How new card game Gwent can blur the lines between casino and video games

  • New digital card game Gwent set to be released in open Beta on May 24th
  • Do games like Gwent have its place in the future of the online casino industry?

Recently, several online casino companies have released products that can’t easily be placed in a single category.

During the earlier years, this distinction was quite clear, especially regarding casino games and traditional video games. Nowadays, more and more games are starting to blur that line, and Gwent, a digital card game that will be released as open Beta for consoles and PCs on May 24, belongs well inside this group.

Developed by CD Projekt Red, Gwent should give the most popular game from this genre, the famous Hearthstone, a run for its money. However, given just how popular Hearthstone is, this is quite a challenge, and open Beta will serve to help developers feel the pulse of the potential players and decide what improvements need to be added prior to the full-scale launch.

What’s the link with online casino?

At first glance, this does not appear to bear much resemblance to a classic online casino game, but considering today’s gaming environment, industry experts think games like Gwent could have their place in the future of the industry.

New generations of gamers look for a different, more fulfilling experience than the one offered by traditional table games or slots.

There have been quite a few online gambling companies tackling this shift by releasing slots that look more like Candy Crush Saga than something you could expect to find on a casino floor.

And now companies from the video gaming industry are doing the same and repurposing their games to fit within the online gambling concept. The foundations have already been laid, so the only thing missing now is the implementation, and a game like Gwent could fit right in.

What is Gwent

Gwent: The Witcher is a digital card game inspired by the popular The Witcher RPG (Role Playing Game). Set in the medieval world, The Witcher focuses on adventures of Geralt, who is one of rare remaining witchers. Witchers are genetically enhanced monster fighters for hire.

Gwent takes the elements from the game plot, giving players a chance to represent one of several fractions, like Monsters, Nilfgaardian Empire, Skellige, etc. Different fractions give you different deck builds and different powers to use along the way, making Gwent a truly versatile and interesting game that will keep your attention for a long time.

PokerStars & Power Up

Should Gwent or another similar game enter the industry, it would hardly come as a surprise. Casino developers are already toying with the idea of introducing a card game with Hearthstone-like elements.

One of the best examples is Power Up, a digital card game that’s being developed by PokerStars, the biggest online poker room.

This game combines traditional elements of No Limit Hold’em with various “powers” players can use during the game. Although Power Up is still in its early stages, some of the powers presented during the closed Alpha were:

strong>Intel: Giving you an opportunity to see the top card of the deck

Upgrade: Get a third hole card and then decide if you want to use it to replace one of your original two cards

Disintegrate: Destroy one of the community cards.

The big names in the industry are fully aware that there is a need for change, and they are working in the direction of ‘gamifying’ their current offer. With that in mind, it isn’t hard to see how Gwent could easily have a great reception with the younger players if it were incorporated within an online casino site.

Close to the heart

Those who keep up with Twitch probably already know that many poker players actually enjoy spending their free time playing Hearthstone. Many of successful players also found their way to poker through another card game, albeit not in a digital format, called Magic, The Gathering. So, there is already a crossover between these two game types.

OUR VERDICT

The huge popularity of Hearthstone, and the rapidly growing eSports betting market, makes it clear why games like Gwent could have huge crossover appeal for online casinos.

It remains to be seen if Gwent can take on Hearthstone in terms of popularity. It would take a lot for Hearthstone players to switch sides. At the same time, this game could have its future in a completely different environment, which might be something the developers didn’t even think about that much. With Gwent being close to release date, it could beat Power Up to the market and create quite an upset, if the company decides to explore this option.

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