LONDON – TECH – In the big scheme of things, 2016 has been a pretty crappy year. The world was in turmoil all through the year and now when we are approaching its end prospects don’t look all too encouraging. But putting all that aside, if you looked at 2016 through the prism of slot games, well, it was a pretty awesome year.
The slot industry has continued taking huge strides toward closing the gap with its counterparts in the gaming industry. The online slot games of today look nothing like their ‘ancestors’ of a few years back. Slot games developers have been churning out eye-popping games with top-of-the-line graphics.
Online Gaming, Online Gambling – Is There a Difference?
One of the most prevailing trends of 2016 was that the line between online gaming and online gambling are begin to blur. The first thing to signify this is, as mentioned above, the huge technological jump that the slot industry has made.
Another is the rise in availability and popularity of “social slots” and just ‘slots for fun’. That’s a huge change that’s shaking the slot industry. Think about it: for more than a century (the slot machine was invented in 1891) playing for real money was the corner stone of the slot industry. That’s what slot was, and still is, all about – taking the casino experience to the masses, allowing people that don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on a poker or blackjack the opportunity to enjoy playing for real money a simple, enjoyable game – on a budget.
When the slot industry started establishing a presence online, that concept stayed intact. Online casinos, like Prime Slots that feature slot machine games to play for real money as the core of their business. But what we saw in 2016 is a whole new market evolving, where the “real money” part is put aside in favor of fun & play.
Mobile Slots are Fuuuuuuun
All of sudden, in 2016, mobile slot apps became all the rage. Whether for iOS or Android, the kept popping all over the place. Which makes perfect sense. When you’re on the go, you want fun and games, not putting cash at risk.
All these apps offer a wide selection of slot games, completely for free. Now one can argue the merits and logic behind playing slots just for fun, but hey, each one to his or her own, right? Obviously, there is a growing following to free, social slots, otherwise we wouldn’t have seen so many such apps appear.
These apps target various demographics, from millennials to middle-aged moms that look for the same kind of fun they see their kids enjoy on their mobile devices.
The Online Slot Industry is Maturing
Another big slot movement in 2016 was the maturing of the industry online. How can you tell? When around the actual casinos and slot sites a whole ecosystem is taking shape.
This year we’ve seen loads of content being created regarding online gambling. It is only logical, the online gaming industry has gone through the exact same cycle. First came the games, and soon followed content-centric sites, forums, social groups and so on.
Online gambling, and online slots in particular are seeing similar trends. Check out this site – Slot Spinners: online slot games & casino site reviews, which is providing players with all the information they need in order to make the most of their slot experience. SlotSpinners also provides the option to play slots for free and read a blog where they cover new games, trends and even some in-depth articles. Basically, like any other industry.
It says a lot about the slot industry – that it’s gaining a mainstream status, that it is no longer considered a grey-area industry. When you have stay-home moms playing slots for fun on one hand, and mega stars like Lil Wayne putting out branded slot games, well, you can say that the slot industry has arrived. And it’s here to stay.
Online Slots – What to Expect in 2017
What to expect next year? More of the above. We’ll see social slots and free slots gaining more momentum and popularity, and we’ll definitely see the operators of these free mobile apps trying to shift portions of their new audience toward the paid versions of their slot games and apps. It works exactly like the rest of the internet – start with the free version, then offer more advanced, paid features.
We’ll also see more celebs putting out branded slot games. Once the slot industry gets its mainstream status, it will become another legitimate monetizing opportunity for celebs.
And look for skill-based and VR slots – yup, these are coming too. Stay tuned.