ho is the player of the future? How would you describe them? What are their characteristics? How are companies adapting their product offering to cater to this new type of player?
The gaming industry is slowly, but steadily being introduced to a new generation of gamblers. Growing up with video games, millennials consume games differently. They tend to be more inclined toward skill-based games and play for smaller amounts.
Millennials will in the future play a big role in shaping game offerings. Also, as operators will have to adapt, this will of course have an impact on the software industry.
At the same time existing players are also changing their habits because they have become predominantly mobile users that consume more and more over that channel.
The main characteristic of the player of the future will, in my opinion, be exactly that – mobile devices will be their primary communication channel and the ability to use it to drive players towards other products will be the key differentiator of successful gaming operations.
"CRM platforms that are well integrated with core back-office systems can be used to prolong this experience that can start even before game play, with promotions that are tailored for each player segment"
Mobile and online gaming, once synonymous with innovation, have become common currency. What new ways of innovating will the industry see in the coming years?
Mobile and online have definitely played the biggest role in the last couple of years. They have provided the players with the ability to play whenever and wherever.
Although they have come a long way, there is a lot of room for improvements. With all of the recent advancements with HTML5 on mobile-like OpenGL and immersive technologies like Virtual Reality, there is a big potential for game producers to create the next generation of high quality games that players will be able to enjoy on their mobile devices.
The wearable technology is also one thing that could be more exploited in the future. At Comtrade we are already introducing wearable tech with some other clients within the hospitality and health/medical industries, but not yet within gaming. Our team had many ideas, but we haven’t identified a real product that could succeed on the market.
In the future, we expect lots of technological improvements in the back office that will further impact the overall experience with the operator. Big data analytics combined with a powerful platform can turn gaming sessions into more personal and engaging experiences. CRM platforms that are well integrated with core back-office systems can be used to prolong this experience that can start even before game play, with promotions that are tailored for each player segment. With the use of gamification features such awards can be experienced as achievements by players and not only dull bonusing campaigns that only try to convince the player to make the next deposit.
"The companies that will succeed the most in the future will be the ones present across all channels"
Apart from a strong presence of both eSports and omni-channel gaming, what were the highlights of ICE 2016?
ICE 2016 indicated a significant growth in the iGaming sector. The number of companies exhibiting was higher than last year. A high level of competition is a very positive thing for the industry as it forces us to be more innovative.
From our point of view, the omni-channel gaming has definitely been the center of attention. With the growth of online, it is becoming even more important for operators to be able to offer a multi-channel experience. In fact, the companies that will succeed the most in the future will be the ones present across all channels. We saw, however, the most improvement and innovations within the mobile channel. Mobile games that were shown this year were clearly a level above in terms of visuals, sounds, and overall playability.
Another thing catching our eye were novelties in player engagement. Player retention is no longer just an email sent out to a player database, it has become an art. As bonusing is our strong virtue, ICE was an ideal moment to launch the Awards Games suite, an extension of the iCore innovative Bonusing system. Award Games help operators reward their players with bonuses or prizes using engaging games instead of the traditional ‘deposit match’ bonuses. They are awarded instantly during mobile or desktop game play ensuring prolonged play.
How do you assess your participation in the 2016 edition of ICE?
The show was a great success and the busiest so far. The number of visitors exceeded our expectations, which once again proved that our credibility in the marketplace has improved considerably.
We received a very positive feedback from our visitors, especially the online and mobile corner attracted a lot of attention. We are very thankful to everybody who visited our booth and hope we will see them again next year.
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