Finnish developers Supercell have pulled another rabbit out of the hat with their release of Brawl Stars. The team-shooter was soft-launched in North America last summer and it soon became a top-ten grossing mobile game in Canada’s App Store. Supercell has since rolled-out Brawl Stars on Android devices this year and it has made a real splash across Scandinavia and in the Far East.
Players across Singapore, Malaysia, Macau and Hong Kong have all taken to Brawl Stars, with Hong Kong-based players said to be generating almost half (47%) of all Brawl Stars revenues for Supercell in July 2018. Given that gamers in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore are all partial to playing at land-based and online casinos, could Supercell have another potential goldmine on their hands if they were to release a Brawl Stars video slot?
Slot machine games have evolved hugely over the decades. From the first five-reel machine built by Sittman & Pitt in New York to the first slot machine played on a color display in California, these engaging machines are still in the hearts of traditional gamers even today. Since 2015, slot action has gone increasingly digital, helping the games to become more accessible to smartphone and tablet devices as well as desktops and laptops.
The new generation of online gamers and casino-goers is by no means wedded to the traditional form of slot machine gameplay. In fact, they are increasingly turned off by the repetitiveness of classic slots that pay out based on how much money has been spent in a machine or online. Millennial casual gamers and iGamers prefer their gameplay to be more immersive and experience-led. The ability to fuse console or mobile app-style gameplay within a video slot has given iGaming a completely new breath of life in 2018. Not to mention the addition of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) technology which can transport players into virtual gaming environments – such as the heart of a Brawl Stars battle royale!
Even in the casino-mad city of Las Vegas, there is a feeling that traditional slot games have had their time. A prominent figure at the helm of the Nevada Gaming Control is said to have called for “skill and social elements” to be added to land-based and online slot games. While some might say that Brawl Stars is not a skill-based or strategy-based game, most Brawl Stars fanatics would claim the opposite. When you consider that there are four primary game modes in Brawl Stars for players to master, it’s anything but a game of chance. Furthermore, as part of a team of three players, you’re required to work together to win your battles.
How the team-based aspect of Brawl Stars would translate to the world of iGaming remains to be seen. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that you could simply play as a one-man team against the in-built AI of a video slot. The four game modes – “Smash & Grab”, “Heist”, “Bounty” and “Showdown” could easily be replicated as in-game bonus rounds unlocked by landing the slot’s scatter symbols. It’s also easy to imagine the inclusion of Brawl Boxes into a Brawl Stars video slot, with their appearance on the reels helping you to multiply wins, rather than unlock new rare brawlers, chips and Elixir to help upgrade your brawler. The Brawl Boxes could be part of a pick-me-style slot bonus game, where players select a box to get a prize at random.
On the whole, the most popular video slots in 2018 and beyond are likely to be those with a clear quest or storyline for iGamers to follow. Additionally, slots that offer fast and frenetic gameplay will continue to thrive in an online gaming world where players crave instant gratification – Brawl Stars provides that in spades. Having successfully developed Clash Royale, Clash of Clans and now Brawl Stars, branching out into iGaming would appear to be a natural step to cement the Brawl Stars franchise in the millennial psyche.