The biggest companies within the gaming world descended on London’s ExCel Centre on 7 - 9 February 2017, in one of the gaming and gambling world’s big
The biggest companies within the gaming world descended on London’s ExCel Centre on 7 – 9 February 2017, in one of the gaming and gambling world’s biggest get-togethers. The 2017 edition of the event saw the industry flex its muscles after a fantastic year of growth in 2016, which saw market value surpass £4bn in the UK.
A big theme at the expo was the role that VR and AI will impact gaming throughout 2017 and into the future. There were also keynote talks on the topics of cyber-security, industry regulation, and multi-channel gaming. In addition to brands from the iGaming industry, there were also big, non-gaming businesses in attendance, including FIFA, Bitly, New Scotland Yard and ASOS.
All of the stops were pulled out as developers showcased their new products
Gaming companies went above and beyond to wow the crowd at the exposition, with hundreds of stands manned by industry leaders being packed into the venue. One of the main crowd pleasers was a 5m x 5m dinosaur, complete with an audio-visual experience, to promote a new Jurassic World-themed online slot.
Industry heavyweights also showcased some cutting edge tech at the expo. The games developer showed the headway it has made with VR technology, and how it intends to integrate VR experiences within its upcoming releases.
Developers also unveiled new in-game rewards systems, which will bring further depth and engagement to their products. This is coming at a time when online casinos are branching out from the traditional ‘sit and play’ approach, and are looking to offer even more immersive experiences. This is something that industry disruptors like Casino Heroes champion by offering a novel reward system of bonus points, power-ups and narratives, which is proving popular with gamers. Gamers are called to select a Lord of the Rings-type character to represent them when they first sign up, and can level and power the character up in true RPG game style.
So what’s in store for gaming?
There will be a huge raft of character-themed slots and games coming up, thanks to it being revealed that a batch of Warner Brothers licensed games is in production. The games are to be themed around Warner Brother’s roster of superhero characters, which includes Batman and Superman, and are expected to launch later this year.
Online casinos are also very aware of the potential Bitcoin and Blockchain (the technology that drives Bitcoin) represents. An in-depth seminar exploring the potential for this received huge attention from guests at the expo, which shows just how much industry interest there is surrounding the payment tech.
The amount of attention on virtual reality also clearly shows the industry’s intentions moving forward, with there being a strong contingent from Macau, Asia’s gaming capital, attending the expo to explore the impact for artificial intelligence and virtual reality on gaming. This means that the tech could be soon rolled out into physical casinos. Macau is the biggest gambling destination in the world and will want to be seen to be on the cutting edge of any gaming developments.
The ICE Totally Gaming expo is set to return at the same time in 2018 and will be looking to build upon the huge success of this year’s event.