This is a guest contribution by Sergiy Logvynenko, Account Manager at Sigma Software. If you would like to submit a contribution please contact Bill Beatty for submission details. Thank you.
The online casino world has developed very intensely in the last few years and the biggest impact is the number of games. First of all – slot games. Any player can select something that will fit his or her preferences. Seems that nowadays every casino operator suggests about a thousand slot games or even more.
I love the comparison of Casino + slot games with Netflix + movies. It is not exactly the same but sounds similar. There are a huge amount of titles that create a problem for a player to select something. Casino operators work on that situation by using different recommendation systems based on player profiles and previous playing experience. It does not work so well as they would prefer. At the same time, it is something.
I would like to touch on another side of this situation and look at it from the game provider’s point of view. As a provider, you are spending a huge amount of time designing, developing the game, passing certifications, and adapting to different regulations. Finally, you end up in a situation when your game is on the market and it needs to compete with hundreds or even thousands of similar games. Of course, your game has unique selling points and you have the best marketing team and solid budget to promote it. The player will try the game. Will he or she play for a long time? Let’s be honest – sometimes it happens, but not so often. It happens because a player likes the game, but not everything in the game – i.e. he/she likes math, but the game is too “slow” visually or has too many effects. These are just some examples to mention. There are a few more important reasons to switch to another game – the game becomes boring after some time or today the player wants to relax and prefers to have a game with relaxing sounds, etc.
It is possible to analyze this and adjust the game on the fly to fit the player expectations – change music/sounds, change the visual representation of the game, change the speed of the game, change the number of animations, change a lot of things. Of course, it requires work on both ends – player analysis and prediction from one side and game framework adaptation from another side.
Adaptation of the game on the fly is not so easy if you want to make it fully configurable. Do you need to configure everything – seems no, it will not give you so much effect taking into account your efforts to do this. For example, it is possible and quite easy to create a few different sets of game art and address the expectations of different player groups. It is easy and it is expensive at the same time. Much more efficient if you update one or two key game elements that will change game representation. Another example – if you know/see that the player strives to play as quickly as possible – give him/her that impression -> speed up background sound, reels rotation and you get this effect and you have a satisfied player.
Analysis and prediction is another very interesting side of this approach. You should have historical data and should know your player. It is already quite typical and commonly used. In addition to this, you should be able to gather and analyze information in real-time to detect any anomalies or patterns and adjust the game.
It is a challenge, but it will give you a boost. You will not get new players, but the ones which tried your game will play it more and they will look for your games in the future.