After languishing on the sidelines as an add-on to traditional sports betting, the growth in revenues brought in by virtual sports is starting to tell a very different story, with innovative developers like BetConstruct finding ways to bring virtual sports into the limelight once more. So, are they becoming an irreplaceable vertical for the industry? Armenuhi Khachatryan, product owner of virtual sports at BetConstruct, believes they are.
If you had said ten years ago that virtual sports would someday be one of the industry’s major revenue generators, you would have been met with some scepticism, to say the least. Who would have thought that a computer-generated game could ever compete with the real thing? But even as global sporting events have become ubiquitous and so-called ‘dead time’ a thing of the past, the appetite for virtual sports has grown and grown among consumers, led by a small group of innovative developers who think they may have discovered the perfect recipe for a virtual game.
One company that hasn’t wavered in their faith in the power of the virtual is BetConstruct, a leading sports-betting and gaming solutions supplier with a reputation for breaking new ground. For Armenuhi Khachatryan, BetConstruct’s product owner of virtual sports, it isn’t all about realism, but also about flights of fancy: virtuals can give players a chance to experience new types of gameplay and bet on thrilling match events time and time again.
“We build products that people love – that’s the core ideology for us when developing products for players,” she explained. “I believe the essential elements that take up the rate of virtuals are the realistic graphics and gameplay features. A wide variety of bet types and good UX features offer the perfect balance, providing an exciting and engaging gameplay.
“It is vital to have realism in the games, since that way you can provide a life-like experience for the players, but having attractive gameplay features also makes them more engaging from a players’ perspective. We’ve figured out that the right combination of those two fundamentals is what users actually want from virtual games.”
The investment that the firm has put into their virtual sports is a testament to their belief in the vertical: Khachatryan and her team developed their suite of products following a deep and exhaustive analysis of thousands of real-life sporting events.
Currently, the firm offers eight virtual sport types with over 3,000 matches per day and about 100,000 matches per month. Their Comprehensive Content Management System, designed to give BetConstruct’s partners even greater control, allows operators to customise and adapt the games with ease. Paving the path to success in multiple jurisdictions, games are also powered with multi-language and multi-currency capabilities.
“With more than 250 operators having integrated our virtual sports betting solutions, we are the fastest growing service in the market – adding more clients and more product types every year,” revealed Khachatryan. “There are numerous ways to customise our products, too. Partners can choose their own advertising integration, languages, colours, typeface, frames, player names, videos and statistics and many other options which can help generate even higher revenues.”
Over the past few years, virtual sports have become an indisputable driver of growth, not just for BetConstruct but for the industry as a whole. No longer an afterthought for operators or the preserve of jurisdictions with less reliable telecommunications networks, virtuals are now one of the verticals that can deliver a consistent boost to revenues – and one which is increasingly in demand across the world.
“A decade or so ago, virtual sports was used as a way to fill dead time between live sport events. Now they account for 30 to 35 percent of market revenues, making virtual sports one of the most important components in the internet betting industry,”’ said Khachatryan.
“The most intriguing part about this is that it is accelerating steadily in many regions. The omni-presence of virtual sports makes it even more popular in the market. One can enjoy life-like virtual games anytime and anywhere in the world. Therefore, it’s safe to predict that it will eventually become an irreplaceable part of the whole iGaming industry.”
In the meantime, BetConstruct has been keeping pace with the rise of virtual sports with a spate of new releases, from the ultra-popular Penalty Kicks game to its more recent release, Virtual Football Pro, which was developed using cutting-edge 3D visualisation techniques. This year, the company will be adding even more products to its portfolio, while working hard to improve the current offer with even more gameplay features and even better graphics.
“We recently released our Virtual Football Pro game, featuring the latest 3D visuals and an incredible range of markets, and we are planning to release Virtual Football League very soon,” said Khachatryan. “The latter features eight teams, 112 matches per season, 28 match days and four games in parallel, and is set to be yet another top revenue-generating solution for our operators. In general, 2019 will be very productive year for virtual sports: new games, new features and tools are coming very soon.”