Should online slots be as fun to watch as they are to play
No one could’ve predicted that streaming would take off the way it has. Twitch and YouTube are the two biggest platforms within the streaming world with creators showcasing everything from film trailer reactions, product reviews, DIY tips, and even online slots.
It seems that audiences are more excited by watching people react to certain mediums than engaging themselves. Online slots are easily one of the most popular online casino games but it seems that some players prefer to watch others spin the reels.
The nature of online slots is changing. New online slots are heading in an innovative and exciting direction with a focus on the visual experience rather than the underlying core game itself. Ultimately, this poses the question of should online slots be as fun to watch as they are to play?
iGaming has changed over time
In 1998, the internet was forever changed by the addition of the very first online slot called Cash Splash. This game was developed by Microgaming and only really contained a progressive jackpot. The developers had basically taken a land-based game and translated it to the internet.
Naturally, Cash Splash inspired other slot developers to enter the market with primitive-looking games such as Pirates Paradise, Martian Money and Pharaoh’s Fortune. All of these slots looked like they were taken straight from a land-based casino but managed to entertain audiences.
By 2005, online slots began finding their feet as games started to deliver features such as free spins, multipliers and even visual upgrades. The golden age of online slots kick-started towards the start of 2010 as there was a massive boom in the number of online slots released. These games were now visually impressive as well as thoroughly entertaining for players.
Online slots have gotten bigger and better
Within the span of over 20 years, the iGaming world has continued to evolve and grow into the giant that it is now. Like most mediums, the first couple of online slots would be considered basic compared to modern standards but they easily set the groundwork for the future.
Each year, online slots continue to get bigger and better. Slot developers are constantly creating new mechanics such as Infinity Reels in 2019, Gigablox in 2020 and Link & Win in 2021 to name just a few. All of these mechanics showcase how the industry is expanding and improving both in terms of gameplay and visually.
Rise of streamers
Online slots are not the only medium to grow and evolve over the years. Twitch and Facebook Gaming grew by around 80% from 2020 to 2021. Streaming platforms have absolutely exploded in popularity throughout the past few years and have continued to stay on top.
In the past, streamers primarily consisted of YouTubers and Twitch streamers playing video games. Titles such as Among Us, Apex Legends, League of Legends and Fortnite are some of the biggest games that often catapulted streamers into the spotlight.
Within the last couple of years, there has been a shift in the type of streamers as they are no longer just video game streamers. The slots category on Twitch has over one million followers with big names such as Roshtein pulling in hundreds of thousands of views in each of his videos whilst TrainwrecksTV brings in millions of views per video.
Players are definitely gravitating toward streamers and many are wanting to experience online slots without ever having to actually play them. It seems that players are taking a ‘try before you buy’ approach where they witness someone else play in order to make a decision about the games themselves.
Online slots can no longer be bland or boring but instead must be alluring and exciting. Streamers essentially perform the marketing of the games on behalf of the developers meaning that these slots need to be eye-catching and immediately grab the attention of the audience.
The future of online slots
Online slots are turning more into a visually appealing medium that must include intriguing gameplay and innovative features. Essentially, they must be as fun to watch as they are to play. The most successful new online slots have both of these elements in common. They all create an experience that cannot be found elsewhere.
When creating an online slot, developers should definitely have streamers at the back of their minds. A slot can be the most ingenious game yet in terms of features, but the game will fail to draw in streamers if it’s an eyesore.
It’s safe to say that developers will need to keep streamers and other video platforms in mind when creating an online slot in the future as there is so much potential for promotion and collaboration here. Some developers even work with streamers on Twitch to give an exclusive insight into a game to build more natural marketing. Slot players are not stupid and will definitely avoid playing any online slots that look boring or bland.
However, it’s worth mentioning that developers should not be fully influenced by streamers and should instead be driven by the audience. Naturally, a slot that looks good but fails to deliver exciting gameplay will not be accepted by the iGaming community. There needs to be a right balance to deliver the best experience possible for players.
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