AEW, All Elite Wrestling, is the closest thing to a competitor to the WWE. World Wrestling Entertainment, as it is now known, has been around for decades, so it’s no surprise the brand dominates the market in the US and worldwide. However, Vince McMahon won’t be happy to hear that AEW averages 835,000 viewers compared to NXT’s 696,000. NXT isn’t Raw or Smackdown, but it’s still getting beat. Plus, the billionaire owner, Shahid Khan, is likely to use his deep pockets to try and replicate Ted Turner and WCW. Through all of this, the most interesting feature of the AEW brand right now is the emphasis on the casino industry as they push out mobile video games and rename events. So, why are they doing it?
The Future Is Mobile Gaming
The number of active mobile gamers currently stands at $2.2 billion. Games make up almost 50% of all smartphone users. And the remote casino industry is valued at $54 billion and is expected to expand by 11.5% from 2020 to 2027. These stats make it clear any business that can get a piece of the action should do their best, and AEW is entering the market through its AEW Casino: Double or Nothing mobile game that is due to be released this winter. Bonus Finder points out that an average online casino can have over 1000 slots games, a few of their recent reviews highlight how lucrative these games are to wagering establishments and developers. By teaming up with esteemed Japanese partner Yuke’s, AEW is announcing that it plans to mix business and pleasure with the help of the casino sector.
Events Need Shaking Up
There aren’t many better promoters than wrestling companies. From a regular steel chairs match to TLC (tables, ladders and chairs), they constantly innovate new ways to keep their fanbase entertained. Of course, it’s hard to do at a certain point, as events begin to feel derivative. Plus, you can’t go overboard as the lack of realism impacts engagement, which is why WWE’s dungeon match at Fully Loaded in 1998 hasn’t been mentioned again until now. AEW seem to have struck a balance between realism and entertainment with a casino battle royale. It works like a traditional battle royale, but a deck of cards dictates when the next wrestlers enter. Apart from leveraging a subtle tweak to the rules, AEW is also playing on casinos’ growing popularity within society.
Wrestling Fans Are Committed
Wrestling fans love the sport and are willing to put their money where their mouths are. For example, as well as attending shows – tickets are almost $100 a piece – they invest in merchandise to help pay wrestlers’ salaries. Then there are the pay-per-view events, which make up 70% of the industry’s revenue streams. When you combine these elements, it’s not hard to see why AEW believe their supporters will throw their weight behind a new video game or event.
They’ve done it before, and they’ll do it again. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect the casino vibes to disappear any time soon.