Month: June 2017

IGAMING IS GROWING WITH NEW CASINOS

iGaming, which is a common name for the business of casino and sports betting online, have seen a constant growth since 20 years ago when the first online casinos opened up.

The northern part of Europe are no strangers to online casinos, as they’ve been along from the start. The trend has now inflicted the south, and during the past three years the market has grown significantly in countries such as Italy, Turkey and France.

Why is Casino Gaming Growing So Much?

What we need to keep in mind is that big parts of Europe still are without internet, computers or even smartphones. IT solutions are developing in all parts of Europe and throughout the world as well. That itself means that the amount of potential casino players is increasing by the day. Focusing on even more targeted markets, which is a typical move for new casinos, also means that potential players will feel more safe about depositing money at an online casino.

How Will These New Casinos Affect The Giants?

Giants like Betsson, Unibet and Gaming Innovation Group are mildly threatened by all the new casinos. None of these new casinos have a big enough budget to steal the market from the huge, more established casino businesses. They will always stand behind in terms of marketing and visibility compared to the giants.

Innovation – A Key Factor

While the IT solutions and tech in southern Europe is getting stronger, so is the tech solutions from gaming providers such as NetEnt and MicroGaming. They are currently the biggest game providers for casino games online in Europe. They’ve shared the throne for over two decades, while other game providers had been piss in Mississippi in comparison.

MicroGaming has always been a leading innovator in the industry. They’ve proved themselves by creating the first software in the late 90’s, but they were also the first casino game provider to create a mobile software.

NetEnt has grown extremely popular in Europe, and have recently stated that their goal is to cater for 50 % of the European Casino market in 2018. They’ve taken an extra step in terms of Innovation, showing up out of this world-products in terms of VR casino.

New Casino Game Providers Showing Confidence

Innovation has been key in the casino world and have lead it to what it is today, and a lot of the credit goes to other game providers than NetEnt and MicroGaming. Yggdrasil is a Swedish game provider that put their name on the map in 2015. They came up with some great titles, with interesting concepts that were one step ahead of their competition.

The innovative mind-set within Yggdrasil is one of a kind. They’ve revolutionized tournaments and raffles at online casinos, with both concepts integrated within their slots. This feature is a breeze for casino operators who normally have to all that work manually.

Given that the range of games is increasing each year, the need for casino guides has also increased, such as Casino Wings or Catena Media that launched on the stock exchange 2016.

Yggdrasil also launched the tool BRAGS, which is exactly what it sounds like. With this brilliant tool, players can share their spins with friends, on social media by posting on their wall, or by privately sending a link in which the receiver can see the entire game round as it was originally played out.

Tools and innovations like these are important for the sector to grow, and thanks to all new casinos and game providers out there, the market will keep growing.

COOPETITION BETWEEN INDIE GAME DEVS MAKES EVERYONE BETTER

Coopeition is the concept of working with your competition to reach a mutually benefical goal. It’s common in many industries, but game development is particularly well-suited to reaping the rewards of coopetition. Here are some ways to use it to get more exposure for your game.

Bundles

This is perhaps the most visible form of coopeition happening in the indie game scene right now. Humble Bundle launches a couple of bundles every week, but many other stores also offer indie game bundles.

The downside of bundles has been sufficiently covered in recent years, but the upside is also significant. Sure, you won’t earn as much per sale, but you’ll have gamers buying a bundle with your game because there are a few other games in the bundle they want, and the price is low enough to still make it a deal for them.

This does two things for you. First, it puts a little bit of money in your pocket from someone who otherwise wasn’t intending to buy your game. Second, it gets someone to try your game who otherwise wouldn’t have. If they like it, they may seek out other games you’ve released which could lead to further sales, maybe even at full price!

Group Sales

Group sales are slightly different than bundles. Instead of offering all the games in a single pack, the games instead share a marketing effort. All games offer a discount at the same time and usually display it in one place (like a single web site).

The Indiependence Day sale is a recent high-profile example, although it isn’t really a sale at all. The games are offered at full price. Still, it garnered lots of attention which led to increased sales for the participating studios.

Like bundles, this pools fans of various games together and shows them all of the games on offer. By way of example, a fan of Axiom Verge might learn about the sale, check it out, and end up leaving with a copy of Elegy of a Dead World. It may have been difficult for Dejobaan to reach this player otherwise, but it was easy through the group sale. By placing it next to a game the player enjoyed and telling about it through that game’s established channels, the player was made aware of the other game.

Joint Conference Booths

Conference space is expensive, but it can be extremely valuable to recruit new fans and gain great feedback. You can make it cheaper, however, by sharing a booth with other indie devs.

You could do this through one of the businesses that organize these indie booths like Indie MEGABOOTH, or you could simply ask another developer if they’d like to share a booth with you.

Endless Opportunities

There are hundreds of other ways coopetition can bring more attention to your games. Organize a livestream with other developers to benefit a charity. Collaborate with another developer on a new game. Include characters from the other developer’s game in your game. You’re limited only by your imagination.

Game development is especially well-suited to this idea of coopetition. Games enthusiasts aren’t typically choosing between one game or another, at least, not in the long-term. Players will buy many games. If they buy a competitor’s game now, that doesn’t mean they won’t buy yours later.

