In any competitive industry, one of the key ways to succeed is to offer customers a steady stream of novel products, features, or experiences. Few industries are more competitive that the online casino sector and, for all of their roulette and blackjack tables, it’s the slots games that consistently prove to be the most popular, and the most profitable, for casinos.
So it’s only logical that these are the games that are in the spotlight for some new developments in the future. Of course, one of the main methods uses by online slots sites is to regularly introduce new games and themes. This helps to keep things fresh and encourages new players to give the sites a try.
But, often, this isn’t quite enough to drive that essential flow of new players. So the industry is always looking ahead to other changes it can make to secure its future. Here are three developments that are set to make quite an impact in the months and years to come.
Even more generous bonuses could be on the way
Ever since they started to appear online, casinos have relied heavily on welcome bonuses of various kinds to attract new players. These have taken many forms from free stake money to matching initial deposits.
To bring slots fans on board, free spins on selected games have always been a big favorite and already we’re starting to see more and more fantastic casino promotions offering incentives like 30 free spins on selected slots games with no wagering requirement for new members.
But this is also something of an arms race with casinos continually striving to out-do the competition by introducing bigger and better incentives. This is a trend that is set to become even more pronounced going forward with the bigger names being able, and being compelled, to offer more incentives. While this is a headache for them, it promises to be very good news for players.
Skill-based slots are coming
Despite the ever-increasing sophistication of slots games, up until now, they have remained fairly resolutely luck-based. This is fine for players who like to take their chances and let the spinning reels decide their fate. But, for those that like to have a little more control over the games that they play, this is a distinct drawback.
This is especially true for a generation that has been brought up playing video games in which they have almost total mastery over the events being played out on screen. So, to appeal to the 25-year-old plus market, a number of developers are working on games that will include an element of skill. This may involve having to complete an online task to unlock a certain bonus feature or even to correctly answer some trivia and general knowledge questions.
It’s early days still, but we can certainly expect these kinds of elements to be introduced in the future. The one issue that might arise, however, concerns the Return To Player (RTP) stats for the games. This is a figure that represents the percentage of stake money that’s paid back in winnings – generally somewhere between 85% and 95%.
It can be precisely assessed because it’s affected by the algorithm that runs a particular game. Introducing skill into the equation means that there is also an unknown and unpredictable element at play, making an accurate RTP prediction that much harder. And, without these percentages for players to compare different games, it removes a very valuable piece of information.
More, and bigger, progressive jackpots
While some players love slots for the chance, if they’re lucky, to win smallish prizes with some regularity, others have their sights set on winning a larger sum. The sorts of games that they hope to achieve this on are the ones that offer what is known as progressive jackpots.
The prizes up for grabs can be huge and that is because these jackpots are created by keeping a portion of all of the players’ stake money each time the game, or group of games, isn’t won and putting it into a centralized pot. Gradually, the amount builds up until the winning line appears, and then the process starts over.
As more and more people start playing online slots, these progressive bonuses are set to grow bigger as well as being available on an even wider selection of games.
So the future’s looking good on a number of fronts for slots fans. With these changes on the horizon, as well as many more that are undoubtedly in development, they will soon be finding that they have more control over games, as well as greater incentives to play them. That’s a winning combination that is undoubtedly very hard to beat.