Bingo and GTA 5 Raising the Question of Platform

Ever since its inception, the video game industry has seen significant success based on its willingness to push forward into something new. A new leap in graphics, a big leap in gameplay, a step forward in player numbers, all these concepts and much more play into the engine that the industry paints as progress. There are, however, big success stories that run contrary to this narrative.

Looking at online bingo and GTA 5 as specific examples, we want to examine why the way forward might not be as explosive and costly to the manufacturer as the gaming industry wants everyone to believe.

Games as a Platform

The earliest forms of bingo are now hundreds of years old, seeing interest from all over the globe. Though simple at its core, the features of the game have easily let it stand the test of time. Most recently, the gradual evolution of bingo has brought it into the online arena with bingo jackpot games, where titles like the Crystal Room and Gold Room give digital players instant access to a wide variety of different buy-ins and win possibilities, without ever over-reaching and pushing too far. These might be highly advanced on a technological level, but they’re still leveraging the same core gameplay that fans have loved for generations.

In GTA 5, the most profitable video game of all time, evolution has been similarly slow. Rather than relying on the biggest new graphical updates, and completely reshaping the experience, developer Rockstar has seen immense success through simply relying on the fun of the base systems. GTA 5 launched on the PS3, it grew on the PS4, and now it’s looking to making a new home on the PS5. Like bingo, it’s come a long way, but it’s still true to the core of what made the first release great.

Industries in Sync

The video game and casino industries exist in different spheres, but that doesn’t mean that lessons from one side can’t apply to the other. This is exactly what we’ve been seeing in games like GTA 5, where the move towards becoming a platform is increasingly looking like a better choice to chasing the sequel hook. Act like bingo, create an ageless basis, and players will keep coming back. Offer a new sequel with shallower gameplay, and players will eventually burn out and fade away.

With the introduction and success of features like microtransactions and loot boxes over the last decade, it’s not like turning games into platforms is the first idea that video gaming has borrowed from the casino ecosystem. At this point, the success of titles like GTA 5, Minecraft, and Destiny have all showed that a strong foundation can be the best start, but what does this mean for the future of the gaming industry?

Bingo” (CC BY 2.0) by Kevin Doncaster

It’s an interesting question and one which major developers and console manufacturers are taking seriously. Far from the traditional ecosystem of constantly reinventing the wheel, video games are now seeing how much they can load the cart, and how far they can push it. If the online bingo industry is any indication, this could mean a more convenient and accepting future for everyone. Whether or not video games will live up to this ideal, however, only time will tell.

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Aspiring ninja.

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