We often reference the continuing novelty and search for innovation in the online slots world. However, while new titles appear regularly, and there are innovations in gameplay, most people who played the original mechanical slots over a century ago could probably sit down and get their heads around a modern online digital slot in about 10 minutes.
That’s what Scientific Games have in mind with their new product, Jackpot Wars, which brings social and video gaming dynamics more fully into the slots world than any other mechanic has before. This could be a real game-changer – or it could vanish without a trace!
It has a powerful company behind it, and that’s a good pointed to the first outcome, but it will take player take up to make it a true success.
Here’s what to expect when Jackpot Wars break out.
What is Jackpot Wars?
Jackpot Wars are somewhere between a social site, a massive multiplayer online game, and an actual slot.
SG’s thinking is this:
In the very near future, a new generation of slots players is going to arrive on the scene. They haven’t grown up playing traditional off-line slots. They’ve grown up online, and they’ve grown up playing video games.
They expect more than an online mock-up of a slot machine can deliver.
They’re used to playing games in which they design or inhabit their own characters, and have an online identity that is very personal to them. They’re used to competing against many other players. And they’re used to having a community of players to mess around in.
Jackpot Wars brings these dynamics to slots.
Players get a robot avatar to represent them online.
They can then take part in battles in organised tournaments, presumably run through online casino sites. The battle is a slot tournament.
Players pay for entry into the tournaments by playing on the slot game in a traditional way.
Alongside entry tickets, players can earn customising extras for their robots.
Why Play Jackpot Wars
Jackpot wars can offer bigger prizes by pooling prize funds in the way that progressive jackpots work.
Players also get a gamified experience with progression and a character and they get social elements in the form of competition and a community that will be built around the games.
Casino sites are being sold these games on the basis that they will attract a new audience to the online video slots world, the gameplay and community aspects are designed to keep the players interested and paying to play.
A New Mechanic Entirely
This could change the way that players interact with online casino sites.
First of all, they will have to play a series of games in order to buy the game tickets and then they have to trick out their robots and enter the tournament.
Players will have to pay £25 in bets to earn a tournament ticket. Each time they bet 20p they’ll get one of the cogs you need to make changes to your robot.
Tournaments use a progressive jackpot mechanic to trigger. When the prize fund reaches a set trigger level, a timer will start that gives players up to 30 minutes to enter the game. A tournament can start when the clock ends its countdown and has at least 16 entrants.
The tournament works like a football tournament with a first qualifying round. Then there are knockout rounds in which two players’ robots battle, with 50% chance for each to win.
There’s a prize pool, and this is divided in four ways:
- First place gets 85% of the pool,
- Second place gets 10%,
- Third place gets 2.5% along with fourth place.
What can You Win in Jackpot Wars?
The progressive pot is built from player bets.
It’s nice to see the mechanics of such a pooling system.
This is a four-tier prize, described as:
Epic, with £300,000, that triggers with 500 tickets, costing £12,500 to enter, meaning a projected player loss of £875, with 800 players.
The Major Prize is worth £30,000, takes 70 tickets to enter, costs £1,750, and a loss of £122.50, with 572 players.
Minor jackpot is £3,000, can be entered for 8 tickets, costs £200 to enter, has an expected player loss of £14, needs 13,333 tickets to get going, with 500 players.
The mini jackpot is worth £300, you can enter with 1 ticket, costing £25, has a player loss of £1.75, will need 1,143 tickets to trigger with 400 tickets.
These player loss figures, of course, don’t include the possibility of winning the big prize.
You can spend money on your robot avatar, but it won’t make any difference to your chances of winning.
SG have big claims for the mathematics behind this system, which they say is a player’s best chance to win a progressive jackpot.
A Jackpot War Example
A prize with a £2,000 trigger is set off, and a clock starts counting down. Once 16 players have assembled, they fight it out through rounds of 16, 8, 4, and a final. Players in the final two rounds win a prize, following the logic explained above, which means prizes of £1,700 for first place, £200 for the second, and two prizes of £50.
Where Can I Play Jackpot Wars
You need to find Jackpot Wars slots. Another signal as to where this dynamic might be targeted can be found in the names of the first two slots released to feature it: Jin Ji Bao Xi and Jinse Dao Tiger.
There’s a lot of potential to this idea, though it is early days yet. The biggest challenge to it is that gambling games remain random. You can stick all the guns and shields on your robot that you want, but it won’t make a jot of difference to toss-of-a-coin battles, and that might frustrate an audience that is used to having more input on outcomes.
There’s a lot riding on this we think, so we certainly recommend you keep your eye on this ball.