Social casino games, which are usually free-to-play online casino games, are becoming increasingly popular. They offer similar user experience and gameplay as normal online casino games, whilst employing a freemium model. Social casinos offer users free daily bonus credits – usually chips or spins – to game with. When the player has used their daily bonus, they have to pay for more credits.

Why do People Play Social Casino Games?

Two of the main motivators for playing social casino games are entertainment and socialization. Users enjoy the fun and novelty of the experience, more so than ever when it comes to connecting with other players and chatting during gameplay.

Another big aspect of social casino games that can encourage players to stick to their device is the competitive element. Leader boards trigger that part of the human brain that needs to outperform others and compete. It’s essentially the same principle employed in promotional tournaments held by online casinos.

Social casino games offer increased player interaction, something that is appealing in the increasingly connected modern age. Players can search for both their friends and their rivals and develop different strategies against each other by learning from their previous experiences playing against each other.

The social element is critical and cannot be ignored. It is one of the most in-demand aspects of modern day online life, with internet users becoming increasingly aware that sometimes the internet can isolate us just as much as it can connect us.

The Social Element Explained

As social gaming is mainly a method of connecting with other internet users, one huge lesson that operators are starting to take away from studying the phenomenon is that users respond extremely positively to enhanced sociability. But, it can come with downsides of people being too reliant on social media.

This observation is confirmed by the increasingly popular live dealer games, where players can chat and connect with other users, as well as interacting with a live dealer. Allowing users to feel as though they really are in a casino.

Whereas in standard casino games like roulette, poker, black or slots, players bet real money with the possibility of winning more, in social casino games there is no option to withdraw, even after players pay for more credits in-game. There is no huge prize or jackpot –  when a player wins, they simply receive additional spins or chips to play with.

The Freemium Model

You may wonder how and where social casinos make their money. Social games are monetized through in-app purchases – players will pay cash to extend their gaming sessions. Most social casino operators use this as an opportunity for upselling.

Players can be given the option to pay a certain amount for a certain number of credits – something like $10 for 100 chips – or pay a slightly higher amount for a substantially larger number of credits – something like $11 for 200 chips.

This is what’s known as the freemium model: it is free-to-play up to a point but with the option of paying to play. Users will usually pick up the game on a free-to-play basis and then decide to pay to keep playing for as long as they can afford. This is an increasingly popular and extremely simple way for game developers and social casinos to monetize on the human tendency to chase after instant gratification.

Is Freemium Here to Stay?

Freemium gaming is becoming increasingly popular amongst gaming companies and users alike. We’re now seeing more and more gaming companies, even major console/PC gaming companies, adopt a free-to-play model with in-game purchases available.

It is not a model that is going anywhere anytime soon. Free-to-play games like Fornite and Apex Legends have taken over the world in recent years. It was always to be expected that casino games would follow suit.