So many of the pillars that hold up gaming as a phenomenon have grown comfortable over the years. Developers churn out first-person shooters like Battlefield between free roaming RPGs such as Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare as though they’re on a conveyor belt. This has led to gamers bemoaning the “sameness” of this year’s blockbusters, with the likes of For Honor earning mere moments in the spotlight before being quickly cast aside. What gaming needs is the “next big thing” to hit the market and shake up a landscape that’s grown stagnant over the last few months. The question is: what?

THOSE OF US LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE EXPERIENCED VIRTUAL REALITY AT SOME STAGE IN OUR LIVES WILL RECOGNISE THE “WOW” FACTOR ATTACHED TO HEADGEAR SUCH AS THE OCULUS AND HTC VIVE AND THE AMAZEMENT OF STEPPING INTO AN ALTERNATE REALITY.

There’s no avoiding the fact that virtual reality (VR) has arrived and it’s here for its fair share of the market. Those of us lucky enough to have experienced VR at some stage in our lives will recognise the “wow” factor attached to headgear such as the Oculus and HTC Vive and the amazement of stepping into an alternate reality. Imagine the thrill of a zombie horror, where you look around to see nothing but faint darkness around you while looking down at your own hands you find yourself carrying a gun and flashlight. This is the level of immersion VR can provide, taking gamers one step closer into the shoes of our on-screen heroes.

Fortunately, the fall in price of these systems, the creation of wearable controllers and the recognition by developers that VR is the future, have allowed games of true substance to emerge. The Lab, for example, started as a Valve Corporation play-pen and grew to become one of Steam’s few games with “overwhelmingly positive” reviews.

Of course, there’s much more to the gaming than just technological advancements. Consider developments within the games themselves: in particular, one of the most disappointing aspects of highly-rated games today, microtransactions. These are low cost add-ons that are optional for a player to purchase. Typically in the range of 50c to 5 euro, they often unlock new levels or features on mobile games, or more cosmetic features such as a new colour of armour in larger games. Candy Crush infamously thrived on these so called “microtransactions” offering defeated players another chance to play after waiting one hour or immediately at the low-low cost of 99c.

Some prefer a one-off payment for your games, while others like how microtransactions offer the opportunity to play a game after multiple smaller payments. What we can all agree is that certainty surrounding exactly what you’re purchasing is vital to the experience. Or at least, it was. Nowadays however, microtransactions serve as an innocent placeholder for one of the most toxic aspects of modern gaming, and one of the greatest challenges facing its future: gambling.

Fifa: Ultimate Team has created its own subculture surrounding gambling in recent years. Players are offered the opportunity to part with their hard-earned cash in exchange for “points,” which can then be used to purchase player packs, akin to the booster-pack style of beloved trading card games. While seeming innocent on the surface, digging deeper reveals many of the problems models such as this instigate.

The random chance aspect of purchasing packs creates a pay-to-win culture, one not usually found in games with a 60+ euro price tag. While a fraction of the player base will pay for packs, an even smaller fraction will try again if they’re disappointed with the outcome. In essence, players with deep pockets are that bit more likely to come across a Ronaldo or Messi just by throwing money at the system. It’s the monumental issue with this ever-growing trend which is really concerning: this is gambling in an environment rated ‘E for Everyone’. Children are playing these games completely unsupervised, with mammy or daddy’s credit card in hand. While that itself is a failure on the part of the parents, any system that thrives from underage gambling will need to change soon.

In the past 20 years, changing technology has completely changed the world around us, including the gaming experience and the next 20 years hold even more possibilities for change. With both exciting tech developments and fresh challenges to overcome, the games industry is certainly set for an interesting future ahead.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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BetCity Becomes the Russian Betting Partner of AS Monaco

Niji Narayan

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BetCity Becomes the Russian Betting Partner of AS Monaco
Image Source: asmonaco.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Russian betting company BetCity has become the official exclusive Russian betting partner of AS Monaco football club for the following two seasons.

BetCity is a Russian betting company whose live sports betting platform offers the possibility to bet live on a huge variety of sports. In 2018, AS Monaco entered China with the adapted website and official accounts on 4 different platforms.

AS Monaco attracts the attention of international partners and is currently supported by Yabo Sport in the Asian region, luxury Italian brand Phillip Plein, while BetCity will become the first official regional partner in Russia, one of key markets for the club.

“We are very happy to bring the Club closer to our Russian fans through our partnership with BetCity, famous sponsor of CSKA Moscow. Russia is a key market for us, and we are convinced that this collaboration will contribute to the development and consolidation of our relationship with Russian sports lovers. AS Monaco and BetCity will take a step forward to achieve common ambitions and join forces in the digital area to provide interesting and exclusive contents for the fans. We will also bring the opportunity for BetCity clients to discover and enjoy VIP experiences on Stade Louis-II here in Monaco. It’s an exciting new adventure,” Juli Ferré Nadal, Commercial and Marketing Director of AS Monaco said.

“I hope this is the start of a lasting collaboration between AS Monaco and the sports betting company BetCity, where we aim to join our forces to add to the development and promotion of football in both countries. We are very honored to partner with AS Monaco, such a well-renowned European football club and see the interest they expressed in working with us. BetCity has long been involved in the development of Russian football in close collaboration with the popular football club PFC CSKA Moscow. The new partnership will allow us to reach the new level in today’s world football. We are convinced that AS Monaco will help us effectively accomplish the most ambitious projects and marketing-related targets,” Sergey Samsonenko, President of BetCity said.

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GES Installs Poker Jackpot and Management System at Skycity Adelaide

Niji Narayan

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GES Installs Poker Jackpot and Management System at Skycity Adelaide
Photo Source: t3systems.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Gaming Entertainment Systems has installed its Poker Jackpot and Management System at Skycity Adelaide in New Zealand. Skycity Adelaide is the first customer to use the High Hand Bonus feature which awards a fixed prize for the highest poker hand achieved during specific time periods. The players are also offered a Royal Flush Jackpot.

“GES and Skycity Adelaide have worked closely together to deliver an integrated poker management solution including jackpots, bonusing, cash game management, waitlist and tournament functionality,” Simon Witty, GES’ managing director said.

“We are delighted to be able to enhance our poker product with unique features including a Royal Flush Jackpot and High Hand Bonus, both of which have proved very popular since launch. The GES system installation was flawless and their customer support has been outstanding,” Ash Azad, Skycity Adelaide’s general manager for table games said.

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BCLC to Launch Optional Budgeting Tool “PlayPlanner”

Niji Narayan

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BCLC to Launch Optional Budgeting Tool “PlayPlanner”
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BCLC is going to introduce PlayPlanner to every casino and community gaming centre in B.C. as part of its commitment to encourage positive play and informed decision-making.

PlayPlanner is an optional budgeting tool allows Encore Rewards members to set and manage daily time and money limits when playing slot or eTable games. During each playing session, players receive reminders on how they are tracking against their settings through onscreen pop-up messages.

“We’ve created PlayPlanner to make it easier for players to stay within personal limits by making decisions about time and money before gambling. We are committed to ensuring that this tool meets the needs of our players now and into the future as part of our focus on supporting healthy play,” Jamie Wiebe, BCLC Director, Player Health said.

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