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The Growing Trend for Faster Gaming

Zoltan Tundik

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Mobile phones have helped gaming to become portable (photo source: unsplash.com)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The modern world is growing ever faster and with it is the trend for speedy gaming. Whereas it used to be most gamers’ preference to sit down for a good couple of hours’ session on their favorite console game, with the rise of portable gaming, people are often choosing to play on the fly. This has lead to frequently interrupted gameplay and quick 2-minute sessions between trains being far more commonplace. Why has this occurred and what are gaming companies doing to address this new need?

Warp Speed World

Although it sometimes seems like it, the world isn’t actually speeding up, it’s just that we’re getting rapidly worse at concentrating. Research from the Technical University of Denmark suggests that our attention span is narrowing on a global scale. There are, of course, a myriad of reasons for this, but one of them is our constant bombardment with new information. This idea of constant novelty has lead to a quantifiable decrease in attention span. One of the results of the study showed that in 2013 a global Twitter trend would last on average for 17.5 hours, compared to nowadays when it lasts 11.9. In such a short space of time, this shift is remarkable. In terms of gaming, this means that our want to skip ahead, seek new challenges and move between games is ever increasing.

Making Skipping Ahead Simpler

Everybody remembers skipping through the lengthy dialogue on old Gameboy games. (photo source: unsplash.com)

Poker in the physical realm can often be quite a drawn-out process; players spend a long time trying to work out each other’s cues and tells. In the mobile world, however, several companies have realized that people don’t always want it to be and therefore, it doesn’t have to be. PokerStars recently released its Zoom feature, which allows players to skip through the remainder of the game after seeing their cards. This is a simple fix, that allows players to spend some time figuring out their options if they want to or to skip through quickly when they don’t have the luxury of time.

Increasing Novelty Value

One of the methods that gaming companies are using to keep our attention for longer is increasing the feeling of novelty. As mentioned before, one of the reasons for our desire for quick play games is that we are becoming used to seeing new information more and more frequently. So, if you can provide new content more frequently, then it stands to reason that people will spend longer on your game. Pokémon is one such company who are masters of capturing novelty. Although the main gameplay aspect of all of their games is the Pokémon battle, this feature on its own would quickly become tiresome. Realizing this, the company gave players the ability to collect, initially, 150 different magical creatures, some easy to find, some much harder. As a result, people will happily play through battle after battle, searching for the elusive rare Pokemon. All the time that they are doing this, they are building up what is known as a ‘teddy bear’ effect with the Pokémon used most often, in that players develop a connection with them. This connection, teamed with the promise of novelty, is what keeps us playing a fantastically simple game for such long periods of time. With each release of the game, new Pokémon and new features such as virtual reality are released, keeping that same anticipation of the unknown high.

Breaking the Rules

Another quick play game that is wildly popular is Subway Surfers. This game allows you to ‘surf’ on the top of subway trains, collecting points along the way. This game is the perfect format for quick play fans, as you can pause at any time. However, one thing that is interesting is that, despite its quick play format, many users can spend literally hours on it. But why? One of the great things about gaming is that there’s no punishment for breaking (most of) the rules. If you were to surf the subway trains in real life, you could seriously injure yourself, or risk imprisonment. However, in this game, there’s none of that real-life worry. Players can rebel against authority without any real threat of punishment – that is, of course, unless the in-game policeman happens to catch up with you! This heady mixture of safety and risk comes together to create a game that is endlessly playable. It seems that many of the attributes that make up a quick play game are, in fact, just the things that keep us playing them for longer.

 

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Swintt celebrates launching games with Rootz

George Miller

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Swintt celebrates launching games with Rootz
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Swintt, the rapidly rising game provider with a focus on localised content for key markets, is celebrating the launch of their games with Malta-based operator Rootz.

The launch of Swintt’s series of land-based content popular across European markets including Germany includes the top games Master of Books, Seventy Seven and Fresh Fruit. Other land-based games scheduled for release include Heart of Earth, Perseus and Fruit Fever.

The agreement also covers Swintt’s proprietary portfolio of games to be launched soon, with top titles Immortal Monkey King, Panda Warrior and Royal Golden Dragon among the most popular.

Rootz Limited is known for delivering its flagship brand Wildz, an online casino that delivers a wide range of games built upon a robust platform optimised for a quality player experience through the Levelz and Spin Back functionalities.

Rootz also launched Caxino in June 2020, their second online casino brand using the powerful Rootz platform and utilizing the same retention and bonusing mechanics to reward loyal players.

Commenting on the agreement, David Flynn, CEO for Swintt said “I’m very happy to see the hard work of the Swintt team, reflected in this partnership. The team at Rootz are an entrepreneurial and high paced team with a focus on local markets. This matches our philosophy at Swintt and I’m looking forward to our launch in the near future.”

Lasse Rantala, CEO at Rootz when asked about the deal stated, “We are extremely excited to be an early partner in the Swintt journey to make the most of their approach to delivering high-quality, localised content. With both Swintt and Rootz being young companies with many shared values, we can grow together through close collaboration and form a formidable partnership. The range of games will perfectly suit our players at Wildz.com and Caxino.com.”

