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Stoyan Todorov April 12, 2021 6 min read
FunFair COO Lloyd Purser: “Classic Casino Games Cannot Bring Gen Y and Z Players Online, Crypto Titles Can”
FunFair Technologies is onto a good thing, continuing with its development efforts to upend the casino gaming industry and introduce new gaming paradigms that tie directly into social experiences, which is precisely what FunFair COO Lloyd Purser believes modern players need.
As the evidence mounts that players under the age of 40 are reluctant to play single-player games, FunFair has set out to develop a variety of new, interconnected titles that combine popular gaming mechanics and bring them to the iGaming world, creating new entry-points for younger generations of gamblers.
“The new generation of gamblers expects more,” argues Purser, whose company is debuting “AstroBoomers: To the Moon!” a crash-style game inspired by the blockchain and crypto space but not necessarily based on the technology.
In this conversation with us, Purser gets down to the nitty-gritty of what makes FunFair Games’ products likely to succeed in the highly competitive and demanding world of iGaming in 2021 and beyond.
Why is crypto gambling becoming more popular?
We’ve seen a proliferation of simple and engaging multiplayer games in blockchain gambling, which have proved especially popular with gamblers under the age of 40, who are the demographic most familiar with Crypto.
These Generation Y and Z players are the first to grow up in a 24/7 connected digital world, playing immersive, strategic and social/casual video games. There is strong evidence that classic casino games such as slots that are largely a solitary activity, cannot bring these users online – but crypto titles can.
Our own findings show that Gen Z and Y gamblers indexed a 75% interest in multiplayer gambling titles – far higher than the proportion of older bettors who made the same choice. It’s clear then, that the emerging generation prefers experiences that can be shared with others.
Crash-style titles have proved consistently popular in the crypto community since releases like bustabit burst onto the scene in 2015, requiring decision-making on part of the player.
Crypto-gambling’s new and exciting technology has therefore resonated strongly with a new generation of players and we expect that pattern to continue.
What can the mainstream casino sector learn from the crypto space?
The new generation of gamblers expects more. The Gen Y/Z group are in constant communication with their peers, so it’s time for operators to reflect that in their offerings.
The success of live casino, pioneered by the likes of Evolution, reveals a strong market demand for community-driven, multiplayer content through titles such as Monopoly Live, Dream Catcher and Crazy Time.
Multiplayer games have already gained a large following in the live space, with these new gameshow-style titles driving growth. They are also popular in the crypto community, offering strong opportunities for customer acquisition and retention.
Feature-filled slots, however, are likely to remain a part of the iGaming landscape for a long time to come – in the future, though, they will be supplemented by community-driven titles.
How is FunFair Games applying those learnings?
Our games embrace every element demanded by the new generation of gambler with gaming experiences that are social, active and simple.
Our debut title, AstroBoomers: To the Moon!, is the perfect example. It’s social, because multiplayer and community-driven games where players collaborate to compete against the house are a completely different style to the solitary slot experience.
We’re bringing this social experience to the casino tabs, so it is no longer only available through live casino, which has higher barriers to entry such as state of the art production studios.
Active, because they require decision-making on the part of the player. That could be in real-time, as seen in the Crash-style titles that have proved consistently popular in the crypto community.
In AstroBoomers: To The Moon! We have not only replicated that thrill, but also enhanced it with richer features, exciting maths, and premium art, UI and audio.
That’s why our content offers a more interactive and engaging user journey than today’s conventional casino games. Slots have their place but are a passive experience – you push the spin button, and it tells you whether or not you’ve won.
Beyond your upcoming game, Astroboomers: To The Moon!, what scope is there for more community-driven experiences within the casino sector?
Any technology that builds community can be incorporated into casinos, so the scope is unlimited. Community is the backbone of crypto’s multiplayer games and a major factor behind their meteoric rise.
The other key ingredient is simplicity. The most successful multiplayer games are all based on concepts which are simple but engaging, without the need for complex mechanics to keep players interested.
The crypto world teaches us that the next generation of players are hungry for change – a different style of casino game. Instead of enjoying the solitary pursuit of slots, they are increasingly turning to multiplayer-to-single-outcome content where they can immerse themselves, engage with others, and share experiences.
Equally, there is high demand within the gaming industry for this type of content, with several big-name operators interested in tapping into a trend which is only going to grow.
With operators looking for novel ways to engage new audiences, there is room for more community and decision-based games, offering simple yet highly engaging gameplay with best-in-class graphics, animation and audio to create content that is new and exciting.
Multiplayer games are therefore set to make a big impact in 2021 and beyond, giving global brands the opportunity to deliver highly differentiated content to next-generation players.
Do you think gas fees could impact the progress of decentralized gaming?
Gas fees are network fees specific to Ethereum which are paid to miners for verifying transactions. The more complex the transaction, the more the gas costs. Gas costs are based on demand so when the network is congested they go up. We have seen some incredibly high costs recently with the proliferation of usage on the Ethereum blockchain.
Gaming has taken a hit as transaction values are relatively low, yet other verticals like decentralised finance (offering users financial products, like lending, with the need for banks) and decentralised exchanges (like P2P cryptocurrency exchanges) taking the lion’s share of users as they are higher value transactions.
There’s a lot being done to counter the gas issue, using new technology often referred to as Layer 2. Layer 2 aims to offer the same levels of decentralisation, trust and security as Ethereum Layer 1 – it’s been deployed with varying levels of success, but it’s very early days.
Then there is Ethereum 2.0, which also aims to combat high transaction fees, among other issues. FunFair Technologies have already released a game on xDAI, which is a Layer 2 tech, and plan to develop more in the coming weeks and months.
So do we think it will impact it? Yes, it already has considerably. Is there a solution? Yes, many and we’re proud to be a part of them.