If you would of told us at the start of last year that auto spins were going to banned in the UK, Twitch were going to begin clamping down on casino streamers and that 888 Holdings were going to buy William Hill. We probably wouldn't of believed you, however in the ever changing gambling industry it seems like now is no better time to make some predictions around what we think will come to pass in the next 12 months. Will everything here happen? Perhaps not but industry murmurings or a general trend throughout our previous articles has greatly influenced this look into 2022.
Much like the ever popular Marvel movie franchise building upon pre-existing hit movies, we feel 2022 will continue the trend of sequels for the igaming industry. 2021 saw the release of Jammin Jars 2, Fruit Party 2 and Dr Toonz along with many other pre existing games getting their own sequel. Despite some of these slots not being the smash hits the studios or audiences expected with the releases either being too similar to the original game or being too far removed from the source material. Their instantly recognisable branding led to these slots being some of the biggest releases of the year and we are sure this trend will continue.
One of our most popular stories this year was our in-depth description around RTP which we initially made after the news broke around Push Gaming introducing variable RTP across all their releases moving forward (this can be read here) Variable RTP is slowly becoming the industry norm, with one slot having many different iterations of the same release but with varying odds and chances of winning. We think at some point in the next year this RTP percentage will be forced to have more prominence prior to a slot being played, this crucial stat is typically placed in the information or settings part of a slot but we feel the growing number of varying RTP percentages being offered and general audience confusion will prompt this change.
Our land based casino counterparts have had a long history of creating licensed slot games with many pre established brands and multimedia franchises going on to have their own slots. However the online gambling industry has never quite used this to their advantage. Industry juggernauts Play'n Go perhaps spring to mind this year with their recent rockstar style games that have seen them create licensed games around ZZ Top and soon to be released Def Leppard, along with Slingshot Studios releasing a Game Of Thrones licensed game earlier in the year. These licensed games much like sequels have a pre established audience base that can bring new players into the industry or have an increased chance of becoming favourites for existing gamblers and we see these becoming even more popular and prominent in 2022.
Asian And Latin American Influence
Its perhaps short sighted to think that the slots we play have been made for a purely western audience, we spoke earlier in the year to Marcus Honney Managing Director of AvatarUX who in his interview initially spoke about the rise of the Asian market. It along with the Latin American igaming industry has seen unprecedent growth this year and with slot studios being multinational companies trying to appeal to all audiences, we imagine 2022 will further cater to these markets through their slot releases. Whether that be in theme, design or function the growth of the market and slot studios desperate to gain a foothold in them will see them create games more designed for international audiences or with a more global generalised appeal.
The UK Gambling Commission has made many decisions this year that the general public and industry professionals have pushed back on and this momentum continues to grow. Currently undergoing an enquiry by the APBGG around its effectiveness and competency (more can be read here) the UKGC continues to alienate players pushing them to an unregulated black market that the commission is made to police. We suspect 2022 could be the tipping point of both player and industry frustrations that could see the commissions downfall or more likely full restructuring.
Market Specific Games
We maybe premature with this and perhaps it is still a few years away but the general consensus is that the many global markets available require different approaches and perhaps different games. Relax Gaming have been leading the charge with their Money Cart releases, games aimed to allow UK players to more easily play the Money Train and Money Train 2 bonus rounds. Despite not being the biggest fans of these releases in our reviews it maybe setting a precedent for other studios to follow. We as players tend to steer clear of releases from NoLimit City as many of their slots have such high volatility they sometimes feel impossible to bonus without a bonus buy feature being available ostracising the huge UK market. However a release with lowered volatility designed specifically for here would increase the likelihood of ourselves putting a few spins through their games and is something we imagine will be more common in 2022.
The gambling industry is ever changing and evolving and we are sure that whatever surprises the next year holds one thing can be certain, Genius Gambling will be there to keep you informed with all the latest news, reviews and interviews. To all our readership, partners, content creators and viewership we wish you all a Merry Christmas and look forward to what 2022 brings. Thank you for an amazing 2021!