Many different elements of popular culture run in cycles, with past innovations often resurrected and repackaged as ‘the next big thing’. That ethos can certainly be applied to the online slots and casino sector, with game developers regularly taking inspiration from yesteryear to stimulate new ideas.
Many modern games have their roots in popular arcade titles of the 1980s and 90s, with their creators using their retro brilliance to great effect.Those efforts paid off in style, with online games becoming the ‘go-to’ entertainment activity for millions of people around the world during the early part of the 21st century.
The shift towards the internet sadly sparked a decline in the popularity of amusement arcades, leaving many land-based venues searching for different ways to keep themselves afloat.
Read on as we look at the rise of slots and casinos, before assessing how they have subsequently helped to spark a resurgence in arcade gaming.
Online Sites Change the Landscape
Prior to the launch of the internet in the early 1990s, anyone who wanted to play slots or casino games had to visit a brick-and-mortar establishment. However, rapid advancements in technology soon changed the landscape and opened the door for online gaming companies to take full advantage. Players were suddenly able to play free slots or for real money at online casinos and that additional level of convenience was a factor that land-based venues struggled to compete with.
The online boom continued apace until the early part of the 2010s, but operators then hit upon a rather unexpected problem in the shape of millennials.
The Millennial Conundrum
The early incarnations of online sites were fairly simplistic, with many of the different games offering little in the way of additional features to keep players engaged for hours on end. This eventually created a major headache for gaming operators, as they struggled to compete with the intricate levels of gameplay that consoles could provide.
It became increasingly difficult for sites to attract millennials, particularly with regards to playing the basic range of slots games they had to offer.
This was quickly rectified, with the best operators recognising that incorporating skill-based games into their offering would be the answer to their prayers.
Mixing the Past with the Present
Online sites are now a vastly different place from just a few years ago, with players able to choose from a plethora of feature-rich titles across the various gaming genres. Many of those games take their inspiration from the past, with symbols such as Bars, Sevens and Bells still featuring prominently in modern slots.
Some developers have taken this a step further, using popular games from the 80s and 90s such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders to create exciting new slots. These generally resonate particularly strongly with millennials, as these were the type of games that defined their visits to amusement arcades towards the end of the 20th century.
The Resurgence of Arcades
The cyclic nature of the gaming sector is currently being highlighted perfectly by the positive impact that online play is now having on land-based venues. Brick-and-mortar amusement arcades are enjoying a huge resurgence, with operators offering the same type of skill-based games available at online sites. This has led to a renaissance for many seaside holiday towns, as people have headed to coastal resorts to recapture elements of their youth that they perhaps thought had been lost.
While arcade owners would have rightly felt aggrieved about the damage that online sites initially did to their businesses, the current state-of-play actually sees each sector aiding the other.