You can take part in coopetition knowing you aren’t diminishing your own sales. You stand only to gain new fans by reaching audiences outside your own.

CASINO GAMES –JUST LIKE REAL COMPUTER GAMES

Casinos online and iGaming has become a factor to consider when it comes to games. Just like with computer or TV-games, there are loads of hungry tech companies creating slot games with tremendous graphics and design themes that are blowing their customers mind.

You would think that Online Slots are simple, and they have been for a long time. The first slots were extremely simple in comparison to online slots today. Just like in the real world, online casino slots needed their time to develop. Anyone would agree that the results of 20 years of casino games are truly mind blowing.

Break Da Bank (old) vs CopyCats (new)

Casino game providers today are constantly investing in graphic designers and programmers, to become leading innovators of the market. The biggest companies, such as NetEnt and Microgaming are stock listed companies with millions of revenue every year.

Casino Games – Bigger Than E Sports/Games?

Thanks to the incredible amount of gamblers in the world, the casino games market is growing rapidly and can definitely be compared to the computer games and esport markets. Malta is an island in southern Europe, known for 300 days of sun and being a British colony, but it’s also the home of almost 1000 online casino companies. The jurisdiction in Malta makes it possible for people in Europe to play on “EU-legit” sites outside of their own, regulated country.

How Do Casino Game Creators Make Money?

Casino game providers usually “sell” their whole portfolio of games to an operator (casino). It’s not uncommon that a set-up fee is taken upon signing the contract, including integration with the casino platforms. Once everything is set up and live, the game providers gets a cut of the casinos revenue. The percent they make is different depending on the deal, but 10-20% of Net income usually goes to the game providers, and they won’t even have to worry about the risk of losing any money, as the casino itself pay out all the winnings.

Buying a computer or video game normally costs between 30-80 EUR. In the world of Casino, there are sharks with enormous wallets who are ready to gamble. It’s rare, but some players are making deposits of over £5000 at a time. As you might understand, the value per casino players is much higher than a video game player.

TALKING TO NON-GAMERS ABOUT YOUR GAME

Indie developers tend to sell their games to people who play lots of games. This seems like the easiest target since these players have shown that they are willing to buy if the concept is intriguing.

This strategy can net you a respectable number of sales, but the problem is that you’re in a very crowded space. Steam’s new release list shows me 47 games released in the last week.

The key to marketing your game is to find a way to stand out above the noise. Only your imagination limits how you will achieve this, but one viable method is to take your message somewhere else where it is far more novel.

Go Where You’re Weird

This doesn’t mean to try to sell copies of your game at the retirement community… although it could. The tricky part about taking your message to people who don’t generally play games is that it could fail spectacularly.

Be sure that you have a rationale for where you want to talk about your game. Who are the audiences who might appreciate the themes, setting, subject, or mechanics of your game? Here are a couple of great examples of this method in action.

Portal

Valves games are among the gamerest games you can find, but they have found other audiences who would appreciate what they have to offer. Portal and Portal 2 found new life outside gamers in the classroom.

Valve provides lesson plans and forums for teachers wanting to use Portal in the classroom. Most teachers and administrators are not reading reviews on Giant Bomb to find new ways to engage their students.

By targeting this audience with a message and toolset that speaks specifically to their needs, Valve was able to get some traction they would otherwise never have achieved.

Wii

The Wii is slightly different from Portal as it seems to have been developed with a broad appeal in mind from the beginning.

Ads for the Wii emphasized it was a friendly, accessible way to have fun playing video games. This is why the console became a mainstay at family gatherings and living rooms in a way others before it had not.

Nintendo promoted the Wii through mommy blogs, among other places, but even their television ads took on a different tone from the typical video game ad. Although the channel was the same they would use to reach core gamers, the ads were different to appeal to that audience.

How Can I Do This?

Does your game accurately simluate an activity people enjoy in real life? If you’re making a hardcore racing simulation, car enthusiasts might want to know about it even if they don’t generally play games. The same could be true for a fishing or hunting game, or anything that closely resembles an activity people enjoy. On the other hand, trying to sell a Phoenix Wright game through ads on a lawyer’s blog might not be as effective.

Does your game require skills that a particular type of person might be interested in honing? Plenty of programmers might like SpaceChem just because it helps develop the sort of analytical processes they need to excel at their jobs. I recently picked up an iOS game called Rules! to help me hone my memory. In these games, the learning is a by-product of what’s happening in the game.

Does your game have an explicitly educational intent? Maybe schools would want to use it. Or, maybe it educates on an obscure topic that certain communities would be interested in learning. Make sure these people know about your game. Maybe the game is centered around some form of emotional education and therapists would use it as a tool with their patients.

Does your game allow someone to do something they can’t otherwise do? Plenty of people play Second Life, WoW, or other MMOs just for the social interaction they get with other players. The game, to them, is secondary. Social interaction is a basic human need that people can get cut off from for one reason or another. These games provide an outlet for that.

Don’t Limit Yourself

People who are enthusiastic about games are always looking for their next fix and should not be ignored. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t venture outside the walled garden of gamers to tell others about your game. You may find a resonance with some other group that will give them something they need and will give you a bigger budget for your next project.