Over the last twelve months we have seen a number of new Virtual Sports games be unveiled at a number of casinos. We have seen a couple of American-themed games in Virtual Basketball and Virtual American Football, both which have two different types of games to bet on for each.
Earlier on in the year we also saw games such as Virtual Cricket and Virtual Darts released, while new and updated versions of both Virtual Horse Racing and Virtual Greyhounds have also been released alongside the existing versions of the games.
We already know that companies are working on or have produced new versions of Virtual Football games, one version of this that is forthcoming is reportedly set to use archive footage from older real-life football games as the basis for the highlights package.
All in all, it is an exciting time for Virtual Sports as it is important to remember that this is a fledgling industry. We are only seeing the beginning of what is possible with Virtual Sports and as our ability to manipulate technology continues to grow, we should see marked improvements in these types of games in a huge number of ways.
That includes creating more realistic games, utilising more technology to create realistic highlights and perhaps even, real time Virtual Sports events (especially ones whose time scale permits easy transition to the Virtual Sports environment).
However, as the new games released over the past 12 months have shown, we are barely scratching the surface of the different types of games and sports that could potentially be part of Virtual Sports future. So, the question I would pose now is; what other games and sports would be good to see as a Virtual Sport in the near future, and why?
Potential Future Virtual Sports
Having witnessed the success of Virtual Darts, I think there could well be an opportunity to develop another game/sport into the Virtual realm and while snooker may well be the more popular, certainly in the UK, of the table billiard based games, I think the games of pool or 9ball may well be more suited to Virtual Sports.
The reason being the length of a game of pool or 9ball is considerably shorter than a standard frame of snooker, which can take upwards of 15 minutes and can even be as long as an hour in some of the more extreme cases.
In contrast, games of pool or 9ball can be over in relatively quick time. Indeed, in 9ball, it is possible to win the match with a single shot from the break – the so-called ‘Golden Break’.
As such, fitting highlights of these games into Virtual Sports would be considerably easier and you could make it appear as if the whole game has been played.
Animation could be used, but you could also use video footage of real games to enhance the realism aspect, or you could video pool players playing the game, as inspire did with their Virtual Darts game.
Pool is not the biggest betting sport however, but I feel Virtual Sports has the ability to transcend this and I do feel that sports which traditionally have not been the biggest in terms of traditional forms of betting, may find a new market within the Virtual Sports field.
Which brings us nicely onto our next selection of sports.
If there is one selection of sports that I feel could be suited perfectly to Virtual Sports, but which does not have a huge following in terms of betting in real life, then Athletics is the perfect fit. A number of athletic events could be very easy to fit into the highlights package of a typical Virtual Sports event. Sprints such as the 100m, 110m Hurdles, 100m Hurdles, 200m and 400m all take between 9.5 and 60 seconds to complete and as such, these events would fit easily into a Virtual Sports time frame. Furthermore, a number of field events, such as the long jump, triple jump or Javelin would not be difficult to organise into a short highlights package to decide the results.
Of course, you could offer individual sporting events for Virtual Athletics, but I see it eventually being a complete package of events, where you can bet on the javelin followed by the 200m then perhaps the long jump then the hurdles. You could even package them into a decathlon or heptathlon event and have decathletes or heptathletes in each event, allowing for betting across events too.
I really feel that out of all the sports available, athletics has the prospect to be the most exciting and dynamic of virtual sports. However, the betting market for athletics is generally small compared to other sports, which may well be why it has not been adopted for Virtual Sports betting as of yet.
However, I feel there is huge potential here and I would not be surprised to see a Virtual Sports game for at least one, if not many more, athletic events coming to a casino near you shortly.
Boxing is a very popular sport to bet on as anyone with an interest in the forthcoming Heavyweight world title clashes will be well aware. As such, I am a little surprised that we haven’t seen more interest in producing a Virtual Boxing game.
Again, video of older fights could be used, or film of boxers could be taken for the highlights package, or alternatively, they could be animated. Boxers included would have to be from the same weight division of course for realism, but there is nothing to stop different weight divisions and historic boxers being used to give the game a more realistic touch.
The highlights would need to be edited together to include the key action from the bout and in which round it took place, similar to what happens with Virtual Football now, but I feel that would be workable. You could even see the judges scorecards for the fight to see how it is going in general when viewing the highlights.
Again, I think boxing has huge potential to be a Virtual Sport and I would love to see it added to the popular sports betting sites we promote at Virtual Sports Betting.