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The science of gamification

George Miller

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The science of gamification
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Andy Sekula, Head of Games at Kalamba Games talks about the science of gamification

Gamification is a term coined in the early noughties and is typically understood to be the application of gaming mechanics to non-gaming situations. For the online casino industry, however, the term can represent any gaming mechanic outside of the core game. For suppliers, gamification tools have become essential components of game design over the last few years. Endless time has been spent on trying to create the next big thing and improving the application of gamification tools in order to increase acquisition and retention rates, as well as the longevity of a title.

The traditional definition of gamification describes a science that aims to maximise enjoyment and engagement while motivating people to learn by using game elements. Dozens of books have been written about the topic exploring how the brain reacts to gaming components such as leaderboards, levels and progress bars in a learning environment. Simply put, when you achieve something, dopamine is released, lighting up your brain’s reward centre and encouraging you to do it again. This reaction is what makes gamification tools so effective across multiple industries, from language teaching and fitness apps, making it more fun to achieve your goals.

At Kalamba, we consider most of our game mechanics – certainly anything with RTP directly attached – as being core to the game play experience and not gamified layers ‘on top’. However, we have introduced certain elements such as missions and achievements which look to extend the gameplay beyond that of a classic slot. By maintaining player advances in our missions or other in-game progression features, players can always return to where they left off and continue to strive for their goal. This has delivered substantial improvements in player engagement and retention within our titles.

However, as players get used to the existing gamification offering, they will soon start demanding more, especially as technology advances. So how do we ensure we fully utilise the science of gamification in the gambling industry as we look at developing these tools in the future?

We believe that operators and suppliers could work better together in sharing data to get a better picture of player preference. Operators have a lot of information that suppliers don’t have access to, and vice versa, that could assist in the development process of a new title. Knowing your player and what makes them tick is key and with more data, we can improve the gamification tools offered in a game.

One thing that we believe is currently under-utilised in the industry is the possibility of adjusting the player experience to better match player preferences. The current offering is very much ‘one-size fits all’, but with the technology currently available we will soon be able to dynamically segment players and better cater to their individual requirements.

We also think there are still many things to be learned from social gaming. One concept which has not yet been developed to full potential, for example, is building engagement meta layers within a supplier’s entire portfolio. This means adding another gamification layer buy introducing achievements and missions that are connected between different titles offered by a supplier. Meta layers somewhat resemble the way players help Super Mario on his quest through different levels and worlds to save the princess in Nintendo’s super hit. Including portfolio-wide features would greatly enhance the time spent on each session and ensure players come back to complete their missions.

In our view, gamification is not just a buzzword in the industry but will continue to be an important tool as the casino game sector evolves. Focusing on improving these layers of gamification will no doubt be on the top of our agenda in 2020 and beyond.

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1×2 Network Strikes White Hat Gaming Partnership

George Miller

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1x2 Network Strikes White Hat Gaming Partnership
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1X2 Network has joined forces with White Hat Gaming to provide the leading regulated markets platform and content partner with slots and table games from its 1X2gaming and Iron Dog Studio subsidiaries.

The deal also includes the opportunity for White Hat Gaming to seamlessly connect to 1X2’s 3PI aggregation platform which now boasts 16 unique studios that are not commonly found with other aggregators, including the likes of the recently announced Black Pudding.

These titles line up alongside popular 1X2 Network games including Blood Queen, Viking Wilds, Battle Maidens and the developer’s first MegawaysTM slot, Pirate Kingdom Megaways. Operators will also be able to offer their players a selection of exciting table games and Virtual Sports that are on offer by 1X2.

1X2 Network is renowned for designing and developing games that pack a punch visually while also delivering a knock-out player experience thanks to the smart math and complex mechanics found underneath the canvas.

Kevin Reid, Chief Commercial Officer of 1X2 Network, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with White Hat Gaming, a company we regard as one of the most reputable platform providers in the world”.

“This deal will propel our popular online casino and RNG content onto more brands and to more players than ever before.”

Mike Dearling, Head of Games at White Hat Gaming, said: “We have built a reputation for offering one of the largest portfolios of quality online casino content which is why we wanted to add titles from 1X2 Network’s 1X2gaming and Iron Dog Studio brands.

