Over the past year, at a time when the concept of going out seemed like a distant memory, creating an engaging online experience became more important than ever. But long before we’d even heard of the concept of lockdown, an experience-led approach to Live Casino content was a key driver of innovation.
Presentation and an engaging, interactive format are crucial in drawing players to Live Casino. From the earliest days of online gambling, players have been able to enjoy RNG table and card games – but the pull of Live is that sense of interaction; of being part of a player community. The traditional land-based casino experience has always been as much about the atmosphere, surroundings and sense of engagement as the games. Bringing that same sense of excitement to life, whether through studio design, dealer presentation or the content itself, has been central to the success of Live Casino for Playtech – and it’s the combination of all three that is taking our product and portfolio to the next level.
A product that sums up this ethos like no other is Live Slots. Although slot games have become ever-more sophisticated and feature-led in recent years, one thing that hasn’t changed, until recently, is the perception of slots as a solitary rather than interactive way to play. With no dealer required, and no other players to play against, it’s hardly surprising that slots have become a dominant product in online gambling; after all, the difference from the land-based experience is minimal. But while these games may not have been originally designed with interactive, collective play in mind, that didn’t mean the potential wasn’t there.
Live Slots takes classic slot gameplay and brings it into the studio, adding a live host and, crucially, community spins. Players can now play together on a single spin; something that can both create a sense of competition, and also a sense of excitement around big wins. Picture how, in a land-based casino, a player on a winning streak can draw attention, even a crowd. Live Slots can recreate that excitement – and with no land-based equivalent, or rival product in the market, it offers something genuinely unique.
Our most recent innovation, Adventures Beyond Wonderland, goes even further, using augmented reality to create an experience that cannot be replicated in a land-based environment. Although the game’s look, theme and feel are all based on a classic Playtech slot, the addition of an immersive studio environment, hosts in costume and distinctive graphical elements take it to a completely different level. Adventures Beyond Wonderland occupies a unique position in the market; with no point of comparison, even categorising the game is difficult, which is a key element of what makes it special.
Live Casino is not just part of the gambling industry, but also part of the entertainment industry. In an age where the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime offer more options than ever before, from the comfort of a consumer’s own home, competition for an audience’s time and attention is at an all-time high. In this landscape, Live Casino has to be more than an online alternative to land-based casinos – it needs to be an entertainment experience in its own right, offering something consumers cannot get elsewhere. Experience-led content is central to delivering that.
With traditional forms of entertainment cautiously reopening, consumers may soon be spoilt for choice. But by continuing to focus on creating unique ways to enjoy Live Casino, we believe that, even in an age where going out has become a novelty, we can still deliver an experience worth staying in for.