At first glance, it’s easy to assume that innovation is accelerating. No matter the industry, we seem to be bombarded with new technology every few moments. However, all may not be what it seems.
As reported by innovation foundation Nesta back in May 2019, there are several indications of the exact opposite. Research suggests that the time it takes to achieve significant new scientific breakthroughs is increasing, while the average age of Nobel Prize winners is also creeping up.
Furthermore, it is said that more and more researchers are required to discover these innovations, with productivity down across the board.
What does this mean for the online casino industry? You can read more on casinotoplist.com. As an industry that has always encouraged new technology ever since it changed the gambling sector for ever in the early 1990s. But is this innovation slowing down?
Over the course of this article we will be addressing the claim, examining the evidence for and against the innovation stagnation in the iGaming sector.
Arguments for Innovation Slowing Down
When looking for evidence to suggest that online casino innovation was slowing down, some of the key criteria we were after included: areas of the industry that have experienced little recent change and also any aspects that feel stagnant and unimaginative.
Here is what we found.
Slots Creators Running Out of Ideas
In the past, online slots have been a main hub of innovation for the online casino industry. Competition between the hundreds of different software providers is intense, with all of them competing to be featured on the best sites and attract the most players.
This has created opportune conditions for innovation as in order to stand out from the crowd software developers must keep on raising their game and adding new features.
However, in more recent times, it is impossible to ignore the fact that some developers’ output seems a little stale and safe.
There are a couple of reasons for this. First, as the market is so competitive, providers are always one or two unpopular games away from losing their market share. As a result, they often become slaves to market research. Not wanting to upset the boat with a daring new layout or theme, many providers stick to the tried and tested formulas that performed well during their consumer testing.
Evidence of this can be seen in the countless sequels that many providers release, such as the Gonzo’s Quest series by Play’n Go, which continues to reinvent itself for each passing year. Also, further evidence for innovation stagnation is demonstrated by the abundance of similar games which follow a similar ‘hunt for treasure theme’.
New Operators Struggling to Assert Themselves
Ask yourself this. How long has it been since a new online casino has seriously left its mark on the industry? We’ll answer for you, it’s been quite some time.
Like in many sectors, start-ups are seriously struggling to break the stranglehold that the top operators have over the online casino scene. Prohibitively high start up costs, limited resources and tighter regulations in key markets such as the United Kingdom, is also likely to put many entrepreneurs off giving it a go in the future.
This is, of course, bad news for industry innovation. Without fresh blood emerging, things are in danger of getting stale.
Arguments Against Innovation Slowing Down
Despite these problems, it would not be accurate to describe the online casino industry as being entirely void of innovation. Here are some of the main reasons why.
While many other industries seem determined to continue to pretend that cryptocurrency does not exist, the online casino industry has been quick to accept payments of this kind. Offering players unparalleled ease and security, it will not be long until other retailers follow the online casino sector’s lead.
This is a fine example of how the industry can still be innovative. In the case of cryptocurrency payments, online casinos were very much ahead of the curve, in line with their reputation as adopters of bold new ideas.
One of the online casino industry’s most exciting recent innovations is its adoption of virtual reality. VR has attracted rather mixed reactions since becoming commercially available a few years back, but few can deny the possibilities created by the technology are endless.
iGaming developers have been quick to seize upon the new tech as well. For example, Slotsmillion – which was developed by Lucky VR – replicates an entire online casino experience. This includes stunning 3D table games, immersive slot machines and much more. It brings the fun and excitement of a bustling Las Vegas casino to the comfort of your front room. The only thing missing is complimentary drinks!
Poker variants of similar technology also exist and more VR casino experiences are set to keep coming over the coming years.
Another fine example of online casino innovation is the introduction of live dealers. In the past, those wishing to play the best table games from their own home would be forced into a video variant that pales in comparison. In more recent times, the innovative introduction of live casino games by the likes of Evolution Gaming and Microgaming have put a stop to this.
Now, thanks to the HD cameras and high-spec microphones, players can enjoy all the trappings of a brick and mortar casino over the internet. It’s a brilliant idea and there’s still plenty of room for further features to be added, leaving space for further innovations.
So, when all’s said and done is innovation really stagnating in the online casino industry? In some areas, revolutionary ideas are indeed running dry. New operators are struggling to break up the power of the most established operators, while some developers’ slots offering feel a bit stale.
Overall though, there are plenty of signs of life for online casino innovation. The industry has been one of the first to fully embrace cryptocurrency payments, while the recent additions of VR and live casino games provide further evidence of the sector’s forward thinking attitude.