“Their games have soared in popularity in recent months thanks to their incredible design and entertaining gameplay.”

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Aristocrat Unveils Three New Cabinets for EMEA Region at ICE 2020

Niji Narayan

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Aristocrat Unveils Three New Cabinets for EMEA Region at ICE 2020
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Aristocrat Technologies has reported ICE 2020 as its busiest and most significant launchpad event to date.

At the event, the company unveiled three new cabinets for the EMEA region, presented 111 different games for casino, bingo and salon markets and announced new partnerships to expand the company’s content footprint in Europe.

James Boje, Aristocrat Managing Director – EMEA, said, “Visitors to our stand shared very high levels of excitement and enthusiasm as they were shown Aristocrat’s rich portfolio of new innovations.

“Never before has Aristocrat launched three new form factors into this region simultaneously and reaction to our new MarsX™, EDGE X™ and Relm™ cabinets, all of which have proven themselves in North America and now too in Europe, was highly rewarding. This is testimony to the industry-leading levels of design and development investment made by the company across successive years in our endeavours to deliver the world’s greatest gaming experience, every day.

“Our game studios upped the ante yet again, with a plethora of A-list licensed themes – including FarmVille™, Madonna™, Mad Max: Fury Road™, The Walking Dead™ III, Game of Thrones: Winter is Here™, Star Trek™: The Next Generation, Billions™ and Zorro™ – which will continue to deliver globally renowned brands to enthralling gaming entertainment.

“Huge interest was also shown in proprietary link concepts Cash Express™ Luxury Line™, Gold Stacks 88™ Link, Dragon Tower Jackpots™ and perennial performers Dragon Link and Lightning Link, that continue to engage players across the world up to five years on from their initial release.

“Standalone games also made a big impact with operators due to the sheer number and creativity of new maths models on offer, drawing on both proven mechanics as well as a number of inspirational new ideas.

“The bingo portfolio was also enriched with a mix of new local area progressive games together with a selection of classic games that have delivered time and time again in numerous gaming segments around the world.

“Aristocrat demonstrated its commitment to the Spanish salon sector with a range of new games, cabinets and new and exciting bank configurations which, through our new extended partnership with local distributor VID, will be rolled out across Spain over the next 12 months.

“We continue to explore new market segments to help grow our footprint throughout the region and a new content distribution agreement with Inspired Entertainment, Inc. was signed at the show that will see bespoke Aristocrat content delivered to players through Greek video lottery terminals, Italy’s comma 6B market and the United Kingdom B3 market.”

Boje concluded, “ICE 2020 was undoubtedly our most productive show on record as Aristocrat continued to strengthen existing partnerships whilst developing new relationships that will lead to more players engaging with our unique brand of gaming entertainment – a truly brilliant way to enter a new decade.”

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Evolution Gaming Partners with Mycasino.ch

Niji Narayan

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Evolution Gaming Partners with Mycasino.ch
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Evolution Gaming has partnered with online casino mycasino.ch, operated by Grand Casino Luzern, to provide online Live Casino services.

Grand Casino Luzern’s online service allows remote customers to play Evolution’s live dealer games, including exclusive game show titles such as Lightning Dice, Dream Catcher and Football Studio, as well as Roulette and Baccarat from the wide-ranging, award-winning Evolution portfolio on their smartphones, tablets and desktops.

“The ‘good reputation’ of operators’ online partners is a critical part of our country’s new gambling regulations. It was clear to us that Evolution Gaming has an exemplary track record and reputation in regulated markets globally. In that regard, and of course with regard to the quality of their Live Casino solutions, Evolution was the perfect partner for mycasino.ch,” Wolfgang Bliem, CEO of Grand Casino Luzern, said.

“We are delighted to be working with such a special and historic casino. mycasino.ch is amongst the first concessioned Swiss online casinos to offer a world-class, fully compliant Live Casino service to Swiss players. We are confident that our wide range of outstanding Live Casino games will be the perfect addition to mycasino.ch’s offering,” Sebastian Johannisson, CCO of Evolution Gaming, said.

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