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The science of gamification

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Andy Sekula, Head of Games at Kalamba Games talks about the science of gamification

Gamification is a term coined in the early noughties and is typically understood to be the application of gaming mechanics to non-gaming situations. For the online casino industry, however, the term can represent any gaming mechanic outside of the core game. For suppliers, gamification tools have become essential components of game design over the last few years. Endless time has been spent on trying to create the next big thing and improving the application of gamification tools in order to increase acquisition and retention rates, as well as the longevity of a title.

The traditional definition of gamification describes a science that aims to maximise enjoyment and engagement while motivating people to learn by using game elements. Dozens of books have been written about the topic exploring how the brain reacts to gaming components such as leaderboards, levels and progress bars in a learning environment. Simply put, when you achieve something, dopamine is released, lighting up your brain’s reward centre and encouraging you to do it again. This reaction is what makes gamification tools so effective across multiple industries, from language teaching and fitness apps, making it more fun to achieve your goals.

At Kalamba, we consider most of our game mechanics – certainly anything with RTP directly attached – as being core to the game play experience and not gamified layers ‘on top’. However, we have introduced certain elements such as missions and achievements which look to extend the gameplay beyond that of a classic slot. By maintaining player advances in our missions or other in-game progression features, players can always return to where they left off and continue to strive for their goal. This has delivered substantial improvements in player engagement and retention within our titles.

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However, as players get used to the existing gamification offering, they will soon start demanding more, especially as technology advances. So how do we ensure we fully utilise the science of gamification in the gambling industry as we look at developing these tools in the future?

We believe that operators and suppliers could work better together in sharing data to get a better picture of player preference. Operators have a lot of information that suppliers don’t have access to, and vice versa, that could assist in the development process of a new title. Knowing your player and what makes them tick is key and with more data, we can improve the gamification tools offered in a game.

One thing that we believe is currently under-utilised in the industry is the possibility of adjusting the player experience to better match player preferences. The current offering is very much ‘one-size fits all’, but with the technology currently available we will soon be able to dynamically segment players and better cater to their individual requirements.

We also think there are still many things to be learned from social gaming. One concept which has not yet been developed to full potential, for example, is building engagement meta layers within a supplier’s entire portfolio. This means adding another gamification layer buy introducing achievements and missions that are connected between different titles offered by a supplier. Meta layers somewhat resemble the way players help Super Mario on his quest through different levels and worlds to save the princess in Nintendo’s super hit. Including portfolio-wide features would greatly enhance the time spent on each session and ensure players come back to complete their missions.

In our view, gamification is not just a buzzword in the industry but will continue to be an important tool as the casino game sector evolves. Focusing on improving these layers of gamification will no doubt be on the top of our agenda in 2020 and beyond.

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Biggest iGB L!VE on record opens in Amsterdam

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The 2024 edition of iGB L!VE, the last to be held in Amsterdam prior to its 2025 relocation to London, opened today (17 July) with attendees participating in the biggest edition of the show on record.

A sustained level of international interest has seen iGB L!VE registrations increase 40% year-on-year with industry professionals from 121 nations heading for Amsterdam.

Delegates will have access to 300+ exhibitors and sponsors occupying over 21,000 square metres of gross space, up 35% on the 2023 figure.

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The iGB L!VE Conference Program features 50+ speakers across 21 sessions. Built around four core themes of: Markets and Convergence, Player Engagement, Building for the Future and Protecting Your Business – headline sessions include a live masterclass on ways to engage players in the world’s hottest online casino markets, innovation in slot game design, navigating cyber threats in the aftermath of an attack, the role of ESG in boosting M&A valuations, parasite SEO, surviving the search bar squeeze, link localisation in Spain and LatAm, and how affiliates should respond on player protection.

iGB L!VE got off to a dynamic start with Michel Groothuizen, the chair of the Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) making the opening address. The appearance was Michel Groothuizen’s first in front of an international igaming audience following his appointment as Chair of the KSA effective 1 July.

This was followed by a Keynote delivered by Sam Sadi, CEO of LiveScore Group. Sadi who has worked across the sports media and betting industries for more than 25-years presented how to drive growth through media partnerships and convergence.

