Looking into the future, do you see any significant changes happening in the industry as we go into 2022?
More than I can cover in one article, but I’ll try! I believe there will be a shift more towards the concept of entertaining players in ways that are separate from the base gameplay. The iGaming industry talks a lot about ‘playing’ but real play is something that brings enjoyment and fun. Maybe as an industry, we need to prioritise this again. Often a player’s success in a game is determined by their balance. Win or lose. Profit or loss. It’s all rather binary.
I feel the iGaming space is going to see more of a shift towards creating the idea of fun and entertainment, much like how our compatriots in the sports betting industry succeed in doing so.
To do this, I believe we’ll see a lot of metagame features like tournaments, prize drops, achievements, races etc. Essentially, things to keep players engaged and entertained but that exist outside of the realm of base play and their balance at the bottom of the screen.
You mentioned new games; what do you suppose these will (excuse the pun) bring to the table?
To use the example of live casino, the majority of games still look and feel somewhat the same. Dealers dressed in black, red and green cloth tables. It all feels very ‘Vegas’ style. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I just feel there’s a big space for games that aren’t even related to the concept of a casino.
I believe in the not-too-distant future, players will still play and win money, but they won’t be traditional casino-style games. If you look at our release Sweet Bonanza CandyLand, which is the live casino version of our iconic slot Sweet Bonanza, this is a representation of a break from tradition. The title presents a convergence of live casino with slots, and it’s unapologetically loud in its colour scheme of pinks, purples and yellows. Essentially, it’s live casino, done differently.
I think we all have to remember: future customers mean younger generations. Ones that have grown up with completely different expectations for how they consume any and all sorts of content. A formal Live Casino setting might not cut it for this audience.
I think we might see things like instant games in a TikTok-style feed with a new theme in each game, maybe games will be related to current events or pop culture. And maybe if Mark Zuckerberg is to be believed, we’ll all find ourselves in the Metaverse, which might mean the rise of things like virtual sports.
Like any big idea, there will always be an element of scepticism, as the safer choice is to stick to the fundamentals. But over time, these new ideas will filter into our society and become the norm, and it will have been the risk-takers who escape from the competition and reap the rewards. As ever, we pride ourselves on innovation and plan to be the leader in this new era of iGaming.
Is there any particular new technology Pragmatic Play is working on that you see as integral for the years to come?
Our Chroma solutions branding technology will be crucial. I believe generic live casino tables will be phased out with more bespoke experiences specific to operators. Operators invest time and money into building their brand, therefore it makes sense that it is visible during live casino play. We believe in delivering to operators, ‘Your Product – Your way’.
We give partners the ability to customise a table virtually, using 3D backgrounds and special effects that stay true to their brand. This includes a photorealistic background environment with still render or video animation, and options to incorporate a dedicated area for promotional communication.