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We must be guided by the education sector to deliver effective prevention programmes to young people

George Miller

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We must be guided by the education sector to deliver effective prevention programmes to young people
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

YGAM Chief Executive Lee Willows reflects on some of the key topics to emerge from three reports published last week and highlights the valuable contribution the charity is making.

Last week was a significant week for everyone connected the gambling industry. Reading the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG) annual progress report; The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report and the Lords Select Committee report, it was pleasing to read these reports all featured insight from people with direct experience of the tragic harm that gambling can cause some individuals, such as the YGAM Founders. As Chief Executive of the YGAM charity and personally as someone who lost everything to a gambling addiction, I was grateful for the opportunity to contribute my insight and experiences. Such inclusion would have been unheard of five-years ago. Having three incredibly helpful reports published in quick succession over a period of five days is in many ways helpful and timely as YGAM continues to evolve our strategy. I congratulate everyone involved in producing three fascinating reports that will inform the debate moving forward.

At YGAM, we strongly believe that prevention, including education is an essential component to reduce gambling-related harms. We engage with the education sector daily and we are constantly listening to the needs of teachers, practitioners and young people. It is very clear from these conversations that teachers and practitioners need and appreciate our resources more than ever. The feedback we get from teachers, practitioners and young people and the insight from external evaluations is overwhelmingly positive and there is an enormous demand for information on gambling and gaming. Whilst it was pleasing to see education feature in all three reports, the voices of the professionals working in that sector should also be taken into consideration. We must continue to be guided by professionals working in the education sector to deliver effective prevention programmes to young people.

The focus on the blurred lines between gaming and gambling is welcomed. The YGAM workshops help build digital resilience and educate people on the different types of games accessible to children. We agree with the DCMS Select Committee and the Children’s Commissioner that loot boxes that contain the element of chance should not be sold to children under 18. The concern about allowing children to access loot boxes is that it is conditioning them to gambling behaviour from an early age. Building on our discussions with DCMS we look forward to contributing to the government’s call to action on loot boxes which will hopefully lead to consideration of an appropriate regulatory intervention.

The debate around gambling advertising and the impact it has on younger generations is imperative. You do not have to work in this sector to notice that gambling adverts dominate the promotional spaces at most sporting events. The YGAM resources tackle this topic head on as we continue to raise awareness of the potential harms and the support available. We believe concerns about marketing and sponsorship should be addressed by evidence-based analysis that puts the safety of young people first and we look forward to contributing to this debate.

When the Gambling Commission launched the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling-Related Harms, there was real hope for change and there has been some positive change; yes more can be done and some actions need to move in a more expedient manner, but change does take time. I also worry that in the desire to affect structural change, or radically change strategic direction part way through a national strategy may result in valuable insight being lost. I do see many people and organisations coming together to deliver the strategy which is superb and that is where we will continue to have a relentless focus.

Certainly in my time in YGAM I have seen Safer Gambling teams within operators increase from one employee, who led Safer Gambling work on a part-time bases, to now large Safer Gambling teams with twenty plus employees working full-time in this area of work. In that time, I have also seen and been fortunate to work alongside others who have been affected by gambling-harms set up their own organisations and I have witnessed the rise of passionate campaigners who demand change, often following tragic circumstances. At the heart of all this work is a shared commitment to reduce-harms and it would be so oxygenating if more time can be spent finding common goals and delivering the national strategy.

As a prevention charity we will continue to focus on the delivery of education, building and sharing insight and demonstrating impact. This is a crucial period for the future of this sector and everyone at YGAM looks forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholder groups to ensure all young and vulnerable people are safe from gaming and gambling related harms.

Finally, YGAM has published its strategic plan 2019 – 2021 and within our annual review filed with the Charity Commission and Companies House we share progress against our strategic goals and insight. However next week, we will have a dedicated page on our website which will also show this progress, insight, and our impact in a succinct manner. I am incredibly proud of the YGAM team and many colleagues from all parts of the sector (inc charities, trade bodies, operators, regulators, ABSG, DCMS, teachers, young people, EbEs); working hard to make a difference in this space.

Lee Willows
Chief Executive, YGAM

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Industry News

Kalamba Launches New “Bullseye” Brand

Niji Narayan

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Kalamba Launches New “Bullseye” Brand
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Kalamba Games has launched its new brand named “Bullseye.” The new brand incorporates Kalamba’s proprietary remote gaming server (RGS) and promotional tools product offerings.

The Bullseye launch cements the Malta-based firm’s position as a next-generation supplier as it continues to invest in creating a strong brand and further expanding the company.

The new brand incorporates a range of Kalamba’s new promotional tools, which will initially be made available to partners that are directly integrated via the Bullseye RGS. The roll out is set to begin in H2 2020 and gives direct access to over 35 unique Kalamba titles.

“We’re very excited to bring the Bullseye brand to market as it reflects the team’s hard work in bringing the company further towards maturity and underlines our commitment to supporting our partners’ success,” Steve Cutler, CEO and co-founder of Kalamba, said.

“Bullseye represents the next stage in the core strategy and vision we established back in 2016. Naturally we look forward to building further on our games portfolio, but making titles interconnected via meta features and layers will ensure we build a market leading slots experience for the ages,” Steve Cutler added.

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