Genesis Gaming recently announced the launch of Bier Fest, an online video slot game with an Oktoberfest theme. It’s the first HTML5-only game the company has ever developed.
Users can play a demo version of the game using a PC and Web browser. You click a button to spin and a random arrangement of three rows of five barrels fall on a beer cart. Each barrel serves the same function as a reel on a mechanical slot machine, and could have a graphic of a bier maiden, bier drinker, bier stein, playing card value (9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, or Ace), pretzel, marzipan pig, or bier mug. Oompah music plays in the background during each spin.
With three rows of five barrels, a line consists of any one of 25 possible combinations of five adjacent reels, excluding barrels in the same column. A winning spin occurs when at a minimum; the first three reels have matching graphics or ‘wild’ values along one of the 25 possible lines. It is also possible to have winning spins with ‘scattered’ combinations.
Bier Fest is part of a growing trend of games developed in HTML5. According to Today’s Web, one of the ways HTML5 could prove useful for game development is that it provides a way for independent developers to distribute their games through some medium other than an app store. By providing a link to a limited HTML5 version of the game, developers allow players to try these games out free of charge through a Web browser. If the gamers like what they see, they can click on a link to a full, fee-based version of the game.
A recent report by Newzoo found that only two percent of free-to-play gamers end up paying for the fee-based version of the game. Forty-six percent of revenue comes from 0.22 percent of such players. In spite of the low percentage of paying players, there is a lot of money to be made in mobile games. Between 2013 and 2017, the market was predicted to grow from $17.5 billion to $40.9 billion, a CAGR of 23.5 percent.
Bier Fest is available through Quickfire with links to demo and real-money versions, although the latter was disabled. It’s not clear whether this was because the real-money version is not ready yet or because of U.S. Internet gambling laws.
If such laws are a problem, one of the ways Genesis could monetize Bier Fest in the U.S. market is to make it part of a social casino platform. SuperData Research predicted recently that revenue from social casino playing would grow globally from $2.9 billion in 2013 to $4.4 billion in 2015. One important stat from 2013 was that $1.1 billion of the global revenue came from North America.
Whatever plans Genesis has for Bier Fest in the U.S. remain to be seen, but one thing is certain: it is a well-designed game with quality graphics and sound that should give slot enthusiasts a great gaming experience.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino