Spribe Games Sent an Early Signal
In the second half of the year, the Business Intelligence unit at Casino Days noticed that the games of certain providers have been growing at impressive rates, both in terms of active players and the amounts spent playing some of the games.
One of these “overachieving” studios is Spribe, a young and already successful game developer. The share of unique users playing their titles (compared to the total unique player count) has sharply risen since July 2022, as the graph below shows.
The trend appears even more significant if we look at the impact of Spribe games on the platform when we include return players and total turnovers since the start of the year.
A turnover share of under a percent may not appear to have a crucial impact on an operator. Yet, we can clearly see that in the trimester between August and October, the rise in turnover generated by Spribe games amounts to 44.2% (0.61% to 0.87%) compared to the average performance since January.
Moreover, the rise in the share of active players (those placing at least one bet on Spribe games) is by two-thirds in the same period – 66.68% (4.52% to 7.53%). What makes this performance even more impressive is that this particular game provider does not offer any of the classic games of chance like roulette, blackjack, teen patti, slots, or others that usually boost ratings and attract player crowds.
Why This Matters for the Industry
Digging deeper, we can see that Spribe mainly makes what they call Turbo Games, including the hit title Aviator. They have already scored other hits in the crash games niche, namely Mines, Goal, and even Plinko, a vintage game reborn in the real-money segment.
Gaming experts have started noticing the fresh new genre emerging, almost as a counterpoint to years of complex AR elements and first-person features being added to the casino experience.
In fact, similar trends have been reported in a comparable gamer reality like Brazil. It shares many of the traits of the Indian market – an emerging economy, growing purchasing power, and a dynamic young player base in the hundreds of millions.
The above study confirms that crash games already make up more than half of the top 10 most popular casino games. And, crucially, at least two-thirds of players give them a try with a real-money bet.
Aviator is hands down, the top-rated game in the segment. And since Brazilians have a passion for football, it is no wonder FootballX is also highly rated, even though it launched just before the World Cup in Qatar. JetX and Mines are already high up the rankings, just as they are starting to move up the lists in India as well.
The graph below shows the monthly search volumes for Aviator-related terms from India. The data is available on the KWFinder tool by Mangools, and it reveals the upturn in interest for the game throughout the year, particularly in its second half.
The above 13 search queries are only the leading ones by volume. Some of them transpire the players’ desire to learn more about the game – tricks, strategy – or get help playing it.
Altogether, keywords related to the game Aviator amounted to over 50 thousand monthly searches from India in the last trimester of our study. Hard data confirms that this is an almost tenfold increase in online traction since February, which also shows the potential of the game becoming one of the most popular casino games for the coming year as well.
Validation of Findings via Public Data Sources
Breaking down Casino Days data is a first-hand way to evaluate the existence and dynamics of game trends. However, we also need to verify these shifts in popularity through other impartial public sources.
Google Trends is naturally a go-to tool for such needs. The graph below depicts the search trends for “aviator game” in India, and interest has been rising throughout 2022, with notable spikes since August.
Users have been most active in Gujarat by some distance. The Trends tool reveals that those in Telangana, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh followed these. There is no Google data available for several states, but there have been searches from practically the entire Union:
Based on the above top queries, we also double-checked the rise in interest for some related terms. Real-money players are often eager to get some help with winning, possibly from an AI, an app, or the like. And it is no surprise to see the growth in demand for “hacks” and “predictors” for Aviator, the hit title of the season.
Why Did Crash Games Become So Popular?
Having established the existence of the crash games phenomenon, we also need to look at the genre’s nature and mechanics. This will help us shed some light on the factors that recently made this game vertical so successful.
On the one hand, the simplicity of crash-style games may be what is perceived as revolutionary for the online gaming scene. For at least a decade, game providers pursued added value for traditional casino games in terms of visualization and game technology. From Augmented and Virtual Reality elements (AR/VR) to a range of first-person input options to ever more dynamic visual setups – games grew more immersive than ever before.
All the classics – e.g., roulette, poker, blackjack – and relatively new genres, such as Game Show titles, went after live virtual audiences by employing live dealers, hosts, and real-time AR features. Even slots, the most basic yet emblematic games of casino floors, became too flashy and fast for some tastes.
Developers started looking for innovation in different directions. Some went after original content, desi themes, and game elements. Others analyzed what players like in a real-money game and decided to provide more of it.
