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Whether it’s PC gaming, mobile apps, online casino games or otherwise, the launch is everything. Of course, pre-hype plays a big part, too – but as soon as a game launches, you can more or less tell how things are going to play out. Anyone who has spent years waiting for the latest PS5 or Xbox releases will tell you that it doesn’t take long for a five-star title to take shape – or for a massive bust to fall flat on its face.

This really does apply across the board. Even if you are the type of gamer to look into a Betfair Casino review and to hold out for the latest slot releases, it’s safe to say you’ll know if a casino or card game is a boom or bust. Let’s take a closer look at the various tell-tale signs of a successful game launch.

Critics and players are balanced

Yes, many of us use critic scoring and expert opinion as a barometer for game quality across the board. There’s a reason why Metacritic is still so popular – and with casino and slot games, many of us refer to the bigger industry sites to take a look at what the gurus have to say. However, these opinions don’t always represent what the average player thinks!

A great sign of a successful launch is, of course, a game that seems to have players and experts on-balance. That is, reviews pre-launch, or a few days after arrival, are glowing from both sides. Or, at the very least, they are equal. A game that launches to high critical praise and low audience appeal is never going to do well. However, one that scores better with audiences and less so with experts, generally, go on to be big hits.

All bugs are ironed out

In this day and age, it’s not unreasonable to expect games developers to really have their A-game together when it comes to getting rid of bugs and glitches. Even triple-A console and PC titles, sadly, still launch with errors and issues after people pay for them. It’s to be expected to an extent, as perfection isn’t easy from the get-go – but if reviews and first opinions sway more towards bugs and glitches than actual playability and fun factors, you know it’s been a bad launch.

A game will always launch badly if it’s rushed out. The most successful games and those that launch well will have strong QA backing. That means there should be some stringent control process in place to ensure that there’s no disappointment from day one of release. Waiting for days five, six and onwards are no longer viable excuses – if your game’s bad, you’ll hear about it very quickly.

The big industry players all take notice

Focusing on online casino and slot games, you’ll generally find that there are a series of titles and brands that always find their way to the front of a gaming catalog. Brands such as Gonzo’s Quest, Rainbow Riches, Book of Dead – and almost anything with the Megaways label – are likely to get top billing at big-name games sites. That’s a given – and it’s not only down to brand recognition, but also sheer quality guarantee.

If a well-loved or well-known casino or website hosts a new slot or casino game, then it’s very likely to have passed stringent muster. The biggest casinos simply don’t waste time and reputation hosting or promoting games that are less than ‘the best’ – or, at least, those that are ready to go. Therefore, a successful launch for a casino or slot game will always be marked by casino take-up. If you can hardly find the title online, it’s either because it’s getting buried, or it just doesn’t have the caliber.

Not all launches are successful right away

Let’s be clear here – not all successful games have great launches! Some are considered ‘sleeper hits’. That means while they may not get recognition right away, they tick away in the background, building up a cult following and eventually earning praise later on down the line. Therefore, even if a game doesn’t make a huge splash right away, there’s nothing stopping it going stratospheric in time to come.

Crucially, remember that you should never judge a game too early. They might have great characters – or casino games might have massive bonuses – but quality runs deeper. Wait for reviews to drift in from both experts and players and go with your gut. A successful launch can be a huge help – but it is not the be-all and end-all!