Low Cost Slots and Bingo Gaming
While playing video games has always been a lot of fun, there can be no denying that, at times, it has also been fairly pricey.
Enjoying the magic of Mario, the strength of Gerald of Rivia, or the combat of Call of Duty has always tended to come at a cost – specifically, the need to shell out on the latest consoles, extra controllers and other accessories like headsets or even dedicated, macro-enabled gaming keyboards. That’s before you count the cost of buying the games themselves, together with their coveted DLC packs.
Considering the memories that we have made thanks to gaming through the years, many would probably say it was all money well spent. However, the world of gaming seems to now be transforming, and the idea of paying out on individual titles seems to be becoming a thing of the past. In fact, it could be argued that the wider world of gaming is experimenting with formats more often associated with internet bingo, online slots and similar niches.
Let's explore this in more detail, one step at a time.
A new way to playNew models for accessing and playing quality games are emerging all of the time, and we're about to look into some of the most notable on offer at the moment. All of the below have one thing in common: they don't require the player to purchase each of their titles separately, bundling different titles together instead to allow for a wide range of options for less than the sum of each individual game's stand-alone price.
Xbox Game PassCreated by Microsoft, Xbox Game Pass was launched in June 2017 to give gamers the chance to play more than 100 games on both Xbox and PC with one subscription – this so-called pass. There is also the added bonus of being able to play some games on the same day as their wider release, with the platform offering several subscription plans.
PS NowOperating on a similar basis to Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Now features a library of more than 700 games including titles from the days of PS2 and PS3. Members can download or stream a number of the games and several different types of subscription are on offer on this platform that was released in 2014-2015 around the world.
Google StadiaThe new kid on the block, Google Stadia only launched in November 2019. The system is designed to let you stream and play games across a range of different devices. Some subscription tiers allow you to simply buy games when you want, while others let you regularly access free games and other perks. What's interesting about Stadia is that the games are pre-processed off-site, which means that they don't use the gamer's own hardware for rendering graphics, which opens up gaming possibilities to a much wider demographic.
In addition to these, the subscription model has also found its way into mobile gaming with Apple Arcade, with that service also offering unlimited access to a number of games for a monthly price. This trend is clearly an interesting development and it does beg a few questions
With games increasingly bundled and less attention now given to pricey purchases of standalone games, what could the future hold for gaming? Are the days of paying out to specifically play a AAA title coming to an end?
Inspiration from BingoIn terms of the future of gaming, one area which might offer up some inspiration could be the exciting world of bingo games and slots. What about it, we hear you ask? It is well worth thinking about for a moment.
In offering a wide range of different titles to play, a site like our own Wink Bingo is not dissimilar in style to some of the platforms we've looked at above. Specifically, we offer our members access to an entire library of different gaming experiences under one roof. Our slot games take in a host of different themes, while our bingo games come in many styles, with varying levels of ticket prices and jackpots. This means that our players are afforded plenty of flexibility, both in terms of how they play and how much they spend – with some games even playable in demo mode.
Meanwhile, bingo promotions give newbies and veterans alike some freebies, including the chance to win a major bonus by playing free bingo in the first few days after they sign up, and a £20 bonus every hour with Free Tenners. In addition, our £1k Freebie game is open to players who have deposited in the past week and features a combined jackpot of £1,000. Finally, we occasionally offer free spins promotions in relation to our slots as well.
We are delighted to be able to offer such options to our members, but could we see the gaming industry go down a similar route in the future in terms of both flexibility and freebies?
Going mobileWhile a mobile-first approach may not be particularly common in relation to AAA games, it is fair to say that flagship video games are already a big part of mobile gaming – or have other strong links to the niche.
For example, many major games on smartphone and tablet operate on a free-to-play basis. This means gamers get access to the basic elements of a title for no charge but may have to pay in order to get hold of special items or features as they progress further. Such purchases are usually made possible through micro-transactions, which take place within the game.
Alongside advertising, such purchases mean that developers still have a chance to make money from their creations. In addition, it could be said that they put an element of control in players’ hands, as it is up to them what they choose to purchase and that could ultimately influence how they make their journey through the game and the overall experience. Evidence certainly seems to suggest the idea is popular too, as research published by App Annie in early 2020 found that mobile games experienced around 25% more spend than all other forms of gaming combined in 2019.
Mobile has also for some time embraced the idea of more flexible, casual play, with the likes of Candy Crush being designed so that you can easily dip in and out of it at will. The same goes for more recent high-profile releases like Nintendo’s Mario Kart Tour, where races generally consist of just two laps per game.
The end of AAA?With such trends growing in prominence in the worlds of bingo and on mobile, it seems that the world of gaming is clearly changing. However, does that mean the days of playing blockbuster first-person shooters or RPG adventures may well be coming to an end?
No, not necessarily.
After all, the world of video gaming is big and varied these days, with more people of various backgrounds and age groups enjoying experiences of all shapes and sizes. Therefore, while a lot of us might be content with a few games of bingo or a free-to-play title, others may still crave that big-budget gaming experience, no matter whether they buy it as a standalone game or via a subscription.
However, not unlike areas such as music, film and TV, it does seem that a shift to platforms that offer a library of content under one roof is already taking place. It is clearly an intriguing time for gaming, and it will be fascinating to see how things continue to develop in the years ahead. With freemium forms of gaming and other elements excelling in bingo and on mobile, it would not be surprising to see these have an impact on more big-budget games in the future – be it with their subscription models, offers, or style of gameplay.