The GTA game franchise is one of the most popular on the console platform, and one that was synonymous with first generation PlayStation and Xbox Games at the turn of the century. While it may be derided by some as having questionable content and excessive levels of violence, however, it may also be the franchise that drags console gaming kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
The answer lies in the forthcoming GTA Online DLC release, which will apparently feature a number of integrated casino games including Poker, Blackjack and Slots. While this is not unusual given the nature of the game, these pastimes will be accessible in real-time as part of missions and will require players to invest their hard-earned money (or acquired credits) to succeed.
This came hot on the heels of news about March’s Hitman: Agent 47 release, which will be rolled out as part of a series of monthly updates which enables users to pick and choose which missions they pay for and download. This borrows heavily from the thriving mobile template, where gamers have the freedom of choice in terms if when, where and how they spend their capital. With GTA developers Rockstar now capitalising on a different but mobile-related trend, the future for gaming clearly involves an evolving console channels and the creation of cross-platform experiences.
The new GTA update is arguably the first to integrate mobile gameplay and online casino platforms into a console title, however, and this represents the type of game-changing move that could change the market forever. It is an innovation that has been founded on the the popularity of online casino sites which continues to grow exponentially and at a disproportionate rate to other sectors, apart from the rise of digital game sales over physical copies.
Whether or not this is the future for gaming remains a little unsure, but it is certainly the future for this particular franchise. After all, he marriage of online casino gaming and the GTA franchise as a whole is made in heaven, while it cannot be underestimated how big a dimension this adds to the experience. Additionally, this unique fusion of console and mobile gaming will also appeal to a whole new demographic of adult players, making the franchise more popular then ever before.
Above all else, online casino platforms are lucrative entities that drive huge revenues in 2016. They are also huge growth segments, so it makes perfect sense for casino games to tap into this considerable resource. The key is to create natural links and integrate relevant mobile concepts, which Rockstar have done extremely successfully by introducing live and real-world casino gaming into the GTA franchise.
If this is what we can expect from cross-platform gaming, we say the more the merrier. One this is for sure, this will not be the last time that the boundaries of console and mobile gaming blur and bleed into one another.