What does this mean you might ask? Well, virtualization is essentially the process of taking something physical and creating a digital version of it. Think of a folder on your computer or phone as a virtual filing cabinet, for example. Through the process of virtualization, significantly more information is able to be stored and more accurately sorted. Imagine searching through hundreds of paper folders looking for a line of text, then compare it to searching keywords on your computer. It’s much easier to do the latter and that means that any service or business that operates in the virtual space can increase its efficiency rate.
Virtualization raises the ceiling of production and output. This allows companies to reduce expenses, downtime and gives them more agency in their industry. It’s also beneficial to the environment by reducing paper and material waste.
Online gaming is an excellent example of an industry that benefits from this process. As technology grows, companies can offer higher quality services to larger populations which raises the profit potential, ultimately, hopefully, raising the quality of products as well. Programs like Discord use this process of virtualization to create online communities, forums, and news channels that can be tailored to the user’s needs.
Online casinos have used these communities to generate growth and interest in their websites and services. Allowing space for players to talk to each other about games creates an attachment to them outside of the platform they are playing on. This expands their level of outreach to consumers and enables them to receive direct and indirect feedback, which can be used to stay up to date with current business trends and builds rapport between the business and its customers. Customer retention is an excellent metric on which to gauge company success and helps shape the future of the business.
Jackbox Games is a company that has used virtualization to take games like charades and Pictionary and bring them, and others, to the virtual world. They have basically taken family board game night and turned it into a video game. One of the features that make Jackbox
Games so successful are that people can play together online from nearly any location. If your friends or family live in different states, it doesn’t matter; you can all share the same gaming experience. They also can be played in the same room using cell phones or other smart devices.
Online Gambling companies in America, such as gambling.com, have taken a similar approach. Instead of visiting a building full of slot machines, crap boards, and poker tables, players can log in online and play any game of their choosing. This gives players an incredible sense of agency in their experience by making it easily accessible.
Feeling the urge for a game of blackjack? Maybe you’re more of a slot machine kind of person? It doesn’t matter. With online gambling, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your bed to play. Casinos can reach more players at whatever experience best suits them by offering both a physical and digital service.
Casinos are not the only businesses that have taken their services into the digital world. Board and card game companies have done the same. Take Outsmarted! for example. It’s a quiz show board game played on the television, so people can sit around the TV or on their phones instead of sitting around the table.
You might say, well what does it really matter if it’s a table or a tv? The benefit from the game being playable on televisions and mobile devices means that players don’t have to be in a specific location to play the game. You can play on the train to work, or on a long flight with anyone. Accessibility is one of the largest factors that impacts concurrent play rates.
Another example would be Magic: The Gathering. Originally, and still, a physical card game, in June, 2002 it was one of the first CCG companies to take its services online. Many players still utilize this platform rather than using printed cards. Legends of Runeterra is a more recent CCG that is available exclusively online. Rather than virtualize a existing product, they digitized the concept of card games with great success.
Only a few years old, the game has taken over the industry. There are regional tournaments that lead to international and world tournaments allowing people all over the world to play together. Additionally it has a rich community that helps promote awareness and effectively serves as free marketing. Players have even gone to the length of creating their own tournaments.
Online casinos can look at recreating, and some have already, these services to the same benefit. Communities of players can host poker tournaments using the casino as a platform to generate awareness which ultimately drives traffic and engagement on the site. Many companies will even use social media to help build hype around certain tournaments and create a loyal following of fans.
Leaning into this further, companies can support these communities and create relationships with well-known players that helps build rapport with the player base as a whole. In the service industry it’s important and helpful to the company that these communities exist, because as technology expands so too do the capacity to create better experiences for players.
Virtualization has existed and utilized by companies for many years now, but there are still plenty of services that can use this process to take their business to the next level. It exists as a scale so as technology in the world advances the amount tools available to increase quality of service are only growing. The online gaming industry is one of the most recognizable industries to capitalize on this. Online casinos can look to the gaming world for inspiration and borrow their practices to create richer and more engaging experiences for their players.