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Will simplicity sell in the VR world?

"Razer OSVR Open-Source Virtual Reality f" (CC BY 2.0) by  pestoverde
"Razer OSVR Open-Source Virtual Reality f" (CC BY 2.0) by pestoverde
Simplistic games with direct objectives were a staple in the 80s, and the pick-up-and-play format translated beautifully to mobile-a platform on which this style of gaming experienced a renaissance. Now, fun and addictive apps like Candy Crush and Angry Birds that hark back to games like Tetris and Donkey Kong are at the forefront of the mobile gaming world. Will the basic formula incorporated by these games translate into virtual reality?

According to an annual report from the Entertainment Software Association, 40% of gamers will purchase a virtual reality headset in the next year. These figures suggest that the argument made by some that VR will be slow to take off could be false. Peter Nowak from The National believes that all the talk surrounding VR is overblown, and that there are still many obstacles to overcome before it can dominate global markets. Digi-Capital, on the other hand, predicts that by 2020 VR could be a $30 billion industry.

There is still much speculation about how successful VR will be, but developers must be prepared for what could become a booming industry. 200,000 developers, therefore, have already registered to build games for the Oculus Rift. A lot of these developers are already masters of creating simple and addictive games for other platforms, and some of the games actually helped other innovations flourish, such as smartphones and tablets.

Take Microgaming for example, one of the top developers for online casinos worldwide. The company’s vast array of games is available to play at 32Red Australia on desktop, mobile, or smart watch. One of the featured slot games by Microgaming at 32Red is Jurassic Park, a game for which the developers won the Digital Product of the Year award at the Global Gaming Awards.

The Microgaming casino games all adhere to the pick-up-and-play format which has become synonymous with successful online casinos. This is why many sites have seen the lucrative appeal of also offering a mobile app on which to play their games.

To encourage more people to play their casino games across other platforms, 32Red offers new players a sign up bonus of $32 on every $10 deposited, and Jackpot City offers players a deposit match up to 100% when new players download their app. These bonuses help to promote new platforms, and when online casinos embrace VR they are sure to use bonuses like these to attract more users to the new format. And it doesn’t just have to be sign-up bonuses; Dazzle Casino offers players free spins on certain slot games, and promotions like these could serve to introduce more people to new VR games when the time comes.

All of these factors are sure to boost demand for these games and when you factor in the possibility of special, VR editions to the games - such as dinosaurs appearing in the Jurassic Park game, or taking a virtual tour of a dinosaur park whilst you spin the reels - the games are sure to be an instant hit with fans new and old alike!

Developers expect that when users enter VR worlds they will want to enjoy a fully immersive experience. This is the primary focus at present, and incorporating simplistic games can help create this atmosphere. Online casino games fit this model perfectly, as they don’t require much skill or attention to play, and users can focus on other aspects of their VR encounter.

Microgaming has adhered to all these aspects with its revolutionary VR Roulette game, which the company unveiled to the general public at the 2016 ICE Expedition.

Players slip on the headset and enter a VR room in which they will see a roulette wheel and betting area in front of them. The prototype on display at ICE was set in space, and users could interact with distant planets and space rocks, by touching them. They could also place their virtual chips on the betting area and watch the roulette wheel spin. Players at the expedition said they enjoyed the feeling of being in another world, and found the effortlessness of the game to be an ideal accompaniment to the experience.

A clear advantage for the arcade and casino sectors will surely be that their games are easy to pick up, enjoy and acclimatise themselves with, whilst they get used to the mechanics of Virtual Reality world. They could then adapt to more adventurous VR worlds, but it would certainly be beneficial to build some experience and fluidity with the operating system.

One would imagine that slot games would also make the transition to VR seamlessly, and some of the addictive apps available on mobile could also be due a makeover. Candy Crush style games could come to VR in the form of life-size blocks that players have to walk up to and move around.

It is likely that simplicity will be a huge selling point of VR, and it could bring the new technology to the masses.


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