Simulated sports, or virtual sports, aren’t as new as you may think. In reality, they have been around for many years. You probably haven’t realised, even though the odds are high that you’ve experienced one. Have you ever let your video game console or computer play against itself? If so, you’ve created a simulated game. Throw in sports for good measure and now you know what everyone is banging on about!
They are currently going through a renaissance because of gambling sportsbooks. Nowadays, thanks to technology, it’s possible to bet on the IPL or Big Bash League cricket without the actual players taking to the field. To find out more about the sports that are benefitting from this trend, please continue reading.
As far as simulated sportsbooks are concerned, there’s an argument to say that cricket is the most popular sport for punters. There are several reasons for this, not least that the rising popularity has increased demand and led to extra investment in the vertical. However, the main feature customers seem to enjoy is the life-like nature of the experience. The results for The Big Bash markets, for example, are generated by a computer, yet they aren’t entirely random since the algorithm considers different elements, such as form, the strength of the teams, and the pitch. Therefore, it’s easier to select results. Why not do it during cricket season? Well, it’s a summer sport, so virtual cricket provides much-needed relief during the off-season.
Football is the world’s most popular sport, so it makes sense that the game features in the simulated market. If you think about it, it has for quite a while. Indeed, it potentially paved the way for other simulation games to enter the sector and perform well. The Championship Manager and Football Manager series are some of the most widely played PC releases ever, with users having to pick teams to avoid relegation or challenge for league honours. However, the fixtures were always computer versus computer. Since then, EA FIFA Soccer has cemented the sport’s popularity by tweaking the rule. For instance, games are often less than 90-minutes long, while ratings are adjusted to 85 to make matches more even.
The UFC3 video game lets bookies simulate fights and offer betting markets on the outcome. They can include everything from the winner of the contest to over/under strikes, total strikes, and method of victory (knockout/TKO/points). Of course, the acclaim for the simulated betting industry is down to the rise of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Founded in 1993, it didn’t take off until the 2000s and 2010s, when a series of high-profile martial artists demanded fame and recognition. Thanks to people such as Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, the brand experienced some of its strongest ever growth in 2020 on social platforms. Facebook followers, for instance, went up by 75%, whereas YouTube subscribers hit 10.7 million. This inevitably resulted in increases across the board, including simulated sports wagers.
NBA 2K Basketball uses a similar strategy as EA FIFA Soccer. Seeing as basketball is an established sport, it needs spicing up a bit to ensure there is a level of excitement. This goes for traditional basketball and the simulated version. To do this, bookmakers tweak NBA 2K so that there are more variables in play. A prime example is that the games are typically played in Hall of Fame mode, bringing the bigger guys into the mix, much like on an actual court.
There you have it. It shouldn’t be surprising that the most popular simulated sports are loved by billions of people worldwide in real life, too.