5 mins read

How are online games becoming more immersive?

iGaming has come a long way in the past decade. Today iGaming refers to online casino games, card games, slots, and even bingo. After a massive boom at the start of the 00s, there has never been a wider selection for online gamers to choose from and enjoy on the online casino scene.

However, technology is always evolving. The online games currently available and widely enjoyed will likely date quickly in the following years! In fact, there are already a few strides taken to make online games that little bit more immersive.

Going live!

Frequent players of online casino games have probably noticed a surge in ‘live’ dealer games over the past few years. Instead of presenting a basic virtual table to play from, these games allow players to connect to a real dealer behind a legitimate casino table.

The idea here is that players are playing classic games of blackjack, roulette, and craps (for example) with real croupiers, without finding a real-life casino. They will feel as if they are part of real-life casino action, and they are not even standing at a table!

This isn’t just a massive leap in terms of immersion but also convenience. The COVID-19 pandemic restricted how freely people could enter venues such as casinos and games centres, and therefore, live gaming filled a niche.

Some gamers still see live games as being a little on the gimmicky side. However, the array of different live titles and studios with streaming options available signals that this is more than just a passing craze. All the benefits of online gaming that players are already grateful for are about to get turbo-charged too, with the advent of VR.

VR and AR

The next step for immersion in iGaming is (literally) reality-bending. While live casino games bring players closer to dealers and realistic casino experiences, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) bring players closer to completely replicating realistic games.

Virtual reality casinos are still in their very early infancy, but the technology is already there for game designers to play around with. Via headset, players can ‘visit’ casinos from their own homes, interacting with environments physically as opposed to through a mouse click or a screen tap.

VR has seen immense growth over the years but still needs a little fine-tuning. In many ways, AR is helping to fill a few gaps in iGaming and console gaming. AR works inversely to VR – it brings casino elements into the real world rather than taking players to the casino.

Hypothetically, this could mean that players end up playing real card games with a holographic table and dealer in their homes. They could pull the handle of, or press buttons on, a ‘real’ slot machine that hovers in their living room!

Again, the technology here requires great refinement. AR is commonly used in marketing and product analysis right now, but it is growing increasingly popular with those looking to enhance iGaming experiences.

What will happen to traditional games?

If the idea of VR, AR, or even live games doesn’t appeal to players much right now, they needn’t worry. There will always be a market for traditional iGaming. As GameRules’ guide to spotting the best online games states, finding the perfect gaming experiences is all about personal taste! Their rundown explains what players should do when looking for new games (without necessarily just looking for new, immersive tech).

Traditional gaming, such as video slots, virtual poker, and even online keno and bingo, are unlikely to disappear with the advent of more immersive experiences. Some players simply prefer to play virtual games. The technology and hardware needed to experience VR games, too, for example, would require extra investment on the player’s part.

A clue to how this will all play out lies in how audiences already treat live games. Live dealers came along a few years ago and seemed to be changing the way people enjoyed iGaming worldwide. However, it has simply slid into most casinos as an alternative choice – not a replacement for the traditional online slots and tables that players know and love.

Therefore, immersive gaming is something to get excited about – not to be afraid of. It will be a few years before VR gaming is completely mainstream. But, for the foreseeable future, players will have the option to open up a quick window and click away at some slots and cards without the need for a clunky headset or a hologram in their front room!

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