2018 is an exciting year to be making skill-based gambling games. IGT innovations and game mechanics that have been developed and patented quietly over the past decade are now moving out of whisper suites and onto the ICE show floor. Very soon, IGT will bring fully interactive wagering skill games to casinos and mobile phones for the first time in our history.
There is a tendency within the gaming industry to categorize skill games as a separate part of our business. This is understandable. At ICE this year, IGT will be showing a kart racing game called Race Ace Arcade that is played in a motion chair that delivers jumps and bumps and tons of rollicking action. It doesn’t look like a slot machine at all.
It may turn out, however, that the destinies of skill games and slot products are more intertwined than it initially appears. The games we make—whether they be skill based or traditional—are positive reinforcement vehicles. One of the core principles of IGT skill games is to maximize reward opportunities by delivering both real money wins, and virtual currency wins. To support this principle we are developing the systems and meters required to handle virtual gaming currencies and cross channel connectivity to online and mobile play.
These additions may prove to be very valuable tools in the hands of IGT’s community of designers and innovators. Might some of our traditional slot games benefit from new reinforcement modes and currencies? If a formerly losing spin now makes a pleasant sound and delivers a virtual currency win won’t some players find that more rewarding and entertaining, particularly if the virtual currency unlocks fun and new gaming experiences? Before Skillcade products such as Lucky’s Quest and Race Ace Arcade, these were open questions, just theory. Now, we finally have the opportunity to get answers, and possibly make better games that reward our players more often.
Producer, Lighthouse Studio
Gaming enthusiast and inventor with 11 years of industry experience