This is a guest contribution by Julie Anderson is a writer for VegasMaster magazine. If you would like to submit a contribution please contact Bill Beatty for submission details. Thank you.
Virtual reality (VR) is likely to play a big part in online casino evolution. Although some in the industry feel that it is too soon to bet on VR casinos, others feel that it is only a matter of time before this style of gambling, which will no doubt alter the dynamics of casino games themselves, will become mainstream.
Immersive gaming like virtual reality may very well be what helps the industry to appeal to Millennials, who are not as entertained by traditional casino entertainment as previous generations. Today’s gamers demand a more interactive experience and get their thrills from games like World of Warcraft, Halo, and Grand Theft Auto. 3D slots, video poker, and sitting at card tables simply don’t come close to delivering this type of action these gamers crave.
This is one of the reasons why both land-based and online casinos are seeing a decline in visitors. In fact, what many big-name casinos in Las Vegas are noticing more often is that while the number of visitors coming to Sin City is on the rise, the majority of these visitors are there for the restaurants and to enjoy other activities like nightclubs and shows.
There’s no question that the gambling industry needs an innovative change and VR casinos could be one of these changes.
VR could boost social interaction at online casinos
Just as social casino gaming has helped to make iGaming a more socially interactive experience, it is projected that VR will work in the same way, if not better. It is likely that social casinos could become even more “social” with virtual reality because it would enable a user’s virtual presence to digitally meet and interact with other VR gamers online. Players can explore virtual spaces together and take part in multi-player tournaments and other games designed for multiple participants.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that those in the VR industry are focusing on creating social games. Oculus has already started developing VR social experiences and games. The Facebook-owned company behind one of the most talked about VR headsets – the Oculus Rift – has already added social games specifically made for virtual reality to its store, including Social Trivia and Herobound. Both games can support up to four players.
The company already has more VR social video games in the works and, according to VentureBeat, promises to release tools for developers “that make it even easier to create more incredible social VR games and apps.”
Moreover, the Oculus Rift isn’t only being used for video games, but also for virtual reality casino experiences, such as the SlotsMillion VR Casino.
Will online VR casinos be the future?
VR casinos already exist. The first brand to have successfully launched one is SlotsMillion, which created a fully functional Oculus-ready virtual reality casino with the help of VR casino developer LuckyVR.
Requiring the Oculus Rift headset for the VR experience, the casino immerses players in a dynamic, futuristic casino environment in which they can play games and explore the lobby. Presently, this is immersive casino gaming at its best.
Lucky VR founder Jeff Lande believes that VR is the future of online casinos. Lande thinks that all it will take for mainstream adoption is for content to improve and for hardware to become cheap enough.
There’s no doubt that content will improve. After all, look how far the gaming industry as a whole evolves in as little as five years. Graphics, sounds, animations, etc. become better and more real-to-life with each passing year.
The cost of hardware (ex. headsets, computers and other equipment needed to run the high-tech software) on the other hand, is a different story altogether. Currently, headsets are not cheap and neither is the accompanying hardware needed to run a VR experience. Consumers can expect to drop hundreds of dollars on these devices, alone.
Be that as it may, a Business Insider report estimated that “shipments of VR headsets will grow at a swift 99% compound annual growth rate between 2015 and 2020.”
The bottom line: VR gaming is anticipated to grow and with it the demand for VR casinos will likely grow, too.
Julie Anderson is a writer for VegasMaster magazine; she deals mainly with online casino world, gambling culture and social implications. Checkout her recent interview with Lucky VR Casino founder – Jeff Lande about their new VR software development.