Gamification is a relatively new concept when it comes to casinos, however it is an idea which is becoming increasingly interesting in terms of the future of online gambling. Done well, gamification has the potential to give players excellent opportunities and serious prizes, but how does the process of gamification work, and what does it mean for players?
What Is Gamification?
Gamification has become a buzz word in a number of areas, however when it comes to online casinos, gamification is referring specifically to taking certain elements of game play such as levels, role play and leader boards, and incorporating them into other areas which do not have traditional gaming as their focus.
Of course, gaming and gambling are very similar in many ways. For a start, both involve a mix of skill and chance, and some people even called gambling “gaming”. Yet, the key difference between the two is that traditional games involve no money, whereas gambling is all about the profits. While gaming is about fun, gambling is about cash prizes.
Casinos have been working on the concept that if games and gambling are put together – gamification – the gambling experience will become a lot more enjoyable, motivating and stimulating. Gamified casinos are designed to encourage punters to keep coming back time and again, and that is their sole purpose within the online casino industry – to persuade customers to remain loyal to the brand.
So, which techniques are online casinos using to encourage players to keep coming back for more? Here are just a few of the ideas that casino operators have taken from the world of traditional gaming and incorporated into the casino strategy:
- Unlockable content – whereas in traditional games, players are able to access certain content or levels once they are past a particular point in the game, in an online casino once the player has collected a set amount of points or won a particular amount on a certain slot they can unlock access to something new.
- Tournaments – rather than playing just against the computer, in a gambling tournament, just as in a classic gaming one, players can compete against fellow gamblers.
- Narrative – in a game, a narrative is the storyline that is being followed throughout with plots, characters, music and themes. These are now being incorporated into casinos, with highly themed interfaces.
- Community – gaming communities have been a feature for decades, and now casinos are working on making online gambling a more sociable affair, allowing punters to create profiles and chat with each other on casino forums.
- Virtual currencies – virtual currencies have long been a feature in games, however now casinos are starting to create their own currencies which can then be exchanged for vouchers, new games or other valuable items within the casino interface
- Levelling up – in a game, players can move up levels as they play, whereas in an online casino, this can be done either within a particular game such as Level Up Video Poker or alternatively across the entire casino, for example in Casumo’s Casumo Adventure which allows punters to level up by gaining points through playing different games. When punters level up they are able to access different games and content.
How Does Gamification Benefit Players And Casinos?
It’s easy to see how gamification can benefit players. Gamification allows impressive rewards from access to new and exciting games to play to prizes with a real cash value. Since they receive these rewards from simply doing what they would have been anyway, they are essentially free rewards. Players also have a lot more fun when playing at a gamified casino as they can enjoy the thrill of moving through levels and the other exciting elements involved in the gamification process.
For casinos, the benefits are also clear. A gamified casino will appeal to today’s punters more than a traditional one, and therefore it will attract more customers and retain more of the players it has attracted, thus making more profit.
The Future Of Gamification In Online Casinos
With increasing numbers of online casinos choosing to go down the path of gamification, it is becoming clear that this is the way of the future. A gamification programme which has been properly implemented will perform much better both in terms of giving the player better value and a more impressive experience, and in terms of improving the casino’s retention rate.
While traditional casinos offer bonuses which give players value, the associated terms and conditions can be confusing or punitive, putting punters off. A gamification system is a much better alternative since players are more able to see the direct link forged between their gameplaying activities and the rewards which they will receive. Casinos are increasingly seeing the benefits of this, and in a crowded marketplace where attracting more punters is paramount, it’s no wonder that gamification is set to be the way forward.