Virtual sports could be the way to attract more Generation Z players to the gaming industry, according to a panel speaking at the Prague Gaming Summit.
Generation Z refers to the demographic of the population born in the mid to late '90s, until the early 2010s. Researchers class this generation as being heavily involved in digital and social media, having been brought up with it from a young age.
Speaking at a talk focused on Generation Z’s gaming habits, Sales Director at Golden Race, Tassos Panagiotaros, said focusing more on mobile will help attract Generation Z players.
He explained: "Appealing to Generation Z hasn’t been our main focus in the past as they’re still young and not quite yet affluent. Having said that, we’ve been trying to adapt ourselves based on their specific characteristics.
"Mobile use is a very typical characteristic of Generation Z; they’re always connected and we’ve invested a lot in mobile solutions. Up to now, those who play virtual games (non-Gen Z) come with betting experience and are not necessarily interested in animation.
“But now, we are in a position to want to invest more in animation to make it closer to their mentality and more attractive to the generation who are more concerned with video games.”
Panagiotaros added the industry could have misunderstood Generation Z thinking they’re unsocial, but the fact they like face-to-face digital interaction and fast speed is why games have been adapted to try and attract some of the new generation.
He said: "Speed and simplicity is key, the omni-channel approach – the same offering across all devices – makes things simpler. Generation Z could be said to be less focused so speed is also crucial, which is why we decided to have an instant virtual games portfolio."
Marketing Director at digital PR agency ICS-Digital LLP, Martin Calvert, reiterated virtual sports as being a great platform for Generation Z users to participate in betting, given their different attitudes to sports.
He said: "Sport has changed from something you play, to something you take part in as a fan, to engaging with it through virtual sports. That accessibility is going to be important for different generations.
"That’s where I think virtual sports has a really strong future. Even though it’s rooted in traditional sport, the accessibility of it will be well suited for people who are used to stuff on demand."