While iGaming is a relatively new concept, the games which fuel the online gambling space (which is known as ‘iGaming’) are centuries old. In fact, the world’s oldest casino, Casino di Venezia, opened in 1638, but the transformation into iGaming didn’t get underway until the mid-90s. Even video gaming outdates iGaming, with the Magnavox Odyssey coming out in 1972.
However, in the present day, mobiles, consoles, and computers have made gaming of all kinds more popular than ever. The sheer accessibility and ever-improving nature of games have made everyone more open to the medium which has, in turn, allowed the space to expand and develop exponentially. As a part of the overall online gaming scene, iGaming has also used its popularity and the capacity of the modern internet to develop into a completely new beast, combining the fundamentals of classic casino gaming with modern gaming technology. Many gamers around the world have been discovering the offering of iGaming in recent years, seeing the browser and mobile-based form of gaming as a new way to derive entertainment from the space. Here are some of the key aspects of iGaming which have proven to be appealing to the average gamer.
Going all-in on mini-games
Some of the best video games of all-time reached that peak because they boasted an exemplary mini-game. While the surrounding story and the way that the game plays are the major drivers, there are some mini-games that are just so good that they take up far more of your time than they should. Often simple at a base level but incredibly rewarding when you’re successful, mini-games became a core component of the entertainment factor of the game.
The mini-games like fishing in the Legend of Zelda, Red Dead Redemption’s card games, Gwent in The Witcher III (which has its own spin-off now), the Nintendo titles in Animal Crossing, and the plethora of mini-games in Digimon World didn’t do much to the actual game progression but are treasured as a vital part of the experience. While still relatively uncommon and mostly kept to open-world or sports titles, iGaming developers decided to make mini-games an even more central piece of their titles.
At land-based casinos, the extent to which a slot machine could incorporate a side or mini-game was with an unlockable jackpot climber-type section. In the digital space, iGaming developers have been able to run wild with their mini-game designs. In this space of gaming, the mini-games are often one of several features which lead to the bigger prizes. The studio NetEnt is famed for the mini-games within its slots, as are games like Kaiju, in which you fight towering monsters as the feature mini-game.
Taking streaming that next step further
Streaming has revolutionised the video gaming space, helping it to continue to grow by offering more than a hands-on experience. Through streaming, gamers have created communities around watching others play games, building a new entertainment platform on top of the existing entertainment platform. The ability to stream in high-definition and to interact with viewers has made gaming – even without playing first-hand – even more engaging.
Those who make use of streaming platforms will certainly have an appreciation of the application of live streaming in iGaming. When anyone wants to play a classic table game like blackjack or a game show like Crazy Time, they’ll turn to the authentic feel of the live casino section. These live games take the form of the casino game being played by a human croupier in a studio, which is then live-streamed to all connected iGaming platform users in HD. However, it’s not just a case of viewing a game unfold, as all users will also play along with the game in real-time and communicate with others in the game.
While video games are even more demanding than HD live casino streaming, the iGaming creations take streaming to the next, much more engaging level. They help to give a glimpse into what the future of video gaming might look like when 5G arrives, with streaming platforms looking to integrate stream viewing with hands-on gaming. Google Stadia, for example, proposed its vision for ‘Crowd Play,’ with which viewers of a YouTube stream could queue up while watching to then play with the streamer, thus effectively gaming in real-time through a live stream.
Gamers are finding several appealing aspects of iGaming. The love of mini-games and innovations in streaming certainly offer an exciting and relatable experience to the average gamer.