Are Skill-based Games the Future of iGaming? Guest Post by Vladimir Malakchi, CBDO, Evoplay Entertainment
Game suppliers are going beyond the traditional patterns of slot development to engage their key target audience, Millennials.
No longer satisfied by old-fashioned, push-button games with the familiar sounds and sights of spinning reels, modern slots have been developed to offer the new generation of players much more.
There is an increasing demand for more immersive storylines with thematic bonus events, leaderboards, tournaments and games that can be played on the go.
Millennials want video games where they can express themselves, show off their skills and impact the outcome of the game.
Research has shown adding an element of skill to slots is an obvious solution to building a bridge between Millennials and casino products.
70% of companies admit to be considering adopting skill-based games or games with skill components and they expect an increase of +55% of time on the device and a +45% expanded player demographic.
Why Are Skill-Based Games a Solution?
According to the results of Langers’ research, even in RNG-based games, people want the opportunity to decide which ‘lottery ticket’ to buy and have a desire to be involved in the gameplay.
It is the same with skill-based games. Having control over the game makes it more attractive and exciting to the player. It motivates them to improve their skills and become better with each spin. The more skilled a player gets, the more interested he/she is in the game that develops an increased desire to achieve more.
Since Millennials are the first generation raised with video games where they can influence the course of events, adding an element of skill to slots seems to be an obvious solution when it comes to building a connection with casino products.
Millennials are already familiar with games combining both skill and random elements.
They were brought up with such iconic titles as Tetris (created in 1984) and Tamagochi (1996), built with algorithms that randomly distributed in-game tasks and challenged players to find the best solutions.
Another example here is loot boxes that allow players to buy virtual in-game items for real money. Not knowing their content in advance has increased microtransaction from 8% to 86% and boosted player retention.
The unpredictability of each new game has helped them become extraordinarily successful on a worldwide scale. That’s why I consider the mix of randomness and skills to be the perfect blend for the development of the iGaming industry.
New York-based game supplier GameCo introduced the first VGM (video game gambling machines) that combined player skill and a more traditional RNG element. The aim was to bring a new generation of player to the land-based casino sector and it has already received positive feedback from Millennials.
More than nine-out-of-ten Millennials (93%) own smartphones compared with 90% of ‘generation Xers’, 68% of ‘baby boomers’ and 40% of the ‘silent generation’. This shows that the online gambling market is ready for a revolution in skill-based games as instant access continues to increase.
In the coming years, understanding Millennial audiences will become even more important for our industry. Even if they don’t show much interest in gambling at the moment, they still love games and on average spend more than six hours each week playing them.
This means that gaming is a key part of how Millennials spend their free time, so creating new and interesting content will surely be key to capturing them.
About Vladimir Malakchi, CBDO, Evoplay— Heading up Evoplay Entertainment’s rapidly expanding global presence, Vladimir Malakchi has been key to the studio’s outstanding success in 2020 as it continues to go from strength-to-strength as one of the industry’s most revolutionary suppliers. A start-up entrepreneur at heart, Malakchi has brought a wealth of experience to Evoplay Entertainment since joining the company earlier this year, having successfully scaled multiple early-stage companies across the tech space, including one of the world’s top five blockchain developers. Ready to offer his insights on all things global and Ukraine, he holds an extensive track record across the country’s venture capital and investment environment, having guided multiple firm through the product development and strategic development process – raising in excess of $60 million.