As online casino games suppliers battle to differentiate their offerings, several companies have started to adopt practices and features more commonly associated with social casino games in order to stand out from the crowd.
Few words have the power to induce groans in the context of real-money gaming and social casino than convergence. Yet despite this, new releases by a number of high-profile and growing casino games suppliers show that while the notion of convergence may be somewhat tired, the social casino sector has clearly begun to influence its older cousin.
“You would have to be blind not to see how successful social casino games have been, and there’s no reason you can’t have that in our industry,” says Richard Lunceford, head of product for 3D slots developer BetSoftGaming.
Net Entertainment’s chief product officer Simon Hammon goes even further, suggesting that social casino has influenced customer expectations of real-money casino games. He explains that the expectation of the entertainment value of online casino games has increased, largely due to the prevalence of quality software, but also as a result of readily accessible free-to-play titles.
The innovative features of social casino games are easy to see. Games are frequently tweaked and updated to improve performance, while a data-driven marketing approach sees player’s habits analysed and used to alter how the operator presents its offers and bonuses. The games are developed by a small, nimble team with help from smaller development studios, helping to maintain a low-cost, aggressive release strategy for games.