What is gamification?

Gamification is a way for a brand to build loyalty, and to bring something unique to the table. In casino gaming it is about creating an experience around the casino games themselves. This is done by borrowing elements from role playing games, which means that you get rewarded for completing tasks, akin to what is done in classic RPGs like Final Fantasy etc. The aim is to give players a reason to stay, because when it all boils down to it, the slots and blackjack tables are no different from one casino to the other.

Examples of gamification

Tournaments
Despite tournaments being something associated with skill, that doesn’t necessarily have to be true. They can be arranged so the luckiest players win, even regardless of bet sizes, so that even those without the most money stand a fair chance. But the connotation that tournaments are a competition, and thus likely of skill, will stay in a lot of people’s minds, despite not really having an influence on what happens.

Adventures
Building your casino around an adventure can be a good way to draw players in, as you have something you can really invest yourself in. That means the players connect with the brand and the product on a much higher level.

Communities
Communities are all about building a place where players can feel at home. That means they will return to the site for that reason, but this is a very hard thing to balance. As anyone who has been on the internet in the past decade can attest to, there are plenty of toxic communities out there. Be it forums, chat rooms or even comment sections, there are always some bad seeds. Is that risk worth it?

Virtual currencies
Creating currencies, be it virtual coins, or perhaps something completely abstract, can force players to stay at the selected casino for longer. If you have something of value that’s left unused, it’s an incentive for you to stay. That said, it can be annoying to have something that you can’t use anywhere else, and you may even lose if you leave. It’s another one of the things that can be a balancing act.

Unlockable/Exclusive content
This can be a number of things, ranging from small things of no monetary value to unlock, all the way to games that you can’t play until you’ve achieved something specific at the casino. Like a lot of other things here, it’s all about getting it right. If a player can’t play their favourite games off the bat, then they might get annoyed and leave. Not good. On the other hand, there might be a certain feeling of achievement when you get something not many other people have.

Gamification in practice

There are several casinos that have attempted gamification, but for most of them it’s not about changing their product to revolve around the concept, but rather trying to force change in small parts so that they can be associated with the latest buzzword. While not a recipe for disaster, it’s certainly a recipe for little to no gain.

Casual players

There is no doubt that these gamifications are made to draw in the more casual gamblers, and offering a product tailored towards those who perhaps do not take the slots themselves too seriously is something that is lacking in the gaming world today.
It is however not a dumbing down of the core product, so it still remains accessible towards the players who just wants to play, as it’s not about forcing change, but supplementing what is already available to in the market. By building around and on top what is already popular, you will see an evolution in the gaming industry, rather than a revolution.

Is it the future?

Yes, but it will have to be done right. Casinos will have to do it right, or else it could easily fall by the wayside and just be another fad. And with competition and quality picking up, gamification looks like it could be the real deal long term.

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