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Five Trends in Gaming for 2016

Fraud & Verification General

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2015 saw many challenges facing the gaming industry, from increased regulation to a raft of mergers and acquisitions underpinned by changes in player behaviour.  Whilst 2015 saw some amazing advances, 2016 promises to push the boundaries further still.  All underpinned by technology and consumer demand, these trends will be high on the 2016 agenda.

1. The explosion of Omni-channel
Whilst many don’t really understand ‘Omni-channel’ (think ‘Big Data’) it certainly does hold meaning in the gaming world.  Players demand an experience that allows them to seamlessly flip from one device to another, whether mobile, tablet, wearable, desktop or even moving from remote to land based / retail.  The age of convenience is here and operators need a strategy that facilitates this.  Whilst the technology challenges involved are daunting, the benefits and insight that operators can generate about their player behaviour (Hi again ‘Big Data’) will unlock revenue.

2. Differentiating through personalisation
The volume of mergers and acquisitions in 2015 was due in part to increased competition and the need to scale.  In such a competitive marketplace the need to offer something different is essential to attract new players and retain existing users.  In much the same way as Amazon or Netflix learns from a consumer’s preference and provides relevant content as a result, applying similar learning via a recommendation engine in the gaming sector can help keep players engaged and anticipate the player’s needs.

3. Virtually real
Whilst it isn’t exactly a new concept, virtual reality (VR) technology appears to have caught up with the vision and mass market adoption isn’t too far away.  If you haven’t tried a VR device yet, treat yourself.  The fully immersive experience gives a full 360 degree virtual three dimensional world.  Whilst movie fans are getting excited about being able to sit right next to 007 as he presses ‘eject’ in his Aston Martin, gaming operators are starting to develop products such as casino experiences.  Imagine being able to replicate the experience of being in, say, The Venetian from your living room.  Not only does this give casino operators the ability to strengthen brand relationships online, but augmented reality can enhance the physical experience of actually being in a casino / retail environment.

4. Inspiration from the millennials
The 20th century’s last generation and the first digital one.  Easily bored.  Confident.  Always with their smartphone.  Social.  And also the future revenue of the gaming industry.  Connecting with this generation in relevant ways could include constructing a story, embedding a sense of journey as the game progresses, adding skill elements and rewarding players.  These gamification elements, coupled with the ability to share experiences with their networks will require developers to take inspiration in order to innovate.

5. Show me the money
Payment comprises such an intrinsic element of gaming.  If an operator is unable to get money in and out of its platform then it doesn’t really matter how amazing the rest of the gaming experience is.  Whilst technology is enabling a host of new and innovative options, from virtual currency to wearable devices, players demand a seamless and instant experience that allows them to transact.  However there is huge complexity in providing a range of payment options that integrate with Omni-channel, comply with existing regulation across various jurisdictions and implementing additional requirements imposed by the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive.  Operators that invest in agile payment solutions that deliver value to their customers will be well placed to retain them.

Author: Mel Prescott, Sector Manager, Gaming

 

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