This is where the crash mechanism comes into play. Based on a rising but volatile multiplier, these games remind users of the thrills of a stock market investment. While following one’s “stock” rise, the decision-making of cashing out or waiting some more to risk it all has an empowering effect on players. Today’s netizens are increasingly familiar with such dynamics through various trading apps and online market monitoring tools.
Last but not least, the best-rated games usually have a high return to player (RTP). Crash games are typically set up with a very high RTP (around 95-97% or at least in the 90s percentile) and run an algorithm that is referred to as “provably fair technology.”
The Provably Fair Technology provides yet another link between crash games and crypto assets – be it trading, encryption, or verification. Moreover, these are topics that Generations Y and Z are really at ease with, particularly in tech-savvy India.
But in the gaming world, encryption ensures the sessions’ transparency, fairness, and game results. Crash algorithms go beyond simple Random number generators (RNG) found in other online casino games.
First, the operator generates what is known as a server seed, a random 16-symbol code made available as a hashed version before each round starts. Then, players generate unique client seeds, which are combined with the server seed into a hashed SHA-512 seed, a 2nd generation Secure Hash Algorithm which serves to obtain each round result.
These immutable algorithms can be monitored both in real-time and subsequently. As illustrated below, the top crash games like Aviator put verification tools under player settings. The Provably Fair Settings allow gamers to change their client seed or re-run a session to check for game fairness, validating server seeds, player seeds, combined hash codes, or round results.
This is one of the reasons why the crash genre stands out with new levels of game integrity – adding the human factor to a more open system of random outcome generation. Combined with its simplicity (and, once again, a very low house edge), it soon saw growing popularity across markets and demographics.
Crash Game Features
All crash games that gather substantial player interest and a stable rise in online casino visibility have similar or even identical characteristics. To sum up, these games are:
- Light, for a trouble-free mobile experience across regions, devices, and network speeds;
- Simple yet socially engaging – with features like an in-game chat, live monitoring of player bets, statistics, and leaderboards, crash games cater to gamer communities;
- Upfront and fair – new levels of open RNG can be verified by end users with no special skills;
- Rewarding player loyalty – occasional promotional offers and free bets ( (e.g., Aviator has a “rain promo”) can be claimed by gamers as means of retaining their interest and increasing in-game interaction;
- Emphasizing decision-making – through player seeds and full control of flexible bet and cash-out options, crash games are reminiscent of crypto exchanges and asset trading dynamics.
Aviator Is the Market Star
The above key features are all found in the game of the season, Aviator by Spribe. Its impressive performance established standards that other game providers now look up to and online casinos strive to offer to their players.
Aviator was developed in 2019 as part of a series of mini-games (or Turbo Games). Soon, it became the flagship title of its makers. However, online traction data and operator reports make it clear that it was not until 2022 that the game became a reference for industry stakeholders. In marketing terms, it is now the star of the vertical due to its elevated rates of market growth combined with still unknown/unexpressed potential.
‘Cash or Crash’ Set the Stage
Gaming experts know that these light mobile games were now the first to make their mark on the online casino scene. The first significant success in the crash games segment was achieved by the emblematic title “Cash or Crash” by Evolution.
Although released later than the above examples (in September 2021), Cash or Crash shot instantly to #2 by turnover (6.55%) and #3 by player count (1.40%) in the “other” games segment (i.e., outside casino classics like cards or roulette). It was promoted as an innovation in the Live Casino section and came sixth, behind standards such as Roulette, Baccarat, Andar Bahar, and a couple of game show titles.
In fact, Cash or Crash was intended as a crossover between the already popular game shows and the new type of multiplier-based algorithm that was already picking up speed. Departing from the concept of a Money Wheel proved to be a huge success, and the game is still the second most relevant crash game on Casino Days for 2022, as the table below shows.
The most popular crash games are chosen by 6.53% of active players, based on data covering 1 January to 1 November 2022. This may seem like a small share, yet we are considering a selection of over 5500 games offered by the operator.
In the end, Game Shows are a particular genre, although they are a cornerstone for online casinos. In most cases, they are produced by industry heavyweights (Evolution in the case of Cash or Crash), as they require well-equipped studios and live support staff. Typically, they also involve AR elements, live table streaming, and interactive hosting sessions, which, for some users, may be too demanding in terms of mobile technology or even simply the complete attention that an immersive gaming table requires. Simple and light crash games fill that gap rather successfully.
