Reversing the roles: how land-based gaming can take its cue from online success

Georgy Ashmarov, Head of Casino of Connective Games, discusses a growing trend in game development for land-based applications, and a new synergy between online and land-based gaming.

It's true to say that many of the most popular online casino games derive from land-based casinos. Online game developers, including Connective Games, initially replicated land-based casino slots (as well as traditional table games) as closely as possible to provide players with what many of them were familiar and comfortable with, and this process has worked very successfully in the online format. The ‘tried and trusted’ land-based casino games are as popular as ever and are offered in most online casinos.

Of course, online game developers are not as restricted as their land-based counterparts, and have introduced thousands of unique games one wouldn’t find in a physical casino. This proliferation is partly due to the need to attract more players and keep existing ones interested and engaged. But it's also down to the relatively low cost of roll-out and the fact that adding new games doesn’t use up any ‘floor space’ as would be required in a physical casino, as well as the considerable cost of the hardware to house them. Additionally, if any new game doesn’t prove to be a hit with online players, it can simply be removed from the menu on whatever platform it is offered.

While new slot games in the offline arena are also being developed and launched continually – for the same reasons that new products are introduced online – there is always a greater risk factor involved. If a new game or slot proves unpopular, the high financial outlay is lost, as well as the physical space that might have offered a more lucrative prospect.

So how can land-based casinos know they are betting on a sure thing when launching a new slot or game? This is where online game developers and platforms can really play a major role. By taking a proposed offline game with all of its features and developing it to launch online, its success can be gauged quickly and economically across a much wider group of players. And experience has shown that if it floats online, then it won’t sink in a land-based environment.

Another company that is utilising this efficient way of testing the water with a new offering is Danish gaming company Spillehallen.dk, with whom Connective Games has been in partnership for more than six years. While we have created unique replications of the company’s land-based slots for its online gaming site, Connective Games is also involved in the online trialing of potential games for Spillehallen’s land-based business. Spillehallen is an online project of 2 major Danish physical slot machine manufacturers - DAE and CompuGame. (now as one business entity). So far this has proved to be a streamlined and cost-effective way of ensuring that only successful and popular games make it into the land-based market.

Our London-based partner FUGA has developed successful casino and AWPs games for both for land-based and online operators.

Konstantin Mikhaylov, Commercial Director of Fuga Gaming, said:

"Besides the shorter time to market and lower costs, which allow a game to be brough to players quicker in the online market compared to land-based, we see a great demand for another type of synergy between the two.

An increasing number of operators are becoming interested In offering their customers the same content, both on the casino floor and on their online platform. With the use of specific marketing and promotional tools, this allows them to bring new players to the real casino from the online environment, as well giving existing customers an opportunity to enjoy playing their favorite games elsewhere. These are indeed different experiences, thus broadening the customer base for operators.

This growing trend of co-operation and synergy between online and land-based gaming – developers, casinos and players alike – can only be a positive and productive, with both ‘sides’ having a lot to learn from each other. And ultimately the gaming industry as a whole will reap the benefits.

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