Where are we going with online slots in 2020?

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It is no news that online slot games have achieved exceptionally high levels of popularity over the past years. Despite the rise of live dealer games and new innovative types of online games being launched consistently, slots have been able to maintain their popularity.

The major reason for the constant presence of online slots at the top of the most successful online games is because it is a game that has been able to rapidly evolve constantly and at a rather fast pace. 

New treats and touches seem to be added every week, with the evolution of the concept having being transformed starting in the 1990s. Online slots have been transforming more rapidly than physical slots, thanks to the more dynamic environment that characterizes the digital world. 

However, to have a clear understanding of why are online slots to popular, it is essential to take a look at when and where they started and the path to their current position.


The Concept and The First Beginnings With the Three Reel Slots


The online casino world at its inception was made of a very basic selection of games that were very similar to one another. 

They all were designed to echo fruit machines. The first real online slot what the three-reel slot, that was characterized by an extremely simple design and very little innovation in terms of the user interface.

The concept was really simple. You had to spin the reels and, if you were lucky enough to have the same symbol on each reel, you would get your reward. 

It was the same thing as the physical machines you could find at any casinos, arcades or pubs, but the novelty was the possibility to play from the comfort of your own house. 

This simple innovation ensured a good level of popularity from the first years of online slot games.

However, gamers could not be satisfied with this simple version for long.


The Second Phase - Video Slots


To offer more innovation for online casino players, video slots were invented. This version of a slot machine was first used in the physical world of casinos back to the middle of the 1970s, but online casinos took the opportunity to make use of this concept to better serve its players. Microgaming was the first video slot added to an online casino.

Still, it was a very simple game that did not offer much for gameplay. Once again, it was based on the odds of having the same symbols after having spun the wheel. Furthermore, the graphic was very basic.

It was at the end of the 1990s when more features were added to online video slots. Such features included bonus rounds that could be played on a separate screen and were more creative and interesting in terms of gameplay. 

They offered board games, pick and click kind of challenges that were considered revolutionizing at the time.


The Third Phase - The 3D Revolution

The first attempts to 3D slots started between the 1990s and the early 2000s but it was only in the decade of 2010 that such a type of slot started to take off. BetSoft is one of the developers that has managed to be at the head of the innovation.

3D online slots revolutionized the world of online casinos because they added several new opportunities to a concept that before that seemed to have little to innovate.

The biggest change was that carried out for the design of the slots, which were now much better animated and with the most advanced graphics. At this stage, slots started to recreate TV shows, movies or other popular cultural phenomena, which make this kind of online slot even more attractive.

Online slots became increasingly interesting for developers and players, with new gameplaying being constantly added and the complexity of the animations following the innovation.


The Evolution of Gameplay

Thanks to the great success of 3D online slots animations and more complex graphics had been introduced. This allowed for more innovation and creativity to get on the market. Of course, gameplay followed. 

Let's take a look at some of the innovative features that were originated during this phase of the history of online slots.


MegaWays Slots

The first online slot of this kind was launched in 2015 and since then it has been a very popular feature of online slots. Big Time Gaming's Dragon Born is still a reasonably popular title, but what it really did was start an avalanche and a new era of slots.

Today there are more than 50 games with Megaways mechanics promising payouts as high as 50,000 times your stake. The games are incredibly well received by the Twitch casino streamers and viewers a like. 

Top tier suppliers such as Red Tiger, Blueprint and SG Digital have all secured a Megaways license and offer their own games with the mechanics. 


Cluster Pays Slots

This kind of slot is not new, but they have recently gained a new level of popularity. Cluster Pay kind of slots has been introduced simultaneously with the rise of the popular Candy Crush type of mobile games. 

To imitate the gameplay, such an engine allows the matching of symbols on pay lines and awards prizes for the different clusters created. Such innovation brought some fresh air to the market of online slots.


Must-Drop Jackpots

This type of online slot is innovative as they allow the build-up of a jackpot based on percentages. It makes the game more exciting. The leader in the market is so far Red Tiger Gaming. You can see a cut of all the bets made.


What's Next?


The next stages of online slot gaming will probably come from several different sources. One of the movements that seem to be taking place already is the trend of virtual reality. 

Such a technology has the power to completely revolutionize the current market, by creating playing situations that had not been possible to recreate so far. 

VR headsets are becoming increasingly accessible and there are many ways to incorporate virtual reality into casino's products and services. Also, VR's implementation has a lot of potential in the field of online slots.

As technology evolves at a rapid pace, more features and additions will be added to the market of online casinos, making it more exciting and interesting.

It is safe to assume that online slots will not lose popularity over the next years, instead, with new technology, it will become an even more attractive market.


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