From its humble beginnings as a mechanical contraption featuring three spinning reels at the end of the 19th century, the slot machine has come on in leaps and bounds in the intervening 120 years. These days, it’s not even necessary to visit a brick-and-mortar casino in order to indulge in your favourite slot game, since online casinos carry a huge and diverse array of titles.
Although these diverting (and potentially lucrative) pastimes might seem far removed from the world of video games, it might surprise you to learn that the latter has influenced the former in a wide variety of ways. Indeed, the online slot game as we know it today could not exist in a world without video games – here’s why.
Just as slot machines only used to be found in casinos and other gambling establishments, so too were video games once confined to arcade halls. However, the development of games consoles such as the PlayStation and the X-Box made these activities available to fans in their own homes, thus greatly expanding the outreach of the video game industry. With the inception of the internet, the same became possible for slot machines and these days, there are thousands of online casinos for players to choose from.
In fact, video game manufacturers quickly realised that it wasn’t enough to make their products playable in people’s homes – they had to allow fans to play their favourite games while on the go, too. For that reason, handheld gaming devices, like the Nintendo Gameboy and Switch, were invented to grant people the freedom to play games at any time and in any place. Once online casino operators cottoned onto this lucrative market, they too optimised their slots for mobile devices and today, a significant percentage of their users log in on their smartphones.
For video game manufacturers, the most important detail is often the narrative behind their game and the experience that playing it inspires in the player. While slot games are generally less complex in the message they carry, they too have shifted towards the telling of a story as well as the winning (or losing) of money. For example, Coin Quest 2 is a new release from Slotmills which not only offers a high RTP and unpredictable volatility, but transports the gamer to the tropical climes of an overgrown jungle, complete with impressive imagery and engaging soundtrack.
Although virtual reality (VR) enjoyed its first purple patch of popularity in the 1980s and 90s in the world of cinema, that proved to be short-lived as its failings were all too obvious. We can thank the world of video games for giving VR a second lease of life, since game developers have invested significant resources into researching and furthering the technology, which is now beginning to infiltrate the world of online casinos, as well. Going forwards, this impact on slots is only going to become more pronounced.
Video games have revolutionised the way we spend our recreational time – and that’s equally true for casino enthusiasts, as well. These are just a handful of ways in which they have influenced and will continue to influence online slots today, tomorrow and far into the future.