Social factor to steer iGaming’s future – Chesnais

Social factor to steer iGaming’s future – Chesnais

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Totally Gaming

The social factor will play an even bigger role in the iGaming industry in the years to come, according to Frederic Chesnais, the chief executive of Atari.

Chesnais was joined by three other CEOs – Don Daglow of Daglow Entertainment, Heiko Hubertz of BigPoint and Gili Lisani of Pariplay – on an EiG 2014 panel exploring the synergies between the real-money gaming and the video gaming industries today (Wednesday) at Arena Berlin.

“It’s very difficult to predict what will be happening in 10 years’ time, but I believe that the social aspect will be increasingly important,” Chesnais (pictured centre) said.

“A player with 20 friends in the same game is more likely to stick with it than a player with two friends in the same game. Gaming will be a place for friends, and if friends are playing in a game they will recruit more friends.”

Daglow (pictured left) agreed that the “social lessons” shifting over from video gaming to iGaming will be “very fruitful”, but added that there will still be a place for traditional gaming experiences.

“I’m sure there will be more virtual experiences in 10 years’ time, but there will also still be places where people can take part in traditional gaming for nostalgia value,” he said.

The panel provided contrasting perspectives on the future of skill-based games.

Hubertz insisted that skill can act as a “barrier to entry” and added: “We go for games like slots, blackjack and roulette. We don’t go for billiards or pool, for example, as you don’t hit your KPIs.”

Lisani (pictured right) spoke of the hybrid of offering a skill-based bonus round in a game, with moderator David Chang, the chief marketing officer of Gamblit Gaming, agreeing that the “skill can be part of the entertainment of the game, but not the return”.

However, Chesnais and Daglow said that there were benefits of a skill-based offering.

“The advantage of a skill-based game is that you might be able to attract players who will not necessarily play slots as there is an element of competition and bragging rights,” Chesnais said.

Daglow added: “It comes down to the emotions we want our players to feel. People play games for different reasons.

“In introducing skill, for some people we’re giving them the emotion they want – the challenge – but for other people, the minute there is a failure of any kind, we’re giving them the opposite of what they want.

“I believe that iGaming companies have been masters of understanding the emotions of players and building businesses that respond accordingly.”

For Lisani, a flexible approach will be crucial if the sector is to continue to meet the needs of its customers.

“Five years ago we were still thinking about designing games for a male or female audience, whether it was skill or luck-based,” he said. “That’s finished now, and it is a unisex approach.”

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