Land-based casinos have mastered the art of creating an entertaining atmosphere: walking through the doors and hearing the cheers from a Blackjack table, seeing the flashing lights from a slot machine, and socializing with people at the bar about who has the most winnings. These elements create an attractive experience for a land-based casino visitor, which attracts a variety of players from different age groups and geographics, and keeps them coming back. For the evolving online gaming industry, gamification could be the answer in creating an immersive experience which attracts a whole range of players.
Gamification uses video game elements and concepts and applies them in a non-gaming environment. Some online gaming operators have started to incorporate slot tournaments and unlocking bonuses which are a few examples of how gamification works on an online gaming platform. These gamification components not only enhance the player’s experience but also improve retention levels. At SBC’s CasinoBeats Summit, Alexis Wicen, Co-founder at Unibo Ltd highlighted how Unibo’s product has helped with player retention.
“We have missions and tournaments, right now we’re rolling [them] out,” said Wicen. “We’re seeing an increase of 20 to 70 percent of just how much people play with every euro they deposit. And we’ve seen 200 percent longer lifetimes and so on. So it really shows that if you engage the player, they’ll stay longer, they’ll come back and they’ll keep playing.”
Wicen added that a majority of people who place wagers on sports or play on an online gaming platform often do it to be entertained. Wicen highlights that gamification should be the sub-reason the players play, not their main reason—gamification should bring an additional level of entertainment, not overpower the gameplay.
According to Statista, in the United Kingdom, the age range of players who participate in online gaming range from 16 to 65, and the younger generation’s participation is growing year by year—this is true for many countries. Younger players starting to get acquainted with igaming will crave for the same video game principles in other forms of entertainment such as online gaming. Keeping up with their behaviours and wants will be an important task for online gaming operators. Stefania Mincu, CPO at Ellmount Group, says that gamification can offer an enriching experience that a younger generation gets while playing video games.
“I think players in general seek for that thrill of beating the system, of feeling that they are the special one that triggered that feature, that they are the chosen one. So then I see gamification as a tool of helping us in creating a hub to actually increase and elongate that feeling of feeling special,” said Mincu.
Mincu added that not only the younger generation, but everyone seeks that experience of feeling special as companies are offering more instantaneous products and services along with rewards, triggering that special feeling—which could be an important factor in the online gaming industry.
Gamification is becoming increasingly popular amongst many industries. Russell Mifsud, Director, KPMG – Malta, mentioned that the gamification market was valued at 6.8 billion in 2018—and it keeps growing. As the online gaming industry evolves around the world, gamification will surely become an integral component of entertainment and player retention.