In our penultimate episode of our latest Spotlight series, where we delve into the online slot scene within the US, we asked our experts what titles do the US players prefer and what slots inspire them.
Comparing the UK slot scene, where players prefer Fruit slots from their inspiration from the British pub, do the US players prefer titles which are reminiscent of Vegas? If not, what titles do US-players prefer to play and what are the reasoning behind it? Additionally, what platform do US players prefer to use and how does this impact the titles you launch?
Jesper Kärrbrink, Green Jade Games: This is an interesting topic. As I said earlier, the first player to migrate to playing online is often the player who plays land based slots. In the UK this meant Fruit slots from the pub. Will this be true for the US as well? The slots experience in Vegas is very different to a fruit slot in a pub outside Leeds.
In Vegas you can find any slot from simple “bandits” to cabinets with double screens, massive sound systems and comfy lounge chairs. My take on this is that we will see some online slots providers mimic the land based slots as much as possible when it comes to math and themes, while others will keep to their style and just build good slots.
Some things to look out for: Patent infringements, this is a much bigger thing in the US than in Europe. IP, I think we will see more branded slots based on IP rights from films and books in the US market. Arcade Gambling games: This is a game genre that will probably suit the US players well.
Jeff Miller, Evolution: It’s hard to make generalisations as no two players are the same. Yet clearly, when you are entering markets where they have been very used to a style of slot in another vertical – in this case, land-based – it makes sense to provide familiar touch points.
For example, the portfolios of NetEnt and Red Tiger include lots of games that have many of the same play mechanics found in land-based casinos, such as free spin bonuses and progressive jackpots. Of course, both also have a long history of producing slots that are popular the world over and have genuine universal appeal.
There is no reason why they will not be successful in the US too. Ultimately, players want familiarity that blends seamlessly with innovation and novelty. They will try something new provided it’s not too far out of their comfort zone.
Vladimir Pavlov, Pariplay: Consumer preferences in the UK and the US are constantly evolving, so I would hesitate to define them by one theme. US players have yet to experience the large variety of slots themes, features and math models that we are used to seeing in Europe. Naturally, they tend to stick to what they know from land-based visits.
This is likely to change, as more new providers enter the market. There are also players for whom digital will be the first casino experience, so their taste can be somewhat influenced by casinos using smart lobby management and promotional offering. Mobile user experience is and will remain key.