In a number of ‘firsts’ iGB L!VE is hosting the ASCEND Women & Allyship Meet-Up, a new year-round mentoring and leadership initiative aimed at supporting women early in their gaming careers. The show will also witness the launch of the iGB LaunchPad which provides a platform for five trailblazing start-up businesses and the first Sustainable Gambling Zone showcasing the industry’s latest thinking and approach to safer gambling.

 

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PayKings Introduces Premier High-Risk Merchant Processing Solutions for Seamless Approval

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PayKings, a payment processing service, has introduced products aimed at businesses needing assistance to obtain standard merchant accounts. The company’s new solutions target enterprises in industries that many financial institutions consider high risk.

Established in 2011, PayKings has since expanded its sales in the merchant processing sector and proudly earned a place on the Inc. 5000 list. The company’s team boasts over 50 years of experience in payment solutions, specializing in assisting businesses that might face challenges in obtaining credit card processing services.

“We’ve seen how many legitimate businesses struggle to find reliable payment processing. Our expanded services are a direct response to the gaps we’ve observed in the market,” said Kyle Hall, Chief Executive Officer at PayKings.

A high risk merchant account is generally required for businesses engaged in industries such as online gambling, dietary supplements, vitamins, subscription businesses, and travel-related industries. These sectors often face challenges when obtaining credit card processing functionality due to elevated chargeback risk or compliance concerns.

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PayKings’ new products include organic underwriting strategies tailored to the specific needs of high-risk businesses. The company has also developed advanced fraud identification measures and chargeback prevention methods to deliver better results for clients.

“Every business deserves a fair shot at growth. We’re not here to judge industries. Our job is to facilitate secure, efficient payment processing for legitimate businesses, regardless of their risk classification,” Hall added.

The application process for PayKings’ high risk merchant account involves a detailed review of each business. While this process is thorough, the company aims to make it as straightforward and seamless as possible for applicants who often see same or next day approvals.

Connor Haynes, owner of an online vape shop, said: “I was really impressed with how quick and easy it was to get started with PayKings. The approval process was straightforward, and their support team was very helpful in answering all my questions. Now, I can focus on growing my business without worrying about payment processing issues.”

PayKings emphasises its commitment to compliance with all relevant regulations in the payment processing industry. The company maintains relationships with multiple banking partners, allowing it to offer diverse solutions for different business needs.

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In addition to its core services, PayKings has expanded its educational resources. The company’s website now features a series of articles and guides about high risk merchant accounts, credit card processing, and the broader landscape of payment solutions for challenging industries.

“We would like our clients to take charge and be more in control. People who created these industries have insights that make it invaluable to them to know the nuances of payment processing, particularly in such a risky business,” said Kara Hall, PayKings’ Vice President of Operations.

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Andrew Cardno

QCI’s Andrew Cardno to Speak at the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference

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Andrew Cardno, the Chief Technology Officer of Quick Custom Intelligence, will be a featured speaker at the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference, taking place at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, Nevada. On July 17, 2024, Cardno will present an engaging session focused on strategies for casino marketing during these unpredictable times.

In his session titled “Effective Marketing Strategies for Casino Operators in a Volatile Economic Landscape,” Cardno will delve into innovative marketing tactics that can help casino operators navigate and thrive amid economic uncertainty. Drawing inspiration from Nassim Taleb’s groundbreaking work “The Black Swan,” Cardno will explore how leveraging unpredictability can become a powerful tool for casino marketers.

Attendees will gain insights into long algorithmic gaming tactics and how to adapt to the evolving convergence of entertainment and gambling. Cardno’s approach emphasizes agility and responsiveness, enabling marketers to stay ahead of sudden market changes and maintain sustained engagement and profitability.

“In these unpredictable times, it’s crucial for casino operators to embrace volatility and turn it into an advantage. By leveraging advanced marketing strategies and long algorithmic gaming tactics, we can create a more resilient and adaptive approach to casino marketing. This session will provide actionable insights to help marketers navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” Andrew Cardno, CTO of Quick Custom Intelligence, said.

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“We are thrilled to have Andrew Cardno speak at this year’s conference. His expertise in data-driven marketing strategies and his ability to draw on concepts from thought leaders like Nassim Taleb will provide invaluable perspectives for our attendees. This session promises to equip casino operators with the tools they need to thrive in today’s dynamic economic landscape,” Deana Scott, CEO of Raving, said.

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