For many years now, Evolution Gaming has positioned itself at the cutting edge of the Live Casino sector.
Their many innovations have already done a tremendous amount to shape the modern gambling industry. Augmented Reality? Check. Live Dealers? Check! Adding win multipliers to standard table games? Double check!
Now, thanks to their First Person series, it’s to add another feather to their already well-plumed cap. This series of titles puts players in a video game-like drivers’ seat, taking the direct perspective of a player in a brick-and-mortar casino. Except, of course, gamblers don’t have to leave the comfort of their homes or offices to enjoy this gaming floor!
As far as we can tell, this approach has never been tried before. And with some quality entries already released, including several Roulette, Blackjack, and Craps options, it seems reasonable to expect more entries of this kind to appear on the market.
The latest release in this series is First Person Football Studio.
It’s an ultra-stylish, sports-themed game that is certain to appeal to all kinds of players. There’s also a very appealing simplicity at work here – it’s the kind of game that can be enjoyed straightaways, without taking too much time to learn the ropes.
But don’t let that fool you!
To really appreciate everything this title to offer, there’s a lot that gambling enthusiasts need to know. So let’s take a closer look!
(Please note: for this title, “football” is used as the global majority uses it, to refer to the game Americans call “soccer.” Fans of American Football will find themselves sorely disappointed if they expect NFL iconography or scores in this title… but football fans from just about anywhere else in the world will feel right at home.)
To really capture the heart of what drives this title, let’s paraphrase a timeless dad joke.
Q: When is a football game not a football game?
Yes, there are definitely thematically important elements here that point towards the sport of football! For example, live football scores are present and updated throughout play. Without a doubt, though, the gameplay side of things consists entirely of a simplified version of baccarat.
Simple doesn’t mean bad, however!
Baccarat can be an extremely complex and intense game. Here, nearly all of that complexity is stripped away. Instead of Banker and Player, the two sides on which gamblers can lay their bets are called Home and Away. Instead of complex card combinations, all bettors have to do is guess which side will draw a higher card – only one card is drawn per side, so the actual substance of the game essentially could not be simpler.
Both Home and Away pay 1:1 returns. There is also a Draw bet, which predicts that both drawn cards will be of equal value – this one pays 11:1, but carries far lower RTP. All that needs to be done in order to place a wager is to choose one of these three bets, select the stake, and to let the games begin!
Overall RTP is quite respectable at 96.27%. This number is even higher when players decline the Draw bet (which they always should!). It’s not quite the extraordinary 98.95% that baccarat’s Banker bet comes with, but for a game with this one’s level of simplicity, the RTP is actually pretty good.
An important note: in building this offering, the design team stands on the shoulders of a previously-built success called Live Football. This is simply a First Person version of that same game…
… in fact, the two are so closely related that the design team has added a “Go Live” button so that players may switch to the Live Dealer iteration with just one click.
Like this game, Live Football is heavily based on baccarat, and also sports a football theme. In that game, however, the Dealers also provide live commentary on updates from the world’s top football leagues – that feature is absent here. Yes, score updates are posted, but the absence of that commentary looms large. Aside from the Home and Away betting options, there’s nothing truly football related going on here.
But wait, let’s back up a minute… if this based on a Live Dealer game with the same name and thematic content, does this mean that First Person Football Studio is not a Live game?
Indeed it does.
Like other First Person offerings from Evolution, this is an old-fashioned RNG game.
RNG vs Live Play
Wait, slow down a second! What’s the difference between RNGs and Live gaming, anyway?
For readers who may not have some of this terminology on the tips of their tongues, let’s take a moment to explore the meaning and import of these terms.
RNG stands for Random Number Generator. In modern, RNG-driven online gambling, the outcome of games such as slots, blackjack, roulette, and more, is determined by a computer program that generates random numbers. These random numbers are then used to simulate the various elements of the game, like the spinning of reels in slots or the dealing of cards in card games. The results are purely digital and independent of previous outcomes.
Since their widespread adoption in the 1990s and 2000s, RNGs have become the industry standard in the casino sector…
… but recent years have seen a sea change across the sector – RNGs have been out, and Live Dealers are in!
Live dealer online gambling seeks to bridge the gap between virtual and land-based casinos by providing a more immersive and interactive experience. In live dealer games, real human dealers manage the game in real-time, just like they would in a physical casino. In this way, the treasured human element has been re-introduced to the gambling experience – and players have absolutely eaten it up! And just like that, the live dealer era began.
That’s why it’s so surprising to see the firm that may be most closely associated with progressive ideas in online gambling innovate by returning to RNGs!
In practical terms, there are definite advantages and disadvantages to playing this kind of game, when compared with a Live Dealer offering.
Of course, without a live dealer, the human element is largely lost (though it should be noted that live chat with other players is still available).
On the other hand, without a human dealer, players are free to play at their own chosen pace – they can take all the time they want to select their bets, or pick up the pace if they prefer. There are no timed betting rounds, or anything like that. With respect to timing and pacing, control is returned solely to the bettor… they are, after all, the only human being involved. It’s even possible to toggle with some additional options, such as animation speed, which would be unimaginable in a Live game.
The Rise of Ambient Gambling?
The combination of very simple play structure with minimalistic football content sometimes makes this game feel that was designed to be played while multitasking, such as while watching football matches.
Is this a bad thing?
Not necessarily! If the likes of Emily in Paris can make “ambient TV” into a thing, who are we to speak out against “ambient casino gambling?”
We can say, though, that players should pay very close attention to their bankrolls if they are indeed laying bets while watching matches, or similarly multitasking. The money spends just the same whether gamblers pay attention or not!
The Bottom Line
Gamification has been a hot topic in the casino sector of late.
Whichever way you look at it, it’s clear that the top brass over at Evolution knows they’re on to something here. With one fell swoop, they’ve created a new style of casino game, which seems very likely to become an industry trend; brought the classic RNG-driven gaming platform back into the fold; and eliminated the expense associated with streaming games live from real studios (and paying real, human dealers). It’s a pretty impressive feat!
It also seems to be both popular and profitable… a powerful combination indeed. In the very near future, we expect to see many more games follow in the footsteps of First Person Football Studio.
Certainly, games with a Football theme will continue to be a hit with gambling audiences as well, and plenty more are sure to follow.
Until that day comes, though, players should not hesitate to give this handsome game a try! It’s extremely simple, sure, but the substance and style delivers.