[toc]In November, skill-based game developer GameCo held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Harrah’s in Atlantic City.
It was the debut of Danger Arena, the first skill-based game on an American casino floor.
Last week, GameCo unveiled a second skill-based game, Pharaoh’s Secret Chamber, which is now available at the same four Atlantic City casinos.
— GameCo LLC (@GameCoLLC) February 18, 2017
Skill-based games coming to a NJ casino near you
Casinos have been trying to make inroads with millennials now that all but the tail-end of the generation is over the age of 21. But finding products that appeal to people who can barely recall a time without cell phones or social media has proven difficult.
Skill-based games, like the ones being rolled out by GameCo and others, are thought to be one path to reaching younger would-be casino patrons.
Blaine Graboyes, the co-founder and CEO of GameCo, discussed this aim in a press release announcing the launch of Pharaoh’s Secret Chamber.
“We are committed to providing unique and engaging content that will appeal to current casino players and attract new audiences, by developing a variety of relatable video game gambling experiences that feature familiar entertainment based on popular brands from movies, TV, video games, and casual style games.”
Step inside Pharaoh’s Secret Chamber
Compared to Danger Arena (a classic first-person shooter-style game) Pharaoh’s Secret Chamber is demonstrably different.
Pharaoh’s Secret Chamber is a match-three game, in the mold of Candy Crush, which makes it more of a puzzle than an esports-style video game.
Per the GameCo press release:
“In ‘Pharaoh’s Secret Temple’ players embark on an adventure to unlock the riches of the Pharaoh’s Secret Temple by matching gems to collect rare treasures before their time is up.
Appealing to casual gamers and current slot players, this casual video game features awesome boosts, power-up prizes, charms, and Egyptian-themed traps. Pirates Gold Studios developed the original game specifically for GameCo’s proprietary VGM platform.”
Danger Arena appears to be doing OK on casino floors, but it’s certainly not setting the world on fire. Danger Arena specifically targets millennials. It requires going over the game rules and doing a walkthrough to become acclimated with the joystick and controls.
Because of the game mechanics, Pharaoh’s Secret Chamber will likely appeal to a wider demographic.
Not many grandmothers have begun playing first-person shooters, like Resident Evil, Doom, or Counter-Strike.
New game has potential to appeal to broad range of ages
On the other hand, a fair share of grandparents do play match-three-type puzzle games on their smartphones, a platform where first-person shooter games haven’t caught on with the general public.
Right off the bat, most people walking by these new machines will be at least vaguely familiar with how match-three games work. That should cut down on the time it takes to become acquainted with the game.
Furthermore, the game doesn’t require the same level of hand-eye coordination as Danger Arena, where players have to navigate rooms, aim, and so on.
Finally, the content itself is softer — no gunshot sounds, klaxons, or killer robots to destroy.
Putting all these factors together, Pharaoh’s Secret Chamber would seem to have a better chance of piquing the curiosity of the typical slot player who might be passing by the machine.