Shaun McCamley is the Managing Partner of Euro Pacific Asia Consulting Ltd and he has over 39 years of experience in the land-based and digital gaming industries. He is also recognised by Global Gaming Business as one of the top 25 industry people that needs to be watched. In 1999, Shaun McCamley was a pioneer and early online gaming operator where he developed an online bingo platform that operated on the internet’s first networked gaming solution, the Flash technology.
In this article, we will explain his concept of getting into the online gaming space. Any player will either head on the online casino floor or will opt out for social casino games. Shaun McCamley is also an operator since 2001 and for him, there is no brainer, even he would take social games every time.
About Social Gaming
Since 2018, social gaming is booming with China, Japan and Korea generating 90% of social games. After North America, Asia is the second-largest social games market with the numbers keep growing. For example, JP Morgan has estimated that in the coming year there will be between 8-10% of social gaming growth only in the Asia Pacific region.
Over the last couple of years, reputable land-based casinos were eager to build out their brands by choosing to get more social. This allowed them to make easier branding which also allowed them to build out their databases. Operating an online casino comes with many restrictions, however working with a good social platform will give things much more sense.
The most popular games are slots, bingo and poker because they are easy to play on mobile platforms. Over the past couple of years, there was a definite shift to mobile platforms, which resulted in lower use of the PC platform. Back in 2012-2013, social media giants like Facebook had an estimated market share of 59%, however, today, there is only an estimated 23%. Today, mobile technology means fantastic graphics with great sound quality.
In terms of game development, in the past 5 years, there hasn’t been any new game innovations or additional game upgrades, mostly because all the core basics of a slot, bingo or poker game are already there. For example, Slotmania is the oldest social slot game on the market and it’s still the most popular game, with more than 20 million likes on Facebook. And in terms of publishers, Playtika remains the largest social casino publisher and the most popular of the social casino portals. The publisher is closely followed by Double Down, Scientific Games, Zynga and Madfish. In addition, Scientific Games managed to create the newest game, called Rainbow Riches. The game seems to become quite popular on the online platform.
Because social games are not that heavily regulated, developers are free to do whatever they feel like at any level they want. Social games are rarely truly random. Game developers don’t want players to get bored, so the game can become easier if the player is stuck at one level, or harder if the player progresses easily. This is often done by the Dynamic Game Balancing (DGB) which works automatically because game designers want players to play these games.
Operators optimise trigger activities and focus on microdata details such as what prompts the player to acquire skills on items in-game, what makes them stuck on a level, or having to wait for 30 minutes for some lives. Understanding how these triggers work and analysing the macro-level data is critical in showing the right product to the right player at the right time.
Today, the main challenges for operators are the rise of users and ongoing developments must be made. Compared to an online casino site, these arrangements are much lower, however, any operator will say that having good business strategies is still needed. Social casino developers are not the only ones who have to compete with their competitors. Besides, acknowledged online operators, land-based and other social or mobile game developers, will also have to stay strong when they want to enter the social gaming markets.
The key is to stay focused on new markets and opportunities, such as the Asian market. Also, it is a must to develop new sharing channels beyond Facebook, iOS and Google Play as well as continual work on product innovation. The story so far is that social gaming is rapidly expanding the market with new and emerging markets like Asia, which is the best so far. Like the business people say, a rising tide lifts all boats, and that is seen through the Asia Pacific region.