Why Are Studios Like bitSmith a Perfect Fit for the Online Casino Industry
In the last 20 years, video games have been an entertainment niche largely dominated by big development studious. While names like Rockstar, Valve, and others certainly started off as niche, innovative companies, they were forced to morph into gargantuan publishing conglomerates. As a result, the overall margin for innovation has decreased steadily, making it harder for indie studios to make a name for themselves.
Unbeknownst to most, indie game studios have been some of the foremost contributors to another big niche – online casino games. Even though the fusing of these two distant relatives has been a thing since the 1980s, there are still many breakthroughs waiting to happen. Few modern-day brands reflect this notion, but Irish innovators bitSmith have become a shining example of interactive content that can become truly fruitful.
Connecting the Unconnectable
While the term ‘online casino games’ refers to a myriad of different games, both traditional and modern, the most prominent representative is slots. In the golden age of this game, players were used to seeing numbers, letters, and fruit as the only available graphic. That’s how classic casino titles were created – by recycling the imagery and style of old-school slots. The goal of such projects was to evoke feelings of nostalgia and slight melancholy.
Up until the 1980s, the market for these nostalgic titles was effectively cannibalizing any innovation. Everything changed when game design started being easier and more accessible, resulting in indie studios looking to break the barrier. Perhaps the most notable example is the use of mythology in connection with classic gaming elements. Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythology became a well of inspiration for many developers, in their efforts to expand the slot industry.
For hundreds of years, the general consensus around these ancient cultures was that they are distant to our current reality. Believe it or not, this move made history as a whole much more accessible, too. Suddenly, everyone knew about Ra, Zeus, and Odin.
bitSmith, unlike most studios, decided to go down a different route. Instead of using the three most popular pantheons, they gave it their own cultural signature. In their most notable title, Ku: Shroud of the Morrigan, they managed to successfully incorporate Celtics mythology into classic gaming elements and develop their own mythos.
Through Globalization to Diversity
Many live casino enthusiasts have expressed their desire to see something else than the now played-out Norse, Egyptian, and Greek aesthetic styles. Within such discussions, Celtic mythology is a prominent topic. Somewhat unjustly shunned aside, the Celtic culture once spread from the Orkney Islands all the way to Anatolia in Turkey. The arrival and rise of Romans demoted them to history’s footnotes. So, what do they have to do with bitSmith and online casinos?
A lot, believe it or not. Indie studios are crucial to art as a whole because of the popularization of local culture. bitSmith, an Irish company, decided to promote their own heritage and give it an entirely new feel in a ‘Celt-punk action-adventure’, as they like to call it. Elements like this are important because it doesn’t only make the casino games market more expansive, but because of cultural exchange, too.
By playing as a Celtic warrior or seeing Celtic elements in slots, people can effectively get to know a culture that didn’t just shape the world, but also one that’s still alive and kicking today. And it doesn’t have to be Celtic mythology – it can be anything that can be morphed into a form of entertainment. While big development studios take the established route to build on an existing taste, the casino industry needs companies like bitSmith. Because they take the road less traveled, innovations are abundant and there is a lot to build on, with sufficient promotion and support.
And that’s how diversity comes to be. By fusing popular casino sites like Betwinner with up-and-coming companies, the industry as a whole can take not and diversify its collective portfolio. This is something we need more than ever if we wish to prevent the slots genre from becoming stale.
bitSmith, like many of its contemporaries, represents one other important quality – the ability to create cohesion. If we take FrankNJohn, their newest game, we can see that they’ve used in-house development for every element of the title. By doing so, they’ve created a cohesive title. Casino games are also going down this route, as the lights of Vegas aren’t the only thing that entices potential players.
Shapelessness Isn’t Necessarily Bad
When faced with the diversification of online casino games, purists often say that the genre is becoming ‘shapeless’. But why should this be a negative aspect? Without indie studios like bitSmith, there would be no pushing forward nor would a barrier ever be broken, in any sense. The ‘shapelessness’ of slots and other games allows them to be molded with any available tool, all in an effort to create something new and exciting. Yes, early development is often difficult, but many technological breakthroughs were the result of a ‘throw stuff to the wall and see what sticks’ approach.
That’s why bitSmith-like companies are the future of casino games. Only things such as new music, animations, and engines can keep the online gaming industry in its natural flux. It’s all about connecting the unconnectable, such as Celtic culture and steampunk in bitSmith’s Ku: Shroud of the Morrigan. Even if it’s just a different use of motifs that are already known, it’s movement in a certain direction, which is always progression.
Of course, one could say that regression is an option, but the world of casino games design is a volatile one. One developer’s trash is another developer’s treasure. Because of their constant innovative attitude and the willingness to experiment, the gaming world needs bitSmith and similar brands. It’s an avenue for a higher degree of competitiveness, as well as a fertile ground for new ideas, investments, and advancements. Whether it’s art or entertainment, you have to agree that those are necessities.