For online casinos and brick-and-mortar establishments, slot games drive most of the revenue. It makes sense that developers are trying to innovate more in the digital market than in traditional card games because they draw more eyes. As demand for new games becomes ever apparent, we’ll likely see the following 5 things on slot machines in the near future.
Innovation 1: Taking Inspiration From Other Mediums
Casino developers are attempting to convert other games to a slot format, which isn’t too difficult if you only use themes. For example, video slots borrow card faces from traditional card games. Plenty of slot games also take themes from pachinko and sports betting, and classic board games like Clue or Monopoly.
However, there is a consistent push to gamify almost anything a slot software developer can get their hands on. You can find slot games based on famous television shows, bands, movies, and sports events. In the future, it’s likely that slot machines will continue to favor brand recognition over gameplay, which is fine if the game itself doesn’t suffer.
Innovation 2: Virtual Card Games May Replace Table Games
Video blackjack and video poker feel and play like slot games despite the fact that they don’t share many similarities. While live casino games like roulette and blackjack have a luck element, most players agree that you still need some skill to beat players. However, video card games are based on randomly chosen numbers. The player can’t determine how many cards are left in the deck or use mind games to trick opponents. It’s possible in the future that virtual “slot-like” card games will replace table games because they’re more convenient and accessible than face-to-face poker.
Innovation 3: Brick-and-Mortar Casino Overhaul
Brick-and-mortar establishments are constantly competing with app-based and overseas online casinos. While it’s possible in-person establishments can stay competitive by creating an app, it doesn’t seem like many casinos are heading in the direction. To give members a different experience, brick-and-mortar casinos are trying to develop more innovative slot cabinets.
What attracts gamblers to casinos is the glitz, glamor, and flashing lights. Casino operators are attempting to improve on that experience by making large slot cabinets that shake, light-up, and offer more dynamic visuals. Players are more likely to make large bets on flashier, low volatility machines, and crowds tend to form around these slots to create a more social atmosphere.
Innovation 4: Virtual Reality Headset Slots
Microgaming launched its first Virtual Reality headset games for the Oculus Rift in 2016. Their games focus on VR roulette, but there are plans to expand into slot games in the future. While the technology isn’t popular and may not be for another 10 years, casinos are actively researching how to utilize it. Developers have the technology to make virtual games a whole sensory experience, but gambling games need a new design concept to exist in VR. It’s possible that VR technology could inspire new types of slot games that couldn’t work elsewhere.
Innovation 5: More Ways to Win and Play
Slots have come a long way from the traditional “three-reel” system. Multiple slot games will have 20-50 rows filled with slot symbols, which gives the player more chances to win. For example, Boom Pirates by Foxium starts with five of nine reels being active on four out of six active rows. This slot game keeps players engaged with its constantly moving backgrounds.
Before the player is aware, the board changes from 1000 ways to win to over 10,077,696 ways. To even consider that many options can make a player’s head spin, but what’s more important is that winning feels more possible for users. In the future, developers will continue to create different scenarios and bonus rounds that the player must complete to extend the game board.