As the year winds down, those interested in gaming and entertainment technology begin to analyze what the year has brought and look to the next one to see what trends might shape our interests. The online casino industry has gone from strength to strength through 2020, through its deliverance of cutting-edge entertainment options. But what trends will shape 2021?
1. More Branded Tie-Ins
The popularity of branded tie-ins, such as slot games that add another layer to existing franchises, is likely to also continue and grow in 2021. Tie-ins for franchises such as Jurassic World have proven to be popular because they flesh out the expansive world of the series. Those who are fans of the films can connect with content that can’t be found in the world of the franchise.
2021 could see a move towards games that might not seem obvious choices for online slots. The Bridesmaids slot, for example, wouldn’t sound on paper like an obvious move, but worked well given the target demographic and the vibe associated with the hit 2011 film.
2. More Focus on Video
Video slots have been a popular feature of online casino for some time. As Royal Panda shows us with its video slots, the classic slot gameplay can be retooled for digital-savvy audiences. The NetEnt-powered slot Starburst is all about bringing online casino fans into outer space and dazzling with vibrant graphics.
The game’s focus is on the gems that might exist in the atmosphere of outer space and the video elements help bring this to life. The popularity of this title will likely lead to the creation of others in the same vein, using video to augment the traditional slot experience.
3. More Livestreaming Rooms
Live casinos games found their stride in 2020 and most operators had multiple rooms. Where roulette used to have just one live dealer room, you can often find multiple, each with a slightly different rule or style of gameplay. As this technology has proven popular, it’s likely that we will see a proliferation of more live casino options.
While poker and roulette remain the favorites, blackjack and baccarat are also gaining traction – as are some rarer games such as the dice game sic bo. The live element could help people ease into games they haven’t played before in a more personable way than the traditional game might entail.
4. More Mobile Options
Mobile compatibility has been a huge trend across all forms of entertainment and gaming. As streaming services raced to ensure they were optimized for mobile to give the same experience, those offering other forms of entertainment didn’t want to miss out. The ease of mobile devices means they have naturally prevailed over other methods, so online casino sites need to make sure that they are compatible.
The future will see a greater push for mobile optimization. This could be through brand new mobile apps or it could be through better-optimized browser sites. Capturing the mobile players will be crucial and could become more of a contested battleground in the future. We could see more welcome bonuses specifically focusing on mobile games or benefits for those who engage with mobile. This trend comes from the pull of what players want to engage with.
Analyzing the upcoming trends comes down to two factors. First, the current landscape for online casino needs to be assessed to determine what is already possible and what is popular. Next, the players themselves need to be looked at. Trends don’t just lead players into new ways of gaming, but they are often led by what players and those engaging with other forms of technology and entertainment are wanting to do.