How Casinos Became the Leading Industry for Live Experiences

Online casinos used to be filled solely with virtual games, where a player could wager on the likes of slots, roulette, and blackjack on a computer-generated table or machine. While this approach has proved to be extremely popular, the recent arrival of new streaming technology has moved the industry onto a new level. What does this mean for live experiences in gaming in the future?

What the Live Casino Experience Offers

Streaming technology is now used to present a live dealer game on your screen. This means that you can watch as a live dealer hands out the cards or spins the roulette wheel in front of you. This dealer will work from a land-based casino or a studio that has all the equipment and style needed to give it a real casino vibe.

For players, this means the benefit of being able to interact with someone on a live basis on any of these games. Often, the rules are exactly the same as you would expect to see in a land-based casino. However, the fact that casinos can now offer dozens of games at once means that they can provide different versions with modified rules for every type of player and market.

Others may like the variety that is on offer through live games. If we look at a real live casino, we can see various roulette and blackjack titles among the gaming options. The experience is added to with a selection of game show-style offerings like Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt, Deal or No Deal, and Adventures Beyond Wonderland Live.

Other players may have enjoyed playing computer-generated casino games in the past and decide to see what it is like to play the same games but with a live dealer. In this case, the added atmosphere is likely to appeal to them once they get started and start to sample these games.

Why This is Now a Viable Alternative

Live casino game offerings have been warmly welcomed by many players around the world, and it seems safe to suggest everyone has their own reasons for choosing to play in this way. For example. some may consider this as a gentle, relaxed way to try new games likes baccarat that they have perhaps never wagered on before.

One of the main reasons why live titles in an online casino are seen as a great alternative is the further tension generated by this way of playing. You can enjoy the tension of the moment as you watch the dealer turn over the final card or wait to see which number the ball settles into.

Of course, the technology that is used for these games is probably going to progress even further, leading to increasingly varied ways of playing. This could mean that virtual reality is incorporated into the experience, making us feel as though we have been physically transported to the live casino setting and having the freedom to explore the games on the platform before playing.

Or developers could use augmented reality to make your screen come alive with more environmental detail. This can already be partly seen in games like Lightning Roulette and Lightning Baccarat from Evolution, where the live-action and on-screen information are subtly merged to blur the division between the two.

Where is the Overall Trend for Live Gaming Experiences Headed?

Online casinos provide us with perhaps the best example of how the live experience has added to the gaming industry. However, it is far from being the only way in which this has happened. The massive popularity of Twitch shows us the appetite that exists for this type of approach in gaming. With the likes of Facebook Gaming, Caffeine, and Owncast all decent Twitch alternatives, this is a sector that seems set to continue to grow.

Among the most-followed gamers on Twitch in 2021 are Fortnite expert Ninja, with close to 17 million followers, and Tfue with over 10 million. Twitch was launched in 2011, but people were already looking for a live gaming experience long before then. Perhaps the earliest examples were the full-motion video (FMV) games that were produced in the 1990s.

The optical disk technology of the time meant that this was a way of presenting games in a new format. Among the most memorable FMVs of the 90s were Critical Path, Prize Fighter, and the infamous Night Trap, which generated a lot of publicity upon release in 1992. Of course, these games weren’t really live as such, since they simply included pre-recorded video segments presented as live-action.

A more recent example of a live gaming experience came in 2015, when Sam Barlow developed and published Her Story. This game was released on a variety of formats and gives you the task of watching a series of videos showing police interviews that you need to use to solve the mystery of a man who has gone missing.

The main character we see in the game is the man’s wife, Hannah Smith. As with the FMVs from a couple of decades earlier, the game is based around pre-recorded video clips rather than live streaming. However, it was well-received by the public and sold over 100,000 copies, leading to a sequel called Telling Lies getting brought out in 2019.

Could video games follow the example of casinos and introduce some additional element of live streaming that makes the action unique each time you play it? This seems like it would be a logical next step to follow on from the FMV games of the past and the current trend for following renowned players on Twitch and other streaming platforms.

With live streaming technology now making a huge impact in the casino industry, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see it filtering into other areas of gaming before too long. The recent advances in technology mean that it should soon be possible for developers to surprise us with new approaches in this respect.

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