The slots market has had a staggering life so far, coming from incredibly humble roots in the 19th Century, and eventually ending up as one of the biggest assets to the overall gambling industry. It’s true; these days online slots make up almost a third of all gambling activity across the world, testimony to the success of this market. Really though there is no real surprise here either, it’s best to check out these online slots UK which can be played from pretty much anywhere these days, ensuring you have a sufficient Internet connection of course. In fact, due to the emergence of mobile slots people can even spin the reels from their smartphones, this means you can gamble on your morning commute, or even under your desk at work! Although we don’t condone the latter…
But here’s the thing: do you really think the slots market would be so popular if it wasn’t for the range of developers making sure that the games coming out each year are getting better and better? We have a lot to thank these companies for, especially in the realm of slot graphics, one of the most important things when trying to attract new players to the market. Of course, graphics didn’t really mean much before the emergence of video slots in the 1980s, mainly because the slot machines that came before were purely mechanical, and therefore there wasn’t much the developers could do to improve their graphics. The aesthetic of their machines was still important though of course. Read ahead for an in-depth exploration of how the graphics of slots have evolved over time.
The First-Ever Slot Machines: A Time Before Graphics
So, in order to get a well-rounded view of how slot graphics have evolved over time, it is necessary to go right back to the start of the slots story. These ludicrously exciting gambling machines first came about in California towards the end of the 19th Century, popping up in saloons and bars across the state. At first, they were incredibly rudimentary, but a mechanical engineer called Charles D. Fey quickly spotted an opportunity to improve them tenfold.
The result was the Liberty Bell slot machine, something that proved to be incredibly popular, and very quickly proliferated across Fey’s native San Francisco and further afield. Now, one of the main reasons behind its success was its use of attractive looking symbols such as card suits and liberty bells. It is a very early example of the importance of aesthetics when it comes to creating a popular slot machine, and these icons are still used today in a variety of slot machines, both online and offline.
Golden Age Of Slot Gambling
Charles D. Fey’s Liberty Bell slot machine proved to be the impetus for many others to begin recreating his famous gambling unit, and before too long California was flooded with slots. However, the problem at this time was that gambling was still largely illegal across the US, so it was very difficult for a proper genuine and fully-fledged slot market to arise. This all changed in the post-WWII years, however, as places like Las Vegas asserted themselves as bona fide gambling meccas. This coincided with the rise of slot machines, and before long hundreds of thousands of casino, goers were completely hooked.
The era isn’t called the golden age of slot machines for nothing, as places like Las Vegas, in particular, saw an unprecedented increase in casinos, slots and most importantly, gamblers hungry for a good old reel-spinning session. As you can imagine, this resulted in the market getting a whole lot more competitive, something that subsequently meant that manufacturers had to make their games as attractive as possible. Another key moment in the evolution of aesthetics in the world of slots.
The Emergence Of Video Slots
By the 1980s slots had begun to outnumber other more traditional table games in the vast majority of casinos, a testament to their exponentially spiraling popularity. Developers were kept on their toes here, always aware that one of their competitors could end up making the next breakthrough, and therefore scoop many more gamblers in the process. And so it was during the 80s video slots first became a properly possible venture, something that made the world of slots even more desirable.
This was the first time that graphics, as we know them today, were relevant to the slots industry, with video screens appearing on a range of slot machines. As well as making them look nicer and more futuristic, this also resulted in the possibility of far more bonus rounds and features. As you can imagine, the fervor around slot machines shot up even more after this.
Video slots also paved the way for the emergence of online slots a few decades onwards, one of the biggest changes that the gambling industry has ever seen. Oh yes, online slots changed absolutely everything, ensuring that the slots industry would quickly become an absolute gambling behemoth.
Now graphics mattered more than ever because developers could create far more online slots than they could physical slots, meaning there was a lot more competition. And what’s the best way to attract gamblers to your slot title? Make it look stunning of course! As many developers did.
3D Graphic Technology
It didn’t take long for people like NetEnt and Blueprint Gaming to unlock the potential of 3D graphic technology in relation to slots, something that turned out to be the next step up for the industry. Nowadays the vast majority of slots are rendered in 3D, but imagine how good they must have looked to people right at the start of their inception!
Virtual Reality Slots
At this point you might be asking, what’s next? Well, the evolution of graphics in the slots market is showing no signs of stopping any time soon, with virtual reality the next big thing on the agenda. In order for VR to work properly the games simply have to be incredibly clear and pristine visually, so get set for even better graphics in the future!