What does the future hold for Progressive Jackpot Games?
When you look at the quality of the 16 different progressive jackpot slots and games currently offered by Microgaming, you would be forgiven for thinking that the company has taken progressive jackpot gaming pretty much as far as it can go.
After all, you have games like Cash Splash progressive jackpot slot which pays out regular wins every few days of several thousand to lucky winners and then at the other end of the scale, you have the mighty Mega Moolah slot, which regularly pays out jackpots of several million and which holds the world record for the largest ever online progressive jackpot pay out.
However, it's not just slots Microgaming offer as they also give players the chance to play other progressive games including several variations of video poker, Cyberstud Poker and roulette. All in all, Microgaming's current range of progressive jackpot games pretty much has all bases covered. It is precisely because of this that the company enjoys such a positive reputation among those players that enjoy chasing progressive jackpot wins.
So, it is fair to say that the state of progressive jackpot gaming in the UK today is in pretty rude health and is only getting stronger. However, as technology develops, and the demands of the typical casino patron get even greater, what does the future hold for progressive jackpot gaming? How will companies like Microgaming decide what the next step to take is in this burgeoning market of slot gamers?
Let's gaze into our crystal ball now and see if we can predict some of the ways that companies like Microgaming can develop the progressive jackpot gaming market and perhaps foresee some of the new attractions that could be in development as we speak, ready for future release.
The future of Progressive Jackpot Gaming
When you consider the current state of progressive jackpot gaming, then there are potentially a number of different ways a software studio could go when deciding to begin work on the next generation of progressive games. We're going to take a look at some of the options that we think are the most likely 'next step' in the development of new progressives.
- Development of a wider choice of non-slot progressive casino games
While developing a progressive jackpot slot is relatively easy, trying to work out a way to add a progressive jackpot element to some other casino games can be tricky. Microgaming have already achieved this with versions of Poker, Video Poker and Roulette alongside their slot games but I do feel that this is one particular area of progressive jackpot gaming that is ripe for development.
I can think of some online casino attractions that should be relatively easy to add a large progressive jackpot prize to. Scratchcard simulators are a good example as in real life, scratchcards can be designed to offer a very large single prize, as well as plenty of smaller value prizes. This should be relatively easy to replicate online and could easily be scaled up or down accordingly.
I also feel that due to the popularity of scratchcards with certain people, who may not be particularly interested in casino gaming, this may also have a good deal of appeal with those players and potentially bring in new customers to the casino.
I also feel other games often bracketed with scratchcards, such as Keno or Bingo could also be developed to allow for a progressive jackpot. In Keno for example, you could have a progressive jackpot prize for a player that lands all their selected numbers within a selected number of balls being drawn. So for example, if a player has picked the maximum number of selections in Keno, if they hit all of their selections within say 20 balls being drawn, they would win the progressive. You could also work in a similar prize for bingo games.
Card games are particularly difficult to work progressive jackpots into seamlessly but it is possible. I think a version of blackjack that plays like the standard game, but where a player lands a stated hand (such as three sevens to land 21) could then trigger a bonus feature, similar to the Jackpot Bonus Game on Mega Moolah.
On that feature, the player could elect to wager their winnings on a spin of the wheel. They could win an amount of money as a multiple of their bet, lose their prize or if they are very lucky land the progressive jackpot. Of course, the progressive jackpot would only be triggered rarely but it would be a simple and easy method of allowing standard blackjack games to offer a progressive prize fund. Furthermore, with it being a bonus players can turn down if they so wish, then they have the option to take their money instead.
I think with companies like Microgaming investigating what partnerships with third party software development studios can offer, we are likely to see a number of these different progressive jackpot games being developed over the next 5-10 years or so.
- Continuing development of multiple progressive jackpot slots
There's no doubt that for progressive jackpot gaming, slots are still very much the kings of that particular arena and I think it would be foolish for companies not to look into developing the next generation of slot games that offer progressive jackpots.
The good news with this is that the technology to develop some outstanding examples in the genre already exists, but it is a delicate balance for companies at the moment. You don't want to offer too many progressives as players will spread their play over more, reducing the size of the jackpots available in each and as such, this tends to make them less appealing.
So what companies like Microgaming need to do is develop the next generation of progressive slots that will one day inherit the customers that now play the likes of King Cashalot, Major Millions and Mega Moolah.
Certainly, slots with multiple progressive jackpots, especially two or more sizeable jackpots, seem to be the most popular and I wouldn't see the next big progressive slot deviating too much from the structure you see on the Mega Moolah game. Although I think the options to add some additional bonus features that you find in other slots, to perhaps make the base game and bonus rounds more exciting, are always a good idea.
Also, I think that having a series of slots, which Microgaming used to have for the Mega Moolah slot, is something the company may come back to, perhaps in conjunction with a theme that lends itself to multiple different slot games, such as the DC Universe series of slots.
- Limited Time Progressive Jackpot Games
The final area for development for future progressive jackpots is the potential for games to have an 'expiry date' with their progressive jackpot, which means that when the jackpot reaches either a certain size, or reaches a certain date, then the jackpot will be triggered.
This does not mean of course that it can't be triggered at any other time, it can, but it would mean that players would know that if a progressive jackpot is not won within a stated time period, or when it reaches a certain threshold of money as the top prize, then it will be awarded to one lucky player.
This type of jackpot may sound somewhat self-defeating as half the fun of big progressive prizes is seeing them rise to greater and greater amounts, but if you let players know that a jackpot will be paid out on a certain date, or when the fund reaches a stated amount, then you will generate plenty of interest in that slot.
Of course, how you would then decide which player wins the jackpot is the key. One possible way is for the slot to keep record of all players that have had a spin on the game since the last jackpot trigger. Every spin equals one entry into the draw for that player, so the more you play the game, the more chance you have of winning the jackpot prize if it goes to term.
These are just three out of many different possibilities for the future of progressive jackpot gaming and it will be interesting to see where companies decide to go with these games in the future.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.