While both the terms sound the same, gaming and iGaming are completely different industries. The former refers to traditional video games while the latter refers to any online game that’s dependent on odds, chance, and usually involves money.
Over the last decade, both gaming and iGaming industries have seen explosive growth. And even though there are clear lines dividing them (such as the use of real money), we have seen the two influencing each other over time, with each mimicking some elements of the other.
In this article, let’s look at the subtle differences between the two and how they can also be related. And lastly, how it can impact the marketing strategy for the leading iGaming firms.
How gaming and iGaming are different and similar
The primary difference between online gaming and iGaming is that gambling is involved in one of them. So while online gaming covers recreation multiplayer games, iGaming covers online casinos, poker sites, bookmakers, etc.
However, in recent years, we have seen a shift in the gaming industry where new elements like “loot boxes” promote gambling. However, online games still do not use “real money” in the sense that all elements in the game can be purchased for an in-game currency that can be bought for real currency.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have seen the iGaming world take cues from the gaming world and create mechanisms and gameplay elements that are inspired by it. For example, online slots have become increasingly complex over the years, and gaming technology like VR and AR are working their way into online casino games.
In many ways, the lines have started to blur between what can be considered gaming and what can be considered iGaming for the players at least. However, the catch is that iGaming regulations are usually much more strict than gaming regulations which means we are likely to see the divide continue in the near future in the legal sense.
How the similarities can help iGaming in emerging markets like India
India is a country filled with diversity. For example, the mobile gaming market in India is estimated to be worth $3 billion by 2023. However, when it comes to iGaming, the market remains unregulated which prohibits local companies from engaging in the industry but allows international online casinos to do so.
Since the market is already used to mobile gaming, it is not a stretch that they might be interested in iGaming too since there are some glaring similarities. In the last few years, we have seen some of the biggest international casinos entering the Indian market.
Branded games based on popular video games like Street Fighter and Rambo can be used to lure first-time players along with offering them incredible bonuses. Since the gaming infrastructure is already there, iGaming brands want to capitalize on them. Whether they succeed or not, only time can tell but the growing market size is definitely a good sign for both the industries in general.