2017 Riga Gaming Congress to focus on the future of AR and VR casino games.
As the 2017 Global Gaming Expo (G2E) wraps up in Las Vegas today, the eyes of the gambling industry will turn to Riga, Latvia. The capitol city of this Northern Europe nation is vital to the world’s online and mobile gaming sector, playing host to the annual 2017 Riga Gaming Congress.
RGC 2017 will take place on October 12 at the Royal Casino SPA and Hotel on Terbatas Street. Fifteen industry insiders are gathering next week to speak at the B2B conference, educating attendees on future prospects and cutting-edge technologies.
This year’s congress will focus on a range of critical topics. They include the current and future prevalence of blockchain digital currencies, effective casino branding, legislative efforts in various regions, and my personal favorite, the evolution of VR and AR casino games.
The Future of AR and VR Casino Games
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have existed for a long time now. Recent technological advancements brought these concepts to vivid life in the past two years. A throng of Android and iOS application developers have created apps to show off their capabilities.
Last year, the demand for Oculus Rift and other VR headsets skyrocketed. AR games like Pokemon Go! drove millions of people, young and old, from their homes to capture virtual creatures throughout their local neighborhoods. It’s only a matter of time before this technology successfully infiltrates the mobile casino gambling market.
Microgaming spearheaded the movement last year with the introduction of the first VR Roulette game. It debuted in February 2016 at the ICE Totally Gaming expo in London. Despite uproarious reviews, the VR gambling game has yet to take off. It seems it was merely an exhibition of what the industry is capable of, once the gaming world catches up.
Just a Matter of Time before VR / AR Casino Games Take Off
Think back a few years to where the online gambling industry was in 2012. This was five years after the first smartphone, the original Apple iPhone, hit the shelves. But at this time, mobile gambling only accounted for a minuscule segment of the iGaming industry. Now, another five years later, and we see the mobile sector actually outperforming traditional desktop gaming.
It would make sense that VR and AR casino apps will reach their pinnacle in the next few years. After all, it takes time for users to become comfortable with new technology, and even more time for that technology to go mainstream.
Before players will truly appreciate the use of AR / VR gambling apps, developers will have to overcome existing issues, and give those players a reason to prefer the augmented/virtual experience. Abstract concepts are more difficult to relay in such a visually-dependent environment as VR. However, personalization may be the key to success, integrating things like VR speech-recognition and interactive chatbots.
It will be interesting to see where the conversation goes as speakers tackle these topics come Thursday. These issues and more are sure to take center stage when RGC 2017 gets underway at the Royal Casino in Riga.