Here at GTH, we’re by no means “newcomers” to the iGaming industry as we’ve been serving game operators, software houses, and affiliated gaming services with localization and content for over ten years now. In all that time, we’ve been watching the iGaming landscape evolve at an incredible rate first-hand.
As we’ve been serving iGaming clients for years, we thought it prudent to create a two-part blog series on the trends which are shaping this fantastic, ever-changing industry. In this first part, we’re going to be covering the first three trends, which are Content Commoditization, Regulation, and Player Acquisition.
What we can definitely tell you is that iGaming as an industry moves very, very quickly. Why? It’s down to several factors, one of which is the players. Players are always on the lookout for new experiences and the next thrill. Secondary to the players are the regulations that are in place. The gaming regulation landscape shifts and molds the iGaming industry more than you think. These changes in regulation, coupled with the wants and needs of players are creating new markets, and it’s interesting to see that pressure is being applied to the more established iGaming markets. Then we’re seeing a shakeup in the market when it comes to the gaming operator landscape. We’re seeing a lot more merger and acquisition (M&A) activity.
If you’re involved in the iGaming industry, this article is definitely for you, as we’re going to show you what we believe you need to do to keep one step ahead of these trends and changing iGaming dynamics. You want to remain relevant in an industry where “pace” is defined by speed, and we’re going to be covering the top 5 iGaming trends which are now shaping this industry. These iGaming trends are the factors that are impacting the digital gaming space, plus they’re driving innovation and could shape the iGaming industry over the next 12 months.
Let’s jump right into the first iGaming trend. We’re going to be beginning with content, because, for starters, content is one of the key driving forces of the iGaming industry, plus we’re empowering a host of game operators as well as software houses with all these content and localization needs.
If you’re in any doubt that the iGaming industry is ruled by content, go ahead and remove that doubt. As our Team here at GTH keep reiterating, “content is king”, and in an industry such as iGaming, which shifts based on content, you see why it’s such an important commodity.
Content is one of the driving forces, given that the iGaming market is built on a never-ending well of it. This content covers a variety of different player experiences, but there is one challenge that a lot of the game operators and software houses that approach us are telling us is holding them back. That’s the differentialization (yes, we’ve just made up another word).
With over 50 games being launched every month, standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly difficult, and this is the challenge many game operators and software houses are having to deal with. As well as the 50+ game launches every month, there are over 3,000 titles already in existence in the market today. Thing is, how many of these games are truly different? If we take a look at the games which are outperforming the rest, we see what? We see that these games share some common traits, which include captivating themes and unique math or reel arrays.
Those of you who are keen gamers (like the majority of us here at GTH), will know what we’re talking about when we talk about “unique math or reel arrays, and these can be seen in Big Time Gaming’s title, Megaways. If you’re not too familiar with Megaways, it’s a random online slot game which houses a reel modifier that delivers hundreds of thousands of ways to win. It does this by changing the number of symbols that appear on each reel during a single spin, and online casino players are loving it. Basically, with every spin, a different number of symbols lands on each reel, and this provides tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of ways to win. We deal with an extensive list of affiliates who review online casino websites, and Megaways is often talked about.
So, we’ve seen that software houses, as well as game operators that host these games, need to think differently when it comes to creating content. Thing is, if you’re truly going to stand out, you’re going to need additional content strategies that work to bring two factors together; great content plus implementing math models from tried and trusted land-based casinos to your digital platform.
When it comes to iGaming software providers, we’re seeing that SG Digital is top of the pack on this front, with its brands WMS, Bally, and Barcrest. Why? Because SG, along with its brands, is developing exclusive content based on what players like. Think about it, the games you’re creating or adding to your online casino, sportsbook, or poker room are there to serve your players, so give them what they want. If you look hard enough, you’ll find that there are many great examples of how iGaming software houses are creating new and exciting player experiences in a crowded content marketplace. Think differently about how you’re going to structure your content, and the rest will follow.
We get asked by our iGaming clients how we can help them bring their game to life. Our answer is always the same; we do this by creating exciting and different content. You see, gone are the days when just promoting a game in different magazines as “Game of the Week” guaranteed success.
Think about it, when you’re going to launch a new game, what are the steps you take? When it comes to us empowering a software house or a game operator with a game launch, we add a few spices into the mix. These include us ensuring the game has a fantastic and engaging theme, is accompanied by all the bells and whistles we can fathom, and finally, we package all of this together neatly.
