The challenge of reaching new player segments has been driving innovation in the interactive casino (iCasino) business for years, and now some of that innovation is coming to market. Digital lottery operators, who face similar challenges, are watching closely.
The challenge, common to the gaming industry, is to attract a mobile-first generation – many of them of millennials – that loves gaming, likes casinos, but is not inclined to play Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs) and scratch-ticket lottery games. The segments comprising this crowd are often drawn to interactive entertainment and social gaming more than conventional gambling.
How have these insights shaped innovation? IGT’s five Interactive game studios have been designing content and features to appeal to these expanded player segments. The Company has previewed some of it this week at ICE Totally Gaming in London. Here are some snapshots.
Embracing Gambling as Entertainment
IGT has already found success with its Level Up Plus™ content – slot games such as Cleopatra PLUS™ and Wheel of Fortune® On Tour. These games reward player loyalty with extended entertainment and a higher Return to Player (RTP). They offer richer graphics, deeper or new storylines as players progress, and better odds by unlocking new features. The payoff? More players are enjoying their game-play journeys.
Additionally, IGT is now building on the innovation that powers the enhanced capacity of its Level Up Plus games to create a new category of skill-based games. Combining refined logic and a unique micro-relational database that tracks players achievements, these games process and reward player choices in real time. Simply put, skill games, such as IGT’s Coin Age, which releases later in 2018, give individual players more control over outcomes.
IGT is also building support for tournaments into its Remote Game Server (RGS) platform. Tournaments feature leaderboards and signup calls-to-action to let players share experiences and achievements within their communities.
Going Mobile: On Premises
IGT PlaySpot™ is a portal app that delivers a variety of gaming and lottery content to phones or tablets. The lottery solution allows players to purchase and play lottery games on their mobile devices while at an authorized lottery retailer, while the gaming solution is designed to support real-money gameplay at brick-and-mortar casino outlets. IGT PlaySpot will allow casino patrons to play slots, poker, table games, and progressives, or place sports bets while poolside, dining, or hanging at the lounge or a guest room of a resort casino. When players leave the casino, they can continue to play many of the same games for fun or for chances to win resort amenities. Nevada has already approved a version of IGT PlaySpot for MGM Las Vegas.
To appeal to new segments in lottery markets, IGT has developed a new wave of digital lottery games. Some Instant Win games echo casino-style games, such as slots and poker, while others offer more traditional themes like Keno, crossword puzzles, and dice games. These Instant Win titles are built from pre-determined lottery outcome templates, but they deliver longer and more engaging game-play experiences.
These new Instant Win games reflect IGT’s interactive strategy of building innovative content that appeals to players, whether casino or lottery. That strategy has also guided the evolution of IGT’s RGS platform; IGT can serve interactive casino and lottery content from the same RGS stack at its production data centers.
This content convergence bodes well for innovation.
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