The rise of exhibition fights and ‘sportainment’ is in the spotlight as Jake Paul and Tommy Fury finally lock horns this weekend

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With both forms of interactive entertainment experiencing their highest points yet, gaming and iGaming are still far from a visible plateau. As two parts of a digital market, they both illustrate fundamental differences, but they also experience undeniable crossover. Actually taking advantage of this crossover can be complicated, however, with key differences holding back what could potentially be a lucrative combination. Looking at the stats and the challenges, it’s clear there is something to be found here, but how could it come about?

Not Always a Young Man’s Game

As much as gaming is thought to be the primary domain of young men, the statistics show otherwise. A recent study of thousands of American and UK gamers by ExpressVPN found that the average age of gamers is incredibly broad, falling between players in their late 20s to their early 40s. The gap between women and men has been similarly unexpected, with 72% of men self-describing gamers versus 49% of women. In terms of games, the most popular for both sides was the Call of Duty series.

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Turning now to iGaming, a study from Time2Play found that most players have similar ages between their late 30s and early 40s. Looking at inclusion, another study found that around 33% of men in Great Britain had gambled online in the last 12 months, versus 24% of women. In terms of games, there is again a lot of popularity, with both sexes turning to roulette as their go-to.

Finding Common Ground

Looking at these statistics, the inevitable question arises of what can be done to cater to men and women of all age grounds who enjoy both video games, and casino titles. With so much shared ground, there has to be a way to leverage one side to the other, and online casinos have been experimenting with the combination for years.

Video games, enjoying a long legacy on the digital front, as well as having much larger budgets than individual casino games, inevitably serve as much stronger starting points. You’ll often see translations like Tomb Raider and Resident Evil made into slot games, for example, thanks to having long stories and many titles to draw from.

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Moving in the opposite direction from casino games to video games is possible on a broader scale, but it’s harder to leverage for individual properties. Video games based on casino titles tend to be generic, without themes of trademarks to go alongside them. Even the big names like Gonzo from Gonzo’s quest haven’t stepped out far, and this is unlikely to change.

Given these elements, it seems like the best combination of casino and video games would be to adapt the most popular video games towards the most popular, or best-suited, casino titles. As explored at Bloody-Disgusting, this has been tried many times in pachinko, with standout examples of Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Representation in the west is often lacking, however, especially when it comes to the big and obvious names.

Ultimately, the ripest game for exploration would have to be Call of Duty. Since the game has offered levels set in casinos before, this would be a more natural fit than most, though it seems a game like this would struggle to integrate with the most popular casino game of roulette. While a themed release would be possible, the most suitable combination would instead likely be found in slots, with bonus games taken from the series’ history.

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The big takeaway here is that while there is so much shared between gaming and iGaming, finding a way to combine the two areas is tricky at best. While there’s no doubt multimedia and franchising pushes will further attempt, so far there’s been no killer apps to keep both sides happy. As for what comes next, unexplored potential in VR and AR could hold an answer, but only time will tell if this proves true.

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