Heralding the World's First VR Slot Game: The First of Many?
In case you have missed it, the concept of virtual reality (VR) enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2016. Much of this was due to the fact that the technology found a natural outlet in the form of the online gaming and casino sectors, where operators are continually striving to create gameplay that strikes the ideal balance between realism and the accessibility of the virtual world.
This marriage between technology and medium has recently entered a new phase, with online casino developer NetEnt announcing the launch of its first VR-inspired slot game. The popular Gonzo's Quest will pilot this new and exciting innovation, which represents a rising trend that is sure to take hold of the online casino market in the months ahead.
Is Web VR Technology Mature Enough to Support this Endeavour?
It also represents an ambitious move, however, and one that many experts may have come ahead of schedule. NetEnt is determined to be at the head of a technological wave, however, while its penchant for tracking trends and new innovations has built data sets which suggest that Web VR technology will soon be mature enough to support basic, virtual gameplay. With this in mind, there are plans to roll out a VR-enabled iteration of Gonzo's Quest before the end of 2017, with the title set to be made available across both standard online and mobile platforms.
According to press releases, NetEnt will initially showcase a prototype of the game at the ICE Totally Gaming event
, which is scheduled to be held at the ExCel Arena in London between 7th
February. It is likely to combine the concept of real-money wagering with the burgeoning VR platform, effectively replicating an immersive, bricks-and-mortar casino experience within an interactive, virtual setting. This has been a goal in the online gaming market for more than a decade, and after taking incremental steps towards realising this it is now on the brink of achieving its aim.
Will This Trigger a Rush of VR Slot and Casino Games?
There is no doubt that VR is a growing (and increasingly influential) trend in the online gaming sector, and one that is continuing to shape the type of experiences that developers strive to create. In this respect, the development of a VR slot game should come as no surprise, particularly given the increased accessibility of the technology and the fact that slot titles account for more than 50% of all online casino wagers. Given this, only two real questions remain at this time.
Firstly, it is worth asking whether Web VR technology is mature enough to support a genuinely immersive slot gaming experience, although the decisiveness with which NetEnt have acted on their research suggests that is little more than a passing concern.
Secondly, players will be wondering whether or not the new release will trigger a rush of similar titles to the marketplace? There is little doubt that fellow developers within the online casino space will follow suit and look to create their own, VR-enabled games, of course, but we will probably not see the majority of these until next year at the earliest. This will allow companies to refine the technology and the VR, slot gaming experience, while learning from the prototype titles that blaze a trail in the market.