iGaming goes to war with video gaming industry
Oulala CEO Valery Bollier made some surprising remarks regarding the future of the iGaming sector during his recent speech at the industry event in Monaco.
Bollier, CEO and Co-founder of an award-winning Daily Fantasy Football B2B provider, recently visited the principality on the French Riviera where he spoke at the World Gaming Expo.
He explained that there seems to be a significant dissonance between what the industry wants the customers to desire and what the customers and potential clients are actually looking for: ”Over the last 4 years, Oulala has directed its attention exclusively towards understanding the exact needs of these new generations, often referred to as millennials. We have learnt, first and foremost, that they want skill games.”
He went on to explain that if one has gone spent their childhood and teen years playing incredible skill games on their consoles, then, chances are, they are entirely hooked on skill games. Unsurprisingly, adulthood spawns the desire to play with real money, the latter upping the stakes in a way that makes the game more exciting. ”The question that remains is why someone would choose to go for games of luck instead, a question that strategists often tend to disregard. The conclusion they settle on is that what worked for older generations will also work for the younger ones. What this notion neglects to take into account is that the older generations were raised before the first Atari console was launched in 1982. Any CTO would classify this as a ‘fatal error’.”
Bollier revealed another important lesson that he and his team have learned from their customers: they want social games. ”Fortunately, there appears to be a general consensus over this fact,” he said. ”Nevertheless, it is crucial that one acknowledges the disparity that may exist between what we want to give customers and what they are actually expecting. We may be eager to offer them social luck games, purely because it is simpler for us to create, however, they actively pursue real social games that would guarantee bragging rights upon victory. The satisfaction that comes with luck games cannot be compared to the bragging satisfaction that a skill game would provide. It is for this reason that social games started out on skill games and should remain that way.”
Bollier also pointed out that optimal graphic design and gameplay are a must if we want to attract millennials: ”Considering the past 15 years of experiencing video games that cost between $50 million and $300 million to build, it comes as no surprise that the level of expectation with regards to graphic design and gameplay would skyrocket.” He added that the iGaming sector is at least 20 years late in the game and until it commits to investing an extensive amount of funds towards game development, then it will be wedged at a position that is far removed from what the customers expect from it.
Bollier believes that none of the iGaming sector’s traditional products have been responding to any of the three aforementioned needs. Most do not even commit to a single one.
”A new market is flourishing and growing fast, yet the iGaming sector, which would be the ideal industry to fill the gap, seems reluctant to do so. Vacuums tend to be short lived and this void will indubitably be colonized by another industry before long: the video gaming industry.”
According to Bollier, the start of the 1980s saw an explosion of growth in the video game industry after targeting young children and teenagers. After having done such an excellent job, the industry enjoyed great longevity where customers continued playing throughout their teenage years and the average age of gamers is now 35 years (30 in 2012). Surprisingly, those potential customers who are still hesitant to dip their toes into our industry are already their customers. It is very likely that their next step will be to offer the one thing that they are not currently providing, that is, a real money based experience.
”While a lot of this may appear to be set in stone, I still believe that a number of major iGaming groups as well as a few influential casino brands have the financial resources to fight this battle and attain a possible leading position in this upcoming market. As it is, to win a war, one must first acknowledge that there is one at all.”