Currently, the majority of slots players are men and women in their mid 40’s-70’s+. They grew up during a time in which video games were something from the Jetsons cartoons and the infamous claw machine was a very “big deal”. For these generations, pulling a lever or pressing spin is a good way to pass time and hopefully hit the jackpot. But what about the new generations, people who grew up with Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox? For us, pressing spin for an hour gets old very fast.
Casinos and slot manufacturers know that the baby boomers are not always going to be around. For the past few years companies like Gamblit Gaming have been working on creating a new kind of slot machine that appeals to people between 21 and 45. However, regulatory rules state that these slots must “be as much a game of chance as a traditional slot machine.” This alone has proved difficult for companies because of the strong demand for skillful aspects.
Edvard Toth from Gamblit Gaming showcased one of their latest ideas for a slot machine at a recent convention in Las Vegas. Sitting in front of a 4 sided touch screen table, he launched a puppy in a police uniform thru the air using a virtual slingshot to hit a zombie cat. Rather than winning something, hitting the cat triggered a spin on the reel to win money.
The same company has recently developed a 7 screen slot machine which aesthetically is very pleasing to the eye. It adds a very new experience to the current one and as long as it gets approved, you may see something like it on casino floors in the coming years.
Social media doesn’t seem to be going anywhere; thus, slot companies are planning to bring more social gaming concepts into bonus rounds. Think Scrabble or 20 Questions, but with your available friends on Facebook. This would bring a whole new dimension to playing and could be a huge incentive to the younger slots players.
Touch screen technology is bigger than ever. Over 2 billion people have a touch screen phone and casinos know this. Currently, software is being developed to entice the younger generation to play more slots on a mobile. Again, rather than pressing the spin button, these companies aim to incorporate more finger swiping and video game action into the game itself.
Live casinos are also eager for more touch screen slots with many companies already seeking approval from gaming commissions. Betty Boop’s Love Meter Slots was one of the first machines to incorporate touch screen technology into a game. In the “How Hot Are You?” bonus round, players are required to place their hands on the iDeck where your "hotness" is measured on the meter, with Loveable, Romantic, Sexy, Wild, Smokin’, Naughty, Burning, Passionate and Irresistible outcomes possible. Of course, your “hotness” is actually not being read, but rather an RNG is working in the background. The meter works its way up until it stops on one of the outcomes and you are paid a bonus accordingly.
Imagine this, you sit down in a comfortable chair and put on a sleek pair of wearable glasses technology (i.e. Google Glass), a screen pops up and you purchase your virtual tokens to play the latest version of Lara Croft Tombraider. Within seconds, you are Lara and your running through the game. As you go on the exotic adventure, you overcome challenges which lead to automatic spins. It’s interactive and gives you the real feeling of playing in a slot machine. How cool would that be? Of course, the technology for something like this is not fully available, but we’re getting closer.
Some of the slot makers are sticking to the classics even as the world advances into technological leaps and bounds. Jean Venneman, vice president of product licensing for Bally Technologies, says women in their 50’s are the most valuable players. With that in mind she focuses on developing new slots which are “classic and current.” Using reality TV shows, 1970s superheroes and 1990s sitcom characters, her and her team are working to develop exciting themes which appeal to these specific women. So far, many releases have been a huge hit.
Games with the above technology are being tested as we write this. As long as gaming commissions, regulatory bodies and governments approve these brand new variations of slots, they will be manufactured and delivered to worldwide casinos. There is still a journey to make before you’ll get to play them on a casino floor or online, but we suspect you’ll get the first taste within the next 2-3 years.