Some might argue from the word go that virtual reality in iGaming is not even the future, it’s already here. There is certainly compelling evidence to suggest that VR is a trend that can no longer be ignored.
A recent report by Digi-Capital predicts that the global industry for virtual and augmented realities will be worth a staggering $150bn by the turn of the next decade. Consequently, the world’s pioneering iGaming software developers are working hard to find ways to incorporate VR into classic casino games as well as the next generation games.
Last year, one of the pioneers of the iGaming software realm, Microgaming, tested a range of VR products at the ICE Totally Gaming 2016 conference. It sought to combine CRYO Lab software which combines seamlessly with Oculus Rift VR headsets to create new and wonderful casino worlds for players to experience from the comfort of their own armchairs.
Fellow iGaming software developers, NetEnt – whose games feature heavily in Canada’s leading online casinos which you can find a comprehensive list of here – also created their own real-money VR slot game for the iGaming market. A VR version of Gonzo’s Quest, which remains one of the most popular slot titles among casino players, was released in June to much acclaim.
There is no doubt that the development of more VR slot and table games will greatly enhance the prospects of fully immersive VR casinos falling into our hands in the near future. Some may be sceptical about the concept of a VR slot game and how it can make it more engaging than those on your computer or smartphone screen. However, the ability to enter a VR world where you can sit and play a slot game and immerse yourself in the actual environment that graphics have created for decades is something to behold.
The advent of live casino features has enabled casino players to interact directly with a human dealer in real-time, whilst having the capability to converse with other players at the table too. If virtual reality is able to harness these social features and combine them with a genuine look and feel of a casino environment then there is no doubt that VR casinos are the future for iGaming.
SlotsMillion is the first fully virtual reality casino available on the market, using technology developed by Lucky VR. There are no classic casino games available in this casino, but with more than 40 different slot games and a gameroom which is located on the 80th floor of a high-rise building, it offers fantastic life-like views over the unnamed futuristic cityscape.
In Switzerland, a company has developed Casino VR Poker, a concept which mimics playing at the poker tables of a casino floor. With a love of real-life poker and a distaste for antisocial online poker, the company’s developers sought to use immersive VR to bring real-life poker to homes worldwide. By adopting Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR headsets, Casino VR Poker transports players to a highly engaging poker table with other human players, where you can chat, read others’ body language and play in a variety of casino settings.
If iGaming sites can maintain the social engagement of their virtual gaming experiences, the sky is the limit for an industry which could already be worth upwards of $500m by 2021.