If there is one thing we have learnt over the years it is that the casino industry is moulded and shaped by the players visiting the casino floor. Nowhere is this more evident than in state of Nevada where gambling is the main source of income for hundreds of businesses. As the proverbial canary in the coalmine, Nevada serves as a barometer for the rest of the world on how casino goers are affected by the technological revolution. Over a decade of smartphones, video games, social networking and motion based games has created a generation of gamblers who are shying away from traditional slot games.
Compared to previous generations, these consumer-powered millennials are not interested in luck-based games and seek a more interactive gambling experience. This has created a dilemma for casino operators who desperately need to attract a new wave of gamblers to the casino floor. The decline of classic slot based games is evident in Nevada where revenues have continued to drop year after year since 2007. It seems the only way to save the casino industry is give the players what they want. In this case, it is classic skills based video games we all played as kids.
On the 19th of May 2015, a bill was passed in Nevada instructing the Nevada Gaming Commission to adopt regulations encouraging manufactures to develop and roll out gaming devices that incorporate alternative technology. What this essentially means is that the Nevada Gaming Commission is pushing gaming manufactures to produce more skills based games that will appeal to the millennials who grew up playing competitive video games. The hope is that when these games hit the casino floor, the players will slowly trickle in and bring about a full comeback of casino revenue.
The Return of 80’s Classic Video Games
The idea of taking classic 80’s video games and modifying them for gambling purposes does make a lot of sense. The games would we instantly recognisable with most players having an intimate knowledge of the game from a misspent youth. Immediately the games will grab the attention of anyone passing by. If you add the fact that the gaming manufactures already own the game or can acquire the rights on the cheap, the whole idea seems to be pretty darn interesting.
Many of these old-school games will have originally been targeted for the younger market. That is not to say adults didn’t play them and would not love to get their hands on them again. It is very likely that players ranging from their 30’s through to their 60’s will be familiar with such games and certainly give it a try. When fully rolled out, skills based games will take on two forms, these being player verses player and player verses machine. While this might sound like it is delving into the realms of e-sports, the games themselves will only be available on the casino floor.
The World’s First Frogger Competition
Today we are seeing the fruits of these efforts already in action. In February this year, Konami Gaming hosted the world’s first Frogger skill-based gaming competition. The competition took place at the Level Up entertainment lounge at the MGN Grand in Las Vegas. Anyone who was around in the late 80’s or early 90’s will have fond memories of the classic Frogger game.
In the casino competition, players used their skills to navigate the lovable Frogger character through the road and river crossing course and post the highest score. The competition was free for all participants who were given a set timeframe to post the highest score possible. The successful launch of Frogger has paved the way for even more classics to come out of retirement and receive a new life on the casino floor.