It’s been some time since World Gaming, then known as Starnet, announced that they would be releasing a new downloadable version of their Beyond2000 software.
Back in August 2000, after a few delays, Starnet released the Java version of their much-hyped Beyond2000 gaming platform, which at that time was probably the best Java-based software on the market. They said that there would be a new downloadable package on the market shortly.
Many months later, still no new release. Skeptics were beginning to wonder if they would ever release a new download version, apparently delayed because of a number of factors including a company downsizing and obvious budget constraints owing to legal wrangles.
Well, on July 27, more than eleven months after the Java 먹튀검증release, Starnet (which, months earlier, had changed its name to World Gaming) finally release Version 3.2 of their gaming platform, which included the first update to their downloadable software which was released way back in 1997.
Having eagerly awaited a look at this software, I downloaded their largest package, which included the full selection of games plus additional special effects and other enhancements.
The table games looked a lot better – but I had this distinct feeling that they were just copying other major manufacturers which had long since released much better software packages.
Especially irritating was the need to physically place a bet each time you wanted to play, rather than just hitting “Deal” and the software assuming you wanted to place the same bet. Only in Roulette and Craps was a “Same Bet” button available – but it still requires an extra click – an unbelievable oversight that it shares with rival Cryptologic.
They may think that this adds to the “realism” of the game but, being a bit more practical, this is just silly – not only does it slow the player down, it also reduces the rate at which a casino can conceivably earn revenues.
Included in the package was just one video poker game – Jacks or Better – which was a tremendous disappointment because the graphics were not particularly interesting, and the poor odds in the old version had not been modified.
Also included were two slots games which clearly lacked inspiration – one got more of a sense of playing an old Nintendo game rather than a slot machine.
No matter what they think, “realism” is not something that people are looking for when they play online, except perhaps with slot reels. It is simply impossible to duplicate the feel of chips in one’s hand, smooth felt tables, and a beer in one’s hand (unless you brought one from your own refrigerator).
Only Microgaming and RTG seem to have realized this fact – and optimized their games for fast play and clear, crisp graphics.
Granted, World Gaming has some advantages over some of its competitors – bingo games, live horse racing, and of course its well-known sportsbook software. None of these, however, are integrated into the download product other than a bare interface which, when clicked on, sends your browser to the correct page.
But these are minor oversights. What is most disappointing about this casino software is the lack of new games – in fact some seem to have actually disappeared – as well as the appearance of an unfinished product.
Once the dominant software product on the market, Starnet/World Gaming’s bubble has clearly burst. While they should continue to be around for a while, and enjoy reasonably good revenues from their sportsbook product, it appears that they have lost their focus on the huge casino gaming market.
A really sad situation this is. I was hoping for a superior product that would reinvigorate the competition in the casino gaming market. Instead, we are stuck with old, rehashed software – and with Boss Media still exceedingly slow in releasing new games, that only leaves three major competitors in the market who provide a wide range of games – on of which has a product that I just cannot get comfortable with, and another which does not have progressives… and whose licensees are currently under extreme pressure because of poor management decisions – and the third still seemingly unresponsive to public concerns and comments despite promising to resolve that situation some months ago.
Some of you will still enjoy the new version of the software, don’t get me wrong. I actually enjoy playing the table games, but I do not have the patience to keep placing chips each time I want to play.
Manufacturers, listen up. Casino operators, listen up.
If you want this industry to continue its fast growth, you have to:
Release new games regularly
Be responsive to customer concerns
Use common sense when programming the user interface
Focus on building a better wheel than trying to hawk the one you already have
Replace the existing bonus system with a strong loyalty program
Pay winnings efficiently and without hassle
Create multilingual software and websites
Your time is limited. I am certain that when the Vegas casinos come online, your revenues will greatly suffer unless you do all of these things to build brand awareness and loyalty – and seek new markets for your products as well.
Otherwise, you might as well pack it up now.