The appeal of slot games is that they require no specific knowledge or skill to play. It’s all about luck, meaning that anyone who wagers money on it can win thousands of pounds in cash.
The fact that a player doesn’t control the outcome of the game, though, discourages some potential gamblers. Seeing that the new generation prefers skill-based entertainment and, especially, video games, operators are considering a new strategy.
They are trying to add skill to slot games.
Skill-Based Slots Attract Young Gamblers
Gamification has been an important criterion of casinos and their games for several years now. However, it looks like slots are getting increasingly similar to video games.
With the addition of skill to the gameplay, there would be little difference left.
In short, that’s exactly what gambling websites are hoping for. An element of control, be it illusionary or not, would empower some players. This is especially true for those who prefer video games, where some sort of strategy is usually involved.
Would The UK Government Allow It?
Needless to say, blurring the line between gambling and gaming could be dangerous. We’re talking in terms of responsible gambling behaviour here. If a player starts believing that their skill can earn them constant profit by gambling, bad things might happen.
It doesn’t exactly align with the current efforts to reduce underage gambling in the UK. As we wrote last week, even the simplest ads that have the potential to attract teens to gamble are now punished.
Hence, knowing that video games are loved by 13-17 year-olds, it could be an issue. Even if such software was accepted by the regulators and the government, it’d probably take extra time to arrive.
Despite that, we think it’s a totally realistic future scenario, even in Great Britain. There are already many games with video game-like elements there.
Video Game-Like Slots
There are many slot games live at UK online casinos today that have game elements classic slot machines never had. This includes various features like:
- Gameplay levels
- Player characters and exprience levels
- Optional/selectable gameplay modes
- Multiplayer leaderboards
For example, games like Castle Builder and Aliens offer multi-levelled gameplay. It has been borrowed from non-gambling arcades and platformers.
In fact, the two titles of Castle Builder even include a player character with a levelling system. They both have a game map as well, where the gambler may choose an area to play in. In many ways, it’s like a modern RPG game.
On a side note, many slots have bonus features which allow the player to choose one of several bonus types. This affects what kind of gameplay they’ll get for several free rounds.
In a way, this isn’t completely random or luck-based gameplay. The user actually chooses the way a game works, even if just for a limited number of spins.
However, all these examples are nothing compared to a recent video slot by BetSoft.
Video Slot or a Shooter?
In November of 2018, BetSoft released Max Quest: Wrath of Ra slot. Well, they call it a slot but it really isn’t anything like one.
Yes, players do have to bet money in hopes of winning more money in return. Yet, the game simply doesn’t compare to anything else that casinos are currently hosting.
Just take a look at the gameplay trailer:
As you can see, it’s a multiplayer shooter, not a casino slot. The RNG part and the engine might be similar, but the design is hardly recognisable. Up to six gamblers can play simultaneously in a single room:
- Buying ammo for coins
- Shooting mummies for XP and cash drops
- Collecting bonus crates for extra cash
- Buying new weapons for additional damage and profit
- Competing in an MMO leaderboard
- Beating bosses for big wins
Now, the players are free to choose which enemies to attack, how to do it and which weapons to use. There’s simply no denying that at least some skill or gameplay experience would help there.
Most importantly, if all casino software was like that, millennials would rush to online casinos in no time.
Not Available in the UK Yet
Surprise, surprise! The game isn’t available to the players in the UK. So far, it only holds a licence from the Malta Gaming Authority. This gives access to the casino shooter for players in various European countries, but not the UK.
As we already mentioned, it couldn’t be any other way for now. A game like that would blow the minds of young and even underage gamblers. The regulators are simply too afraid of new addictions such software could cause.
Skill Slots – Possible in 2020?
Despite all that, even the British regulators should find a way around this somehow. We may not be able to play Max Quest this year just yet. But maybe we will in 2020 or the year after that.
As the gambling industry moves steadily towards gamification elsewhere, the government will have to adopt these innovations too. Otherwise, the country will be losing players who will prefer casinos outside of the UK’s jurisdiction.
We think it’s totally possible to change the regulations too and find a compromise. As long as the government ensures that minors are protected, we adults should be just fine.
So, if you ever dreamt of slots where you could affect the gameplay by your decisions as a player – this is it.