We ask all game suppliers and operators the following question:
With so much content available, presenting your new game as is just won’t do; not in today’s market. If you’re going to make a splash, you’re going to have to promote your game in a new and refreshing way. And if you’re going to be promoting it in multiple markets, using different gloves for different markets, a.k.a. “localization” is going to be key to your game’s success.
Regulation, regulation, regulation! If you’re in the iGaming industry, you can’t get away from it, can’t hide from it, or evade it. Regulation, if not dealt with properly, can become the Boogeyman, or The Babadook. See, we even managed to get a film reference in!
If regulation isn’t at the top of your list, and you’re involved in the digital gaming industry, change your mindset. Why? Because regulation is more prevalent than ever. We’re reaching the point where markets are maturing; are becoming established. They’re maturing because players have come to expect a certain level of service and quality from game manufacturers and operators. And do you know what? As the markets continue to grow, the maturing of these markets will correlate even further with the regulators. This correlation will see regulators continuing to evaluate their policies and implement new ones to keep the iGaming industry accountable.
Whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to change and adapt with the regulators. This, as they say, is a fact of life within our industry. As a game operator or as a supplier of games, you’re going to have to be a lot more proactive. For instance, did you know that the recent Competition and Markets Authority changes in the UK have provided insight into how there is a difference of interpretation across the iGaming industry?
Take note; regulators play an almighty role in the iGaming industry. As a game operator or software house, you’re going to have to do better at staying ahead of the regulatory curve. We’re quite shocked at how many clients come to us with their localization and content needs and don’t fully realize the full importance of the regulator they need to please in the target market they’re trying to enter.
One of the key aspects we look at when localizing a game operators website, communications, and everything related to their brand is the approach to attaining more players and retaining the players they have.
Make no bones about it, the majority of game operators have a challenge, and it’s how to bring in new players and retain the existing players they have. The costs to remedy these two massive challenges aren’t low; in fact, they’re increasing. And another spanner that’s been thrown into the works along with spiraling ad costs are the advertising restrictions now being imposed by the regulators. Responsible gaming is now a key part of the industry. Then you have to know when, where, and how to contact your players.
When it comes to retaining a player, you need to fully understand your players’ demographics, psychographics, and habits. By being able to understand your players’ behaviors, you’re going to be in a much better position to create and offer enhanced, personalized experiences based on the behavior of your players. You’re not alone as many industries have been through this same marketing shift, and iGaming is no different.
If there’s one thing we’ve noticed over the last ten years of working with game operators, it’s that personalization significantly enhances relevance. Data, science, and technology play a role in understanding your players’ behavior, but if you want to truly understand a player’s behavioral patterns, you’re going to have to reach out to them on a local level. There’s that word again, “localization”. You’ll notice that we talk about it a lot. And seeing that we’re a unified localization provider that’s been there and done it, you sort of see why we’re so insistent on using localization to help you understand the true behavior of your players. As a game operator, you’re going to need to understand the nuances of your players. Once you do, you’ll have the foundation for a smarter, more effective player acquisition and retention strategy.
What do your players want? For starters, they want to be engaged. Secondly, they want to be engaged, but within the construct of responsible gaming. This next point is key, so jot it down…
There’s an outstanding; no strike that, a tremendous opportunity to reward and encourage the right play while highlighting when players are displaying the wrong type of behavior. As a game operator, you need to be able to suggest or automatically implement innovative ways to stop or amend player behavior if they’re displaying the wrong type of behavior.
That’s all for this part. In part two, we take a look at Going Mobile, Strong Data and AI, Mergers & Acquisitions, and what you need to do to stay relevant in this ever-changing iGaming space.
Click here to access part two of the Top 5 Trends which are Shaping the iGaming Industry.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. It’s been written by our awesome Copywriting Team here at GTH, and our Localization Team has had a great deal to play in the creation of it too.
We’re sure you noticed how we kept on reiterating just how important localization and content is if you’re a game operator. We can’t stress this point enough, and we’re here to empower you to keep up with the iGaming trends and to keep your brand relevant.
If you’re about to launch an online casino, sportsbook, poker room, or another iGaming site, we’d like to hear from you. We’ve got the experience and the know-how you need to make the splash you’re looking for, especially if it’s in a new market/ country.
Go ahead and drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll arrange a call and show you how we can really help your brand grow!