The Tech Trends Shaping the Future of iGaming
By its very nature, the iGaming industry is intimately bound up with technological advances. From the early days of the internet, right through to the present day, the industry has always enthusiastically engaged with new mediums and formats, testing their potential to deliver novel and entertaining experiences to its customers.
This process is an ongoing one, and of late a whole host of new tech trends and modalities have come about that stand to massively impact the way the online gaming sector is both structured and presented. Below we’ll detail the most prominent of these, and explore the ways in which they stand to shape the future of iGaming, into the 2020s and beyond.
The metaverse is coming, whether anybody’s prepared for it or not. While there are already a host of admirable examples of VR tech applied to popular online games already out there today, these are basic when compared to what a true metaverse iGaming experience could look like down the line. Consider fully virtual online casinos, with rooms for various games branching off one another just as in a brick-and-mortar venue.
With virtually every name in Silicon Valley currently building their own metaverse, it’s hard to say at this stage whether these various projects will end up converging under a single framework, much like how websites comprise the internet today. It’s feasible to consider that, as in zoning districts in cities, VR gaming establishments could be localized to certain areas. Should something like this end up happening, we could end up with virtual casino towns to rival the Las Vegas strip or Macau. We’re still at least 10 years away from anything like this taking shape, but you can rest assured that the industry is already planning for such an outcome.
Twitch streaming, and the broader esports phenomenon, are among the biggest new players in the modern media space in the early 2020s. The novelty, spontaneity, and fun of a Twitch broadcast deliver a form of collaborative engagement between content creators and consumers that disrupts the top-down approach many brands and influencers use to garner engagement on more conventional social media platforms like Facebook. One need only look at the way Twitch’s rivals are enthusiastically seeking to emulate its streaming chat-room format, with YouTube recently overhauling its own streaming features, and Instagram Live now among the fastest-growing sectors across Meta’s portfolio.
The impact is also being felt in the iGaming sector, with brands in the space actively combining the format with their existing game rooms. Now, the inclusion of these live dealer rooms for well-attended games like blackjack ranks among the most popular variants of the title across a host of reputable providers. As awareness of live dealer rooms continues to grow, we can expect to see them increasingly become the headline format across iGaming platforms as they offer greater immersion, entertainment value, and interpersonal connection over more conventional game rooms.
TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform in the world today, and its brand of portrait-oriented, ultra short-form video content has become a favorite among the 18-35 demographic. Now, virtually every other social media platform is doing its best to grab a piece of the short-form pie, with YouTube Shorts and Facebook’s Reels now already among the most viewed content on those platforms as of late 2021. You can also include Instagram and its reels on that list.
While we’re not likely to see this format crop up in the iGaming sector in quite the same way, it’s reasonable to assume that the industry is going to be looking for ways to emulate the short-form nature of this content. Whether that’s putting more resources into developing speed variants of popular casino titles, or crafting all new games that match the tempo of TikTok, as people continue to favor short-form, content providers across all sectors will be seeking to respond to that demand.