Friday, October 7, 2016

G2E, The future of gaming revealed

     The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2016 conference in Las Vegas on September 27-29 provided a “window” into the current state of gaming and an understanding of the variations in appreciation of the future of gaming. Most particularly, it was obvious that an overwhelming number of gaming manufacturers  companies have taken the position that improved graphics, modern themes and brighter lighting will provide the ability to attract new and additional patrons to gaming while others recognized the future requires a departure from the conventional games of the “brick and mortar” casino.

     The auditorium hall had variations of interest to all things gaming uniforms, fraud prevention, food preservatives, cyber security, the focus of the convention, table and slot games. The majority of the games however we're basically the conventional "slot" machines and  table games with variations that have been around for a number of years. The convention featured multiple type “side wager” variations to conventional table games of Black Jack, Texas Hold’em and Baccarat.  These game variations are directed to obtain additional wagers from current players rather than attracting “new” players.  More particularly, the motivation to developing these “side wager” variations is based on the ability to provide a method to get “more” out of the same gaming populations rather than attracting new patrons to gaming.  This “small risk” type change to gaming will need to be reviewed regarding its success over the next few years.

     However, a lurking doom seem to be evident in the hall with regard to the conventional type “slot” machines and table games in the future in gaming.  It was recognized and acknowledged by all that traditional games will be a part of the future of gaming but their space in the gaming arena (and casino floors) will be reduced to make way for the igames and e-sports that will be required to attract the millennials; the sector of the population that will over the next 10 years become to core focus of gaming revenues considerations.   Economically, the future of gaming will bet on the millennials recognizing their reliance and affinity for computer software inclusive games which include an element of skill, while keeping the traditional players to the greatest extent possible.  A majority of the members of the gaming community present at the convention recognized the future is going to be based on igames, e-sports and player to player (P2P) type games. Though many companies did not have these types of games “on the floor”, conversations with executives and technology leaders of these companies recognized that this was the future of gaming.

     A spin off consideration to the “P2P” gaming is provided based on the “ancillary” type commercialization of these types of games in contrast to “house games”.  Most particularly, P2P gaming (in various forms) allows for the inclusion of the sectors outside of the “brick and mortar” type casino.  Further, P2P provides the ability to incorporate “analytic” type software to the entertainment package.  For example, P2P can be an “event” at various venues in the retail area such as large bar and restaurant facilities without any concern of a requirement of a “gaming license”.  The venue can offer such events at entertainment and allow for prizes rather than money winnings.  Much like the sport of boxing, venues can be of various sizes and the event schedule can include leagues.  The surrounding commercialization benefit can be shared by all, in addition to the ability grow gaming via this type of event.

     The G2E conference provides a forum for many of the issues regarding gaming and established that the correct combination of intellectual property protection, development, marketing and entrepreneurship can provide a “re-newed” interest in gaming for both existing players and new players for many years in the future. 

- Joseph J. DiDonato

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