It is no secret that Malta has become Europe’s Silicon Valley for igaming. It is home to one of the best gaming jurisdictions in the world and has established itself as a major global hub for the gaming and online betting industry. There are currently more than 300 gaming companies based in Malta, including industry giants such as Betsson, Betfair, Tipico and Bet365. Moreover, the aftermath of Brexit could significantly increase that number and bring additional benefit to the Maltese economy. Many gaming companies currently based in Gibraltar and the United Kingdom may have good reasons to relocate to Malta if they want to continue operating in Europe while enjoying low taxation.
Innovation and development is a central topic for many industry leaders on the island. This was made even more clear during the fourth edition of Casino Beats Summit, an industry event where the movers and shakers of i-gaming and gambling come together to discuss the next generation of games.
So what should we expect from the next generation of igames?
Innovation and design was at the center of many discussions at the summit, particularly when it comes to slot machines. Since their invention in the late 1800s slot machines have gone through significant changes, taking full advantage of the latest technological breakthroughs. The focus, however, is not only about offering new and innovative paylines, but in how to best entertain users. For many stakeholders slot developers draw some inspiration from video games and harness the power of storytelling . According to Thomas Rosander, CEO of Luckbox, slot machines could benefit from the same designs used for video games. In his view “it is impossible not to be influenced by video games today. Whether we like it or not, we’re getting influenced by video game culture and we can see this influence for a very long time in igaming as well”
While traditionally technical features were the main selling point of slot machines, nowadays, in an ever competitive market, the best slots online are the ones that feature a good adventure for the user to enjoy. Indeed good and compelling story-telling is behind the success of many games. Take for example the worldwide success of the Book of Ra slot, which introduced the allure of ancient Egyptian civilization. As a result of Book of Ra’s success, the adventure slot genre has expanded. Stories in fact, give a different, much more engaging and challenging gaming experience. Thanks to licensing agreements, even video games can be readapted to slots. Think, for example, of the Tomb Raider slot produced by Microgaming in which Lara Croft’s adventures are monetized through bonus features and free spins; or NetEnt’s Street Fighter 2, which pays homage to Capcom’s franchise.
What these collaborations tell us is that developers are taking note and are trying to replicate the successful video game formula. So it is clear that slots of the next generation in addition to offering amazing bonus rounds and jaw dropping paylines, should also entertain.