It’s hard to believe that it was way back in 2014 that we looked at futuristic technology and included mention of the Samsung Gear VR. At the time we were only beginning to learn about what would become a whole generation of consumer VR devices — including the HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and more. Even as we’ve seen these devices become far more mainstream though, they’ve struggled to really catch on in the gaming community.
That’s not to say VR gaming isn’t pretty amazing. The high-end devices and well-designed games are awfully convincing and succeed in their goal of transplanting players to alternate realities. Furthermore, they manage to make those realities thoroughly engaging and entertaining (whereas earlier games often felt more or less like demos). As GamesRadar put it when looking at some of the best VR games currently available, the best ones will do more than make you to another world — they’ll make you want to stay.
Even so, however, the average gamer still finds VR headsets expensive and VR games a bit too involved. It’s just a lot of effort and investment to get into a VR game compared to a more ordinary video game. This may still change in time, however, and it could be a somewhat unexpected corner of the gaming industry — that revolving around online slots — that brings about the change.
We’ll first note that this isn’t merely a shot-in-the-dark idea. Arguably the most popular and prominent slot arcade on the internet, Gonzo’s Quest, was adapted for virtual reality fairly early on. This game is showcased at just about every online casino site worth its salt and excels within its genre because of a strong sense of atmosphere. Even on a computer screen, playing Gonzo’s Quest for a while will leave you with the feeling that you’re surrounded by the lush vegetation and mysterious relics of ancient South America. And naturally, this sensation is only enhanced in VR.
Building on that idea, it’s important to point out that since the rise of Gonzo’s Quest, online slots have only gotten more atmospheric and immersive. It’s a hard category to really look at in a comprehensive manner, though many of the top sites do thrive largely by aggregating games from a variety of developers and distributors.
In following this practice, Foxy Games makes a point of giving prominent placement to some of the latest and most popular slots from across the internet. And if you look through the selection virtually every game looks to be a potential fit for VR. Dinosaur Rage takes players to a colorful prehistoric setting; Eye of the Storm presents an adventurous take on Ancient Egypt; War of Gods is an Olympian extravaganza. The list goes on, but the games show that Gonzo’s Quest style has won out. Slots today are almost entirely about the atmosphere.
So why could the presence of VR-appropriate games on slot sites lead to an actual VR breakthrough? Well, for one thing, if we see more of these games adapted for virtual reality, there will be an incentive for countless casino gamers around the world to purchase headsets and change how they play. Additionally, though, the variety of casino games could ultimately represent more cost-effective and dynamic VR gaming opportunities.
In one of the more effective critiques of the state of VR, The Ringer concluded that for all its virtues the medium is still “expensive” and “evolving too rapidly.” VR slots speak to these issues. Players could soon enjoy whole collections of free-to-play VR casino games, eliminating the cost of new games. Additionally, as sites update their collections of games, the evolution wouldn’t be as much of a problem (whereas when headsets change or new traditional VR games are released gamers have to shift their priorities all over again).
This doesn’t mean that we foresee traditional gamers embracing VR casinos en masse. But there are reasons to believe that further adaptation of the slot category could lead to one of the more sustainable and widespread adoptions of VR we’ve yet seen.