As one of the most lucrative sectors of the global gaming industry, iGaming is going from strength to strength. In recent years, the sector has expanded into new territories in the US, seen a constant stream of technological innovation and experienced seismic growth – iGaming is on track to be worth as much as $127.3 billion by 2027.
As with eSports and video gaming in general, iGaming developers are fully committed to designing new and exciting gaming experiences that both engage existing customers and appeal to the next generation of gamers.
As the sector expands, having a comprehensive range of games with unique, immersive features is a way to stand out in an oversaturated market, so iGaming operators will be investing big time in pushing through the latest technology. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what we can expect from the industry throughout 2022.
Jackpot Slots – Improving on Progression
Already one of the most popular innovations in the online slots vertical thanks to the potential of big prizes, progressive jackpot slots are only going to increase in global popularity with the introduction of advanced technology. As operators look for new ways to engage and retain customers, 2022 could see the integration of Virtual Reality technology, as well as 3D gaming and 360-degree graphics.
Since the early days of online casino gaming, online slot games were mostly focused on win provisions, with game graphics taking a backseat. Over time, gamers have been demanding more engaging experiences from online platforms, leading to a surge in themed games and innovations like progressive jackpots. Now, though, there’s a need for further levels of immersion, with video gaming-quality graphics and audio becoming a priority for game makers.
Skills-based Arcade Games
Who remembers playing Street Fighter II or Pac Man in their local arcade? If arcade games were your gaming medium of choice as a youth, this newest development in iGaming will be right up your street.
One of the newest innovations in the sector is skill-based arcade gaming apps, which combine the skill and decision-making elements of arcade gaming with real-money gaming opportunities. This vertical saw an uptake in both expansion and audience sizes in 2021 and industry experts have predicted that the trend will continue during 2022.
According to the latest research from the UK Gambling Commission, more gamers than ever before are installing gaming apps on their phones, so there’s an increased demand for real-money games that feature gameplay that’s comparable with console or mobile games.
Real-Time Casino Gaming
As social gaming becomes an increasingly important trend throughout the gaming industry, we’ll see developers and operators in 2022 incorporate elements of social with real-time games to offer up a complete gaming experience.
Live dealer games are an integral part of the iGaming sector, but the focus is now on making the gaming experience more immersive with the introduction of a social, gamification element. As well as competing against the dealer and the house, players also enjoy a level of competition between themselves. The introduction of leader boards into live dealer gaming apps provides gamers with extra incentives to keep playing, creating a win-win situation for gaming operators.
More eSports Betting Opportunities
As professional gaming, aka eSports, continues to grow in global mainstream popularity, so too will eSports betting opportunities. As long as there have been organised sports there’s been sports betting alongside it, so it’s only natural that digital sports will generate their own substantial betting markets.
Recently, some eSports tournaments have been pulling in as many as 200 million global viewers, so there’s a huge viewership waiting to be tapped into. eSports betting may be in its infancy, but it will grow in the coming months and years exponentially. In fact, with more US states legalising online wagering, there’s likely to be a boom in both eSports popularity and the value of eSports betting.
Cryptocurrency will Gain Traction
As a natural partner to iGaming given its decentralised nature and increased focus on audited transactions, cryptocurrency has taken a surprisingly long time to become integrated in the iGaming sector. In 2022, however, crypto may finally gain some traction.
There have been several crypto-only gaming platforms, apps and poker rooms cropping up since the Bitcoin boom in 2017, but 2022 may well see the larger, more established brands invest their resources into integrating crypto payments into their offerings.
At present, gamers can only make use of decentralised currencies using third party eWallets like Neteller when making withdrawals or deposits. But, as crypto becomes more widely accepted elsewhere, it won’t be long before the major players in iGaming follow suit.