The overwhelming volume of slots hitting the market week on week is not lost on anyone, however, just what is it that players crave in order for these to become a hit within desired jurisdictions. 

In the culminating part of our latest CasinoBeats roundtable, Mike Collins, Game Product Owner at Thunderkick, Charlie Jacka, Head of Product at Blueprint Gaming, and Ivan Kravchuk, CEO of Evoplay, discuss those specific players that may prefer a simpler gaming experience, as well as looking at just what operators want from fresh content.

CasinoBeats: How large is the demographic that prefers simpler games? Is it seen as an entry point for those new to slots?

Mike Collins: I think it is almost impossible to put a number on the exact demographic, but I’d be happy to bet that the majority of players like to keep it simple. Intricate or multi-layered games are rarely entry level by their very nature. That may have been reinforced most recently by a new generation of player that is looking for instant gratification.

You only need to look across the corridor at the success of crash games to see that. But many players who fall in love with slots will go on their own journey of discovery, and what they start playing may not be what they’re playing a year later, or further on as their interest develops.

That demonstrates the need to offer a balanced portfolio that balances overtly commercial content with games that may attract fewer but more dedicated players. It’s about striking the right balance.

Charlie Jacka: Due to wildly varying demographics across the player spectrum, it is difficult to answer from a general standpoint. In some cases, a strong game can work across multiple markets which is the goal for every supplier but it is also important to analyse each market and develop something which we think ticks a box for players globally.

From a UK perspective, however, players considerably prefer a simpler approach to games. Advanced graphics, engaging gameplay and frequent opportunities for wins are a must and we have ensured our series has offered this year on year. The titles within the Fishin’ Frenzy series are hardly the most complex, far from it, but their simplicity and clever design have paved the way for success. 

The colourful ocean hues and audio effects of spinning reels were quite the departure from other genres available at the time and it was a breath of fresh air for many. Since then, our success has boiled down to keeping the proven formula of key characteristics but introducing new features such as The Big Catch.

A quality, well-loved brand can capture the imagination of players well beyond its launch without being overly complicated, and slot studios new to the industry can take confidence from that.

Ivan Kravchuk: The popularity of Evoplay’s simple slots, such as Hot Triple Sevens and many others, supports the statement that a significant demographic prefers simpler games. Their appeal stems from their perceived transparency and players clearly understand where their resources are spent. 

While simple slots are an easy entry point for those who prefer simpler online casino games, it’s important to note that the igaming market adapts to different player preferences.

For a more modern audience, crash and instant games have emerged as entry points. Recognising these shifts and catering to different generational tastes and individual player preferences is crucial for us as a provider aiming to satisfy broad tastes.

CB: Recent industry chatter suggests that operators want simpler, more easily understood slots – will we see this reflected in new releases?  

    CJ: Again, this very much depends on the region in question. Certain suppliers will strive for new mechanics offering a more complex gaming experience to establish a competitive edge, whereas others will stick to reel formats that they know players are familiar and happy with.

    New releases at Blueprint are not launched without thorough research from players and our design and development team, encompassing advanced graphics, engaging audio and immersive mechanics. There is a strong consensus that our portfolio of games consistently maintains all three of the above criteria whilst ensuring titles are not overly technical.

    IK: While we acknowledge market trends, our primary focus is on enhancing the gaming experience, whether we’re creating simple or advanced games. The Evoplay’s slot collection is sure to include the old-school, simpler slots that are popular with online casino fans.

    Moreover, we actively support exclusive projects like Slotopia, which aim to enrich the classic slot offerings in igaming. The dominance of slots in the global online gambling industry makes working on projects like this imperative.

    Looking ahead, Evoplay will broaden its collection of timeless slots, injecting them with fresh features and popular themes. This approach is designed to engage both new and experienced players, offering a gaming experience that is both familiar and exciting.

    MC: Market trends undoubtedly influence development, but I don’t know of any operator that only wants one type of game. After all, they don’t only have one type of player. The better ones cater to a diverse audience and, if they are multi-national, geographically specific ones where applicable.

    If things continue, we could see more classic style slots, or more likely, simple games that are balanced and focused around one engaging feature. But after every push there is a pull, and we might see that trend reverse in time. The challenge for operator and supplier alike is to stay ahead of the curve.