Other Game Providers Quickly Pick up the Trend
As happens in highly competitive industries, the success of crash games prompted game tech studios to exploit similar algorithms and gamification elements. Pragmatic Play is a big developer that used to create slots exclusively. But, in March 2022, it launched its first crash-style game named Spaceman.
Spaceman features identical real-time decisions and trade-offs between a bigger cash-out and the risk of a crash. As a compromise, Spaceman has a 50% cash-out option which leaves players in the game trying to multiply the remaining half of their bet. It also replicates quick-play and social attributes, along with an RTP of 95%. Merely a few months after its launch, we saw that Spaceman climbed to be the fourth most popular crash game on Casino Days, with decent performance at other operators, too.
Other notable recent games include JetX and FootballX, part of the XGames family by SmartSoft Gaming (including the likes of Balloon and CricketX). Similarly to its competitors, they started actively releasing them in 2019, but it was only in 2022 that they saw an upturn in user interest, as testified by monthly search volumes from India since the start of 2021.
Game features are also largely common among developers – double bets, autoplay and auto collect settings, and 50% cashout options allow for various strategies to be employed by players. XGames, just like their counterparts, integrate chat options, rankings, and social multiplayer traits.
Casual Games Bring the Crash Style to Wider Audiences
As noted above, crash games have gradually evolved into a more casual alternative to traditional real-money games. This has led them to expand the vertical into various adult demographics and lifestyles. On the other hand, while their popularity is not limited to younger generations, crash games define a new-age gaming style – fast, light, rewarding and social.
Innovation is the engine of tech-based economic sectors and today’s online gaming is much closer to fast-paced digital entertainment than to a stale casino floor in Nevada. A few years ago, TV-style game shows set the standards for real-money online competitions, and they are still high up the lobbies of gaming sites. Yet consumers – especially the demanding regular gambler – is always on the lookout for something fresh and thrilling and soon gave their approval to crash-style games.
This also explains why there are crash games that aim to build a bridge between game shows (or traditional casino games) and mini-games. Simple settings, few rules, and a provably fair technology – and we have some of the future fan favorites.
Plinko, for example, is third among crash games on Casino Days in terms of active users. Interestingly enough, it draws inspiration from “The Price is Right,” a hit game show that has been on American TV since the 1970s, with Plinko becoming a spin-off game of that show.
As a mobile mini-game (Spribe and Smartsoft both have their vertions), Plinko is based on randomly generated outcomes for discs that land upon multipliers after bouncing down between fixed pins. Players generate their own seeds and control a color-coded set of multipliers by selecting the disc color. They can also choose the number of divider pins, resulting in a different range of multipliers at the bottom.
Still, Plinko has less decision-making involved compared to most crash games. This is where the likes of Mines and Goal come in. Having a choice is important in settings like market trading and real-money gaming, even when success depends largely on random outcomes. These selections raise the stakes in casual crash games like these two, where players select among a set of tiles their safe path on the minefield (several generations recognize the minesweeper-type settings).
Coefficients increase potential wins – as to the thrill and fun along with them – with every tile safely revealed. These multipliers can lead to a cashout after every single safe tile pick, or autoplay can be set at the beginning of a round. Both games report a provably fair 97% RTP.
Conclusive Outlook on Crash Games
Having identified a recent upturn in the popularity of games like Aviator, Spaceman, and JetX, we set out to understand why crash games appeal to a growing number of real-money players worldwide.
Simple game dynamics, provably fair outcomes, and the feeling of always having a choice are among the leading factors. Without a doubt, the fact that these games work at low bandwidths and across mobile devices is also important.
Game tech developers have picked up on the trend over the past couple of years, while online casinos gave more visibility to Crash Games in the past year. Young and rapidly growing markets like India and Brazil exemplify this trend, but crash games have ushered in a new style of real-money gaming on a global level.
We fully expect more platforms to push Crash Games and provide dedicated support, and game studios are likely to develop more self-standing mobile apps based on crash-style mechanics. Ultimately, the crash vertical looks set to remain a cornerstone of iGaming for at least a few more years, that is, before a whole new concept may emerge as a fan favorite.