Sunday, June 16, 2024

Powering the success of crash games through social interaction  

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The simplicity of crash games has always been a key attraction, giving them the edge over more complex and time-consuming games. However, for SPRIBE’S chief executive officer, Giorgi Tsutskiridze, long term popularity cannot be assumed, and even crash games that focus on this simplistic format need an occasional refresh to retain their appeal. For Tsutskiridze, operators wanting to keep their loyal fan base engaged shouldn’t become complacent, instead harnessing the power of social interaction can prove to be the key to success.

Across the industry, operators are debating how best to attract millennial and Gen Z players.

With over a third of online gamblers in the UK aged between 35 and 44, and almost half of Gen Z’s having bet on sports online, operators are recognising the importance of building products for this demographic to boost the chance of long-term profitability.

But with a more tech-savvy generation looking for experiences that are immersive and snappy in delivery, operators face the challenge of trying to understand the best way to engage players to ensure the highest level of retention.

However, the industry is seeing a rise in popularity of more simple yet engaging games such as crash games, and one particular developer that has been leading that change is SPRIBE, with its flagship Aviator title.

It’s been nearly six years since SPRIBE’s Aviator landed onto the scene, and since then, the game – and the wider catalogue of crash games – has become a firm favourite with both operators and players across the world. Leading on to crash games now regularly representing over half the top ten most popular casino games.

The simpler the better: How do crash games work?

The popularity of crash games is arguably due to the simplicity of the game’s format. Based on a multiplier, players can wager on the outcome of a multiplying curve until, as the vertical’s name suggests, the curve crashes. Players have the ability to cash out before this point and earn a multiple of their initial bet; those that don’t, lose their bet.

“Crash games are really all about that rush of adrenaline. Players are always on the edge of their seats, trying to decide the best moment to cash out. What we do at SPRIBE is keep everything super user-friendly and visually appealing.

“We focus on making sure the games not only look great but feel intuitive, which really resonates with gamers today, especially the younger crowd.”

From the drawing board right through to its launch in 2018, SPRIBE has made sure that Aviator had been meticulously tailored to cater to the younger demographic of players by carrying out extensive research into design concepts, player behaviour and gameplay mechanics to see what truly resonated with players.

“We also place a strong emphasis on the quality of graphics and animations to create a visually captivating experience,” Tsutskiridze adds. “Regular testing phases are integral, where we adjust gameplay mechanics based on user feedback to ensure that each game is balanced and provides just the right level of challenge.”

Boosting player engagement

In recent years, players are demanding a more engaging and immersive betting experience. One that provides a sense of community – whether that’s through peer-to-peer betting, or even the inclusion of real-time features such as live bets and tournaments.

While crash games remain hugely popular, this important social element has often been missing. This has left operators facing a big challenge – how do you boost player engagement with a game that is not inherently social?  

SPRIBE is tackling this head on, “Social features are a big deal for us. We believe gaming is more fun together. So, we’ve integrated things like live chat, which lets players talk and strategise in real-time. We’ve also got these cool leaderboards that crank up the competitive spirit. It’s all about making players feel like they’re part of a community.”

According to Tsutskiridze, the addition of social features that focus on community is really what has helped Aviator to attract wagers from more than 10 million players each month. This has come in the form of group bets, a feature that encourages players to join their friends and compete for a share of the “community wins”.

“It’s like when one wins, we all win, which really brings everyone together and adds a layer of excitement to the game. Joining group bets in our games is straightforward. Players can see active groups or friends who are about to place a bet and can choose to join in with a single click. This feature is integrated into the game interface, making it accessible and easy to use.

“Once in a group bet, all participants share the outcome, which means the game’s payout is divided among the group based on the amount each player bets. This not only enhances the social aspect but also introduces a strategic element as players discuss and decide when to cash out collectively.”

Retaining players through social interaction

For Tsutskiridze, operators must capitalise on popular social features to encourage player retention. Since the launch of Aviator, and the subsequent inclusion of more social elements within the game, SPRIBE has noticed that this has had a positive impact on betting engagement. with players even now choosing to share their experiences on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

“Incorporating social elements has been a game-changer for us. It’s led to better player retention because they’re not just playing a game; they’re engaging with a community. This not only keeps them coming back but also helps spread the word about our games. Plus, it’s really boosted our player acquisition numbers and kept our revenue looking healthy.

“By embedding these social features, we’ve been able to enhance player engagement significantly, which is pivotal not just for retaining players but also for attracting new ones through word-of-mouth and social sharing. This strategy has proven essential in keeping our games relevant and popular among the younger, socially connected gamers.”

For many of these players, social media and the online space have been consistently popular parts of their daily routines and can often be influencing factors in what new gaming products to try.

Tsutskiridze continues, “Millennials and Gen Z have grown up with technology at their fingertips and are accustomed to interacting online through social media and multiplayer gaming. These demographics value experiences that can be shared and are inherently communal.”

He notes that the concept of multiplayer gaming and the feeling of being a part of a wider community lends itself very well to crash games, “Crash games, with their live, real-time decision-making, mirror the fast-paced, interactive content they consume on platforms like Twitch and YouTube.

“This affinity for engaging, dynamic social experiences translates well into the way they interact with crash games, making them particularly invested in the communal and competitive aspects of gaming.”

Bringing Aviator to a new audience

SPRIBE has taken this online community one step further by ensuring that it is engaging with its players in popular social media groups though players appear to be engaging with Aviator on Twitch the most.

Over the years, Twitch and other streaming platforms have proven to be increasingly popular ways for players to engage with the online gaming space. With the emergence of slot streamers, and ‘live reaction’ videos to casino products, games developers have been given the chance to tap into an entirely new demographic of players.

SPRIBE has been no stranger to the use of streaming services, in fact, the games developer has largely used influencers and gamer collaborations to introduce Aviator.

“We do a lot with influencer collaborations and streaming gameplay. It’s a great way to connect with players and get them excited about what we’re doing”.

For Tsutskiridze, the use of streamers helps to reinforce that social interaction and community feel with players. He believes that it creates a much more immersive experience – a trend that he believes will become much more popular as crash games continue to evolve.

He concludes, “Looking ahead, I think we’re going to see crash games become even more immersive. We’re exploring stuff like virtual reality to make the social experiences even richer. Also, I think that using artificial intelligence to personalise the gameplay experience could really take things to the next level, making each player’s experience unique.”

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