Netent unveiled the online gambling industry’s first web VR slot game at ICE Totally Gaming 2018 this week.
Gonzo’s Quest VR will be available to players from summer 2018 through a web browser and without the need for a dedicated app install.
Any customer at an online casino offering Virtual Reality slot games will be able to play Gonzo’s Quest VR by logging in and choosing the VR version of the site, then playing though their own headset, or their mobile, tablet or desktop device.
The game has been developed using HTML5 and real-time 3D.
Per Eriksson, CEO of NetEnt, said, “As a first-mover in virtual reality (VR), NetEnt has been at the forefront of iGaming’s application of the technology since revealing its plans for VR in 2016.
“NetEnt is continuously investigating new ways of developing and distributing games and firmly believes VR has the potential to be an important channel in the future.”
Amongst the first to offer the new version of Gonzo’s Quest is likely to be VR Casino pioneers SlotsMillion.
Visitors to the NetEnt stand at ICE 2018 were treated to a demo version of the game and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
The stand-out features of Gonzo’s Quest which made the title so popular in the first place are all still there – the cute mascot, the Cascading Reels with multipliers and the free spins round.
What VR technology has allowed NetEnt to do is to turn this into an immersive experience which ultimately makes it more fun to play, althought nothing has been added to the gameplay itself.
Players get 360 degree views of the jungle in which the game sits, where menu items that were previously available from buttons adjacent to the reels are now visible in the surrounding environment.
For example, the game instructions, including what each symbol means and the paylines, are visible to the players left as they face the reels.
The start of the show, conquistador Gonzo, is fully interactive and celebrates every win, jumping up and getting into the players face, whilst an additional parrot mascot joins in too.
For operators, the game will be available through NetEnt’s Casino Module giving it a big reach and making it accessible to a huge number of casino players worldwide.
Elsewhere at ICE 2018 NetEnt showcased their new fully immersive 3-D multi-table live casino experience in collaboration with Mr Green.
The exclusive roll-out will be known as Live Beyond Live and will provide a social, interactive environment for players of Blackjack and Roulette.
Henrik Fagerlund, Chief Product Officer of NetEnt, said: “The latest addition to our Live portfolio was created so we were able to provide a more immersive setting and to break down the physical constraints to create, what we call, a larger than life experience.
“We are constantly looking to push the boundaries of technological advances in the live casino world, and this breakthrough can help propel not only NetEnt, but operators in reaching new heights.”
VR Casinos have been touted as the future for a long time now and this looks like another step in the right direction.
Time will tell how much of a tipping point the release of Gonzo’s Quest VR is for this niche area of the industry.