When Gambling Meets Social Gaming
LONDON – ONLINE – Have you heard of Plumbee before? This London-based company was founded 5 years ago. It produces mobile slot games in partnership with Microgaming/QuickFire and develops a delivery platform for other companies’ games. Members of the founding team had previously worked at Electronic Arts and had worked on many famous computer games. In other words, people who designed Mass Effect, Dragon Age and other hit titles are now designing casino games, especially slot machines. So, what is the reason for this? Why did they choose casino games instead of computer games?
The reason for this is the popularity of a new category called “social casino”. After the terrestrial and online casinos, we now have a new category: Social casinos. All casino games that can be played on mobile devices and such social media platforms as Facebook belong to this category. Let’s give some numbers to support our popularity claim, shall we?
- 53% of Facebook members regularly play social games.
- Social casino games on Facebook are played by 11.250.000 people every day. The most popular top 5 games are: Slotomania, Double Down Casino, Bingo Blitz, Best Casino, and Texas Hold’em Poker.
- Only on Facebook, 290 million people play social casino games every month.
- It is estimated that the value of this industry is about $ 2.15 billion.
- 20% of people who play social casino games prefer to buy “Facebook Credits”. These credits allow you to enjoy various advantages in games.
- These games are mostly preferred by women over 40 years of age. Surveys show that 79% of social players are women.
- Slot machines with slot bonuses are the most popular game type.
- Those who play these games prefer smartphones and tablet PCs instead of computers. Even 85% use only smartphones.
Social Gambling Industry
On Facebook, the most popular social casino pages and their followers are:
|Hit It Rich Casino Slots||2.510.221|
|Bellagio Las Vegas||988.866|
In other words, the social gambling industry grows very quickly and changes all the rules. Traditionally, it was believed that casino games were played mostly by men, addressed only a certain type of player and that high prizes were important. Social gambling is not like that: It is played by every age group and every sex. The number of female players is more, and they are not interested in the amount of rewards. Because social players are a completely different stereotype.
First of all, they are interested in achievements and progress. Because they have limited playing time, they are committed to achieving maximum performance at a minimum period. For this reason, even the simplest achievements are rewarded by games. It is important for them to feel that they are progressing and developing their virtual characters. That’s why most of the games have a level / XP system. The graphics are designed to be colorful and striking. Even on a gaming session that lasts only half an hour, the player must think that he accomplished something. Let’s say it once more: Winning a cash prize is not that important. A standard slot player rejoices when there is a winning combination. Social players want more than that: They want their virtual character to level up with the winning, to win another “surprise” prize, and to be able to inform his friends about this success. This is also a feature of social casino games: You can communicate in real time with other players, and even create your own small community.
The Illusion of Success in a Short Time
This is why social gaming and social gambling are almost identical. Casino games, especially slot machines, already have a sense of success in a short period of time. If you add a simple achievement system and the ability to create virtual characters, they become ready to enter the social gaming category. As a matter of fact, we’ve seen examples of this for a long time: Almost all casino games on Facebook use this system. Moreover, it is very easy to adapt existing mobile slot machines to this system. The companies do not have to make a major infrastructure change: The system is already there. Therefore, casino games, especially slot machines, have an important place in the social gaming industry. Think of Farmville: You have a casino instead of a farm, and you can play and manage that casino. You will be interested in a game like this, don’t you?
Even the big companies have started to invest in the social gaming/gambling industry. Almost all major brands have small studios built or bought for this purpose. Even those who do not develop casino games have some sort of gambling: Blizzard’s Overwatch, for example, uses a system called “loot boxes”. These are small boxes that you can buy with real money, and each one contains a cosmetic prize. Such loot boxes are included in almost all new computer games and MMORPGs. In short, the sector is changing, and its future is being redefined. It seems that the number of social gambling games that can be played on mobile devices in the near future will increase significantly and will become the entire industry’s locomotive.