When Justin.tv first came online, the idea was simple – to broadcast the founder, Justin Kan, as he went through his daily routine. After a while, viewers started demanding that they get the chance to film themselves and stream live to audiences. It’s how Twitch TV came into existence. Most users wanted to film their video gaming exploits. It turned out to be one of the best business models ever made because Twitch became the top game streaming service in the world. A majority of the users with Twitch accounts are video gamers.

MMORPG/MMO games are the most popular among streamers. World of Warcraft, RuneScape, Star Wars, Final Fantasy and The Elder Scrolls Online are some of the titles with streaming content on Twitch. Now, another element is dominating Twitch, gambling streams. Casino games are becoming almost as popular as video games as broadcast content. In the past few decades, online gambling has enjoyed the same success as video games. Therefore, the competition between both sectors for streaming supremacy is not surprising. In fact, most casino streamers started as gamers. Why is that, though? How does a WoW player go from MMO games to casino games?

A Parallel Evolution 

When talking about online gaming, two things come to mind – video games and casino games. Video gaming had a head start when it moved from physical consoles to the web. The introduction of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) allowed numerous players, sometimes thousands, to participate in the same game online. This move elevated the social elements of video gaming. Rather than having a few friends watch you playing on your console at home, now you can game with numerous other players from all over the world.

As video gaming evolved, so did gambling. Online casinos made it possible for gamblers to access a variety of games from anywhere. With live games, they could even play with human dealers. In the past decade or so, online gambling has grown rapidly, attracting players from all walks of life. Internet gambling took cues off of video gaming and did an excellent job developing the sector. The bigger the two industries grow, the more they intersect. Presently, you have casinos offering esports, where gamblers can bet on gamers playing MMO games competitively.

As mentioned, streaming is another area where the sectors intertwine. The success of video game broadcasts revealed that casino streaming could be just as big. A quick look at some of the biggest casino broadcasters on Twitch shows that a majority has a video-gaming background. For example, personal information about the Streamer Trainwreckstv indicates that he was an avid World of Warcraft player before getting into online slots.

Some Similarities and Differences

The skills that gamers acquire from years of playing MMOs are proving useful in casino streaming because the two sectors are not as different as they might appear. Gamers are different from gamblers, and most would take offence to being confused for the other. However, when it comes to broadcasting, video games are not that far removed from casino games. Everything it takes to become a successful video game streamer works for online gambling too. In this next section, find out about the factors that unite and separate video and casino games.

The Game Play

MMORPGs involve an element of luck, similar to casino games. When you buy a loot box in the hope of landing a new character or weapon in your favourite video game, you rely on luck. It’s the same as when a gambler bets another round on a slot machine wishing for free spins or a bonus round. Players who are already used to taking chances when playing video games won’t have to struggle too much with casino games. Nonetheless, video games still have a higher barrier to entry in the streaming market than casino games. Video games require more skill than luck, unlike casino games, which take time to develop.

Social Interaction

When video games became available online, they changed how gamers engage with their peers. Players halfway across the globe could chat, share tips and compete. That is how e-sports came to be. Gamers could organise tournaments online and allow others to watch. Online casino games are not as socially advanced as video games. A few options have chat facilities where players can interact with each other. However, many alternatives require gamblers to play by themselves. Streaming adds a sense of community to video and casino games. Broadcasters forge relationships with viewers and fans, which make gaming more interesting.

Gamification

If you have been playing online games for a while, either casino or video, then you must have encountered the term ‘gamification.’ It refers to the inclusion of incentives in games to boost engagement. Online gambling does this very well with free spins, bonus rounds and multipliers in virtual slots. In MMORPGs, gamers win prizes that help them advance through the levels. The point is to have players spend more time than the budget allows on particular games. Games with bonuses give players better content than those without because they can stream for longer without spending more than they intended to.

A vast difference between casino and video games is the potential rewards. Gamblers can land huge wins, especially on jackpot games. The only way to make money on video games is by winning tournaments prizes or getting sponsors. However, live streaming can bring in revenue for both gamers and gamblers.

The debate between video gaming and gambling is a long-standing one, and live streaming has only ignited it further. Gamblers are capitalising on the success of video game streaming to offer similar content. Currently, Twitch has dozens of channels dedicated to gambling streams, most of them by former gamers. So, it’s necessary to understand the relationship between video and casino gaming to see how they influence the streaming business. If you intend to switch from MMORPGs to casino games, then know what to expect.

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British born administrator and developer helping serve and promote open source content to the MMORPG development community since 2001.