Microgaming wagers on technology to transform online gaming
8 March 2015
More and more of us are using our smartphones or tablets to place football bets, spin the roulette wheel or play poker in the world of online gambling.
Mobile is booming, and we estimate mobile gambling should account for more than half of all interactive gaming revenues by 2020. The online gambling market in 2015 is projected to be worth £23.8billion in gross wins, nearly one third of which is estimated to come from mobile. That is expected to grow by 9 per cent in 2016 to £26billion, with mobile carving out a 39 per cent market share, according to H2 Gambling Capital.
Product-wise, betting currently accounts for 47 per cent of the interactive gambling market, followed by casino on 21 per cent and poker with 9 per cent. Europe is the biggest market for interactive gambling, followed by Asia and the Middle East.
That’s how the market is now, but we are looking further than that. Our research and development division has peered into their crystal ball, looking at how advances in technology are going to transform gambling.
So what will the world of online gaming look like three or four years from now? Let’s talk about virtual reality and wearable technology, both of which have the potential to transform our lives, not just when it comes to entertainment.
Operating in a world where technology is at the epicentre, we believe wearables are poised to offer a unique gambling experience. We’ve studied hard and we believe each technology suits a different type of gaming. For example, we developed an online slot for the Oculus Rift VR and Google Cardboard headsets. The 360-degree view and interactive elements delivered an immersive experience like no other! This year we took our Oculus Rift offering to the next level. We created a virtual reality 3D roulette set in an expansive space scene that used advanced natural motion controls, allowing the player to place chips using their hands.
Google, meanwhile, is redesigning its Google Glass eyewear. We developed a sports betting application for the original Google Glass, merging the in-play betting experience with live game action via augmented reality. Next, we are planning to work with Microsoft’s HoloLens glasses; we believe this technology lends itself well to sports betting.
We also developed the industry’s first fully-functional five-reel slot for the Samsung Gear smartwatch. Most recently we have launched our popular Thunderstruck slot game, overcoming industry challenges such as platform type, form factor and screen size, for Android Wear. We hope to have Thunderstruck up and running on Apple Watches too.
When it comes to wearable technology, it’s still early days for the gambling world. But we know players aren’t sticking to one form of technology or way in which they consume our product. So for us, it’s all about making sure Microgaming is at the crest of the technological wave. After all, we did develop the world’s first online casino back in 1994, followed by the first mobile casino a decade later.
Microgaming provides its software to over 400 casino brands globally; our customers include Betway, 32Red, William Hill and bet365. We are a truly global business – though headquartered on the Isle of Man, our extensive talent pool is spread across every continent. Our recent mobile hit is Game Of Thrones™ online slot, also available on desktop, and our portfolio of over 800 games includes well-known titles such as The Dark Knight™ and Terminator 2™. The games that we are most excited about this year are Hot As Hades and Bridesmaids™, both set for release this summer.
The wearable technology market might be in its early adopter phase right now, but the market is growing rapidly. How long until mass adoption takes hold and wearables become part of everyday life? We may not be able to place a date and time on this, but one thing we can be certain of is that there are a host of new devices and platforms on the way. The gaming world must adapt to technological change, and you can count on us to be ahead of the curve!
Roger Raatgever is CEO of Microgaming
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