The video game industry generated nearly $135 billion worldwide in 2018 and continues to grow year after year. Online betting, esports, and gaming are some of the biggest markets in the world – markets where software developers are in high demand. Gambling, betting and gaming/esports require custom-built betting software solutions, as well as industry-specific programming and end-to-end software development that meets consumers’ high UX expectations. For 2020, here’s what we predict will change as the gaming market continues to grow.
Inclusivity in gaming and betting
Diversity and inclusivity are hot topics in nearly every industry, and gaming and betting are no different. One study found that “56% of gamers think that developers should actively make their games more inclusive towards diverse audiences, while 45% would be more likely to play such games (with only 7% saying that they would be less likely).”
On a technical level, the challenge for developers will be to bring even more personalization to gaming and betting. How can developers create games for those who are visually-challenged or hearing-impaired? How can storylines “shift away from violence” and become a tool for self-expression? Casinos also intend to cater to this trend more thoughtfully. In the US, the number of female gamblers is on the rise, now making up nearly 40% of the gambling population. Casinos will be challenged to cater games to more female players to continue to capitalize on this revenue opportunity.
Increased mobile gaming
Mobile games are on the rise as consumers demand convenient, on-the-go entertainment. The mobile gaming sector is predicted to grow to $165.9 billion in value by the end of 2020, and to take 59% of the gaming market share by 2021. This trend not only encompasses traditional video games, but also online gambling. Mobile casinos are gaining market share around the world. Mobile app developers will be in high demand as the industry responds to customers who wish to gamble and play anytime, anywhere.
VR and AR in betting
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are already popping up in mobile gaming apps, but have yet to proliferate the world of betting. In 2020, we expect casinos to increase their use of VR and AR to provide a better player experience.
“Some casinos provide an authentic gaming experience where players can explore the virtual casino and enjoy playing the latest VR-adapted slot games or any other game,” writes one industry analyst. “Virtual Reality poker is also gaining more popularity, and a few online casinos already offer such games on their websites...The trend is expected to take over the online casino industry during the near future, and soon online gamblers will be able to play face-to-face with their opponents, throw dices, and interact with other players just by putting on their VR Headset.”
Where virtual reality requires some additional equipment, however, AR is more widely accessible through the use of the latest smartphones. Casinos that introduce AR can combine software and hardware for one seamless experience: “For example, instead of playing live games as it happens now, a virtual casino powered by AR will bring even more realism in the game. Players will be able to see their surroundings, tables, dealers, staff, and other players.” Developers can expect AR to take precedent in new versions of casino mobile apps.
Crypto-based betting and casinos
Crypto-based betting is that which allows gamblers to place bets using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This type of betting will continue to gain momentum, and we expect to see more Blockchain casinos open their doors.
Blockchain casinos use a decentralized system through which funds are stored on the blockchain. To make a deposit, players send a crypto transaction; no personal data or credit card information is stored, making the casino inherently more secure. The casino keeps track of best and games to be transparently accessed by all the players and to ensure all winnings are paid out accordingly. The appeal of crypto-based betting is obvious: the system is more transparent and secure. However, the market is also largely unregulated. In 2020, “Many countries are seeking to regulate this activity, thus adding legitimacy and stability to what had been a highly fluctuating, volatile currency market,” predicts one industry analyst
Betting on esports on the rise
Finally, 2020 will bring a huge rise in profits at the intersection of gaming and gambling. “Wagering on e-sports is the fastest-growing betting trend in sports gambling with punters around the world expected to bet up to US$12.9 billion on gaming by 2020,” writes South China Morning Post.
Esports betting is the same process as betting on traditional sports: people wager through a sportsbook or online casino. A recent win in court from a case in New Jersey cleared the way for all states to offer sports betting if they choose to do so, meaning this market will grow exponentially in 2020 and beyond.