Earlier this month, The Kindred Group announced it would be partnering up with Lucky VR, a start-up software development company that specialises in immersive virtual reality casino experiences.
The partnership is part of Kindred Group’s ongoing commitment to build stronger relationships with start-up companies. Together, the two companies aim to co-create a new virtual reality (VR) poker platform that will put the brands at the forefront of the technology and entertainment industries.
Very little is known about Lucky VR, other than the fact the company was founded in 2014. According to the Lucky VR website, the tech start-up develops immersive virtual reality experiences, with a special focus in casino gaming content. Lucky VR takes traditional casino games like slots, poker and blackjack and makes them into engaging virtual reality applications.
A statement released by Kindred Group said, “As an experience, we believe virtual reality poker has the ability to appeal to online poker players, and live players. It offers a more human experience closer to the live game, but in the comfort of your own home, and we believe can bring together casual, live and online players. The game is unique in that it allows gamers to both physically and verbally interact with each other, facilitating a truly social experience.”
The VR poker technology was trialled at the Unibet Copenhagen Open, with nine of the world’s biggest eSports stars going head to head around the virtual poker tables. Using eSports players as guinea-pigs instead of experienced poker players was a systematic move aimed to bring a “non-poker perspective” to the platform.
The feedback provided by the trial players was positive and suggests there’s a possibility for VR poker to be a success.
One player, John ‘Swifty’ Pyle said, “I love the fact that the other people that are actually playing, you can actually hear them and interact with them… Games that you can collab with other streamers are very difficult to find. This is a very engaging, very playful game, where everybody is going to have fun.”
While Kindred and Lucky VR are committed to ongoing developments, Kindred has acknowledged there are “considerable barriers” to be overcome before VR poker could ever become a reality. The company says the poker market has been on a steady decline over the past few years, while regulations and responsible gaming practices for VR games would need to be addressed before the game could ever reach the public market.
BettingPlanet.com will keep you updated on future virtual reality poker developments as they emerge.