The future of social casino games lies in skill-based play, live dealers and licensing branded content, according to market watchers Eilers Research.
Eilers’ analyst Adam Krejcik gave a presentation at the recent Casual Connect Tel Aviv confab in which he offered 13 predictions for where the growing social casino gaming market is headed. The following insights were recorded by VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi, who was fortunate enough to attend the event.
Krejcik believes social casino games will not be immune to the skill-based wave with which land-based gaming device makers are currently grappling. At present, older women playing slots dominate the social casino market, but Krejcik said integrating more skill-based play would broaden the market’s demographics.
Krejcik also suggested social casino games would be among the first to properly incorporate Oculus Rift VR technology, and that replicating a Vegas casino experience will boost engagement, which will in turn improve monetization.
A greater focus on the social aspects of social casino games will also boost monetization. Krejcik cites Churchill Downs Inc’s Big Fish Casino as an example of the kind of active player network that is missing from most other social casinos.
Krejcik suggested that more companies will follow Zynga’s lead by licensing familiar third-party branded content. Zynga’s highly successful launch of its Wizard of Oz Slots benefited from the company not having to spend a fortune educating players on what the game was about.
Krejcik’s other predictions include increased involvement in the social casino sector by Amaya Gaming and its PokerStars brand, big gaming device makers like IGT licensing their social casino games to third parties, the introduction of live dealers to boost player engagement and increased spending on new technologies like Apple TV and wearables.
ALL HAIL THE PLATFORM AGNOSTIC SOCIAL CASINO PLAYER
Meanwhile, a presentation by Pini Yakuel, CEO of mobile marketing firm Optimove, offered further evidence of the value of offering a superior mobile social casino experience. According to Yakuel, mobile gamers not only play more social casino games, they monetize much faster, while those who switch between mobile and desktop monetize faster than anyone.
Yakuel said mobile social casino gamers play 1.6x more days per month than desktop players, and mobile players make a second payment in a social casino game 1.5x faster than web-only players. As for the 4% of social casino players who play on both mobile and web, they are 3.9x more likely to make an in-app payment, 20% more likely to make a second payment and their payments are 10% higher than the average.