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Exclusive Q&A with Blueprint Gaming’s Jo Purvis on ted™ Megaways™

George Miller

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Following the release of Blueprint Gaming’s blockbuster slot ted™ Megaways™, we caught up with Jo Purvis, the company’s Director of Marketing and Relationships, to find out more about the development of its latest slot featuring everyone’s favourite crude bear and what plans it has for the remainder of the year

 

European Gaming: You’ve just announced the release of ted™ Megaways™, what was the thinking behind creating a new slot that once again features the popular bear from the 2012 film?

Jo Purvis (JP): The original slot made a huge impact when it was first released a few years ago and is still one of our most popular slots today, with operators and players appreciating the way in which we brought the obnoxious bear into the casino world. So, it made sense to give it the Megaways™ treatment and add 117,649 different ways of winning. The latest iteration of the game has already caught the attention of the casino environment and it became one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of the year.

European Gaming: How does the gameplay differ from the original title that proved such a hit?

JP: The easy option would have been to simply add the Megaways™ mechanic to the original slot’s gameplay, but we were keen to develop a new game from scratch in order to bring in a range of new features that fans will love, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. Keeping the essence of the original hit, players will quickly discover that this latest instalment offers an even more raucous gaming experience.

Of course, the use of Megaways™ completely changes the base gameplay but we’ve also evolved the mechanic to introduce a few twists along the way. In addition to cascading wins and a mystery symbol that can appear on any spin, triggering the bonus round will present players with the option to take either 12 Thunder Buddies Free Spins or spin the Thunder Wheel to be awarded a random combination of free spins and minimum Megaways™.

As the rowdy bonus round progresses, players will earn additional free spins and power their way through the seven minimum ways ladder to reach the full Megaways™ gameplay by collecting ted™ symbols appear on the reels.

European Gaming: Blueprint has a strong reputation for delivering quality Megaways™ games to the market, how has the mechanic helped to broaden your slots portfolio? How do they compare with your in-house developed titles?

JP: Our Megaways™ titles have strengthened the Blueprint portfolio to become even more diverse, complementing in-house developed titles such as our Jackpot King releases and converted slots from the Reel Time Gaming (RTG) retail library. Our games feature a wide range of themes and styles, which makes us appealing to operators looking to offer a real mix of slots to their customers.

We’re proud of the way in which Blueprint has taken the mechanic to a wider audience and evolved the experience to a new level. We were the first to acquire the licence from Big Time Gaming (BTG), who did a magnificent job in creating an innovative concept that is enjoyed by players across the globe. What we’ve done is take it to new heights by incorporating additional functionalities. Our innovative Power 4 Slots concept is an example of this, allowing users to play across four sets of reels at the same time and receive an amplified Megaways™ experience as well as the number of winning combinations available.

Our contribution to the Megaways™ brand is significant enough that others are now looking at Blueprint as well as BTG to see what the next development for the mechanic will be. That includes how it can be utilised as a wider commercial asset, such as brand exclusive Megaways™ game, which other operators are now offering well after Blueprint started the trend.

European Gaming: ted™ Megaways™ follows on from recent branded releases such as Rick and Morty™ and Sausage Party, is there a particular reason why Blueprint decided to work with these brands?

JP: We have a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ approach to creating slots and these brands all fit the genre of game we’re looking to develop. Anyone who’s familiar with the films and TV show in question will know they’re not too serious and provide plenty of laughs, and that’s what’s we aim to achieve when adapting these kinds of brands into a slot game. Players will come back for more if they engage with the graphics, animation and sound alongside the game structure.

Developing branded games aren’t as straight forward as it may seem on the surface, with IP owners holding strict guidelines when it comes to games development. However, we work very closely with leading IP owners and we’re always the first to receive news of the latest licences available, as a result of our strong reputation for delivering quality branded titles.

European Gaming: Can you provide us with a sneak peak of what’s in store for the future from Blueprint?

JP: Branded games will continue to form part of our games roadmap and we’ve got new versions of Sausage Party™ and Rick & Morty™ coming out later this year that we’re really excited about. We’ll also be bringing some new blockbuster brands to the iGaming world for the first time that we’re certain Blueprint fans will enjoy.

The main aim is to carry on developing unmissable gaming experiences for players and provide operators with a diverse range of games to choose from as they evolve their online casino offering. We have more Megaways™ releases and converted RTG titles in the pipeline too. Rest assured, we’re in for a busy end to the year!

Cryptocurrency

“Operators demand access to new markets and new player bases”: Exclusive crypto gambling interview with Glen Bullen from DAOGroup.

George Miller

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Exclusive crypto gambling interview with Glen Bullen from DAOGroup.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

While this year may have been a turbulent time for some, we caught up with Glen Bullen, CCO of DAOGroup to talk through the launch of DAOWallet, its cryptocurrency-fiat payments partner, as well as the opportunity to use crypto payments as a key way to engage new players.

What is it that DAOWallet can offer partners and end users that other payment service providers cannot?

DAOWallet may be new to market, but our team has incorporated many crypto payment learnings into the product to make it a slick, client-driven solution for operators looking to engage new demographics and markets.

In essence, DAOWallet offers a simple, clean solution for partners wanting to integrate crypto payments into their casino brands. We do all the heavy lifting and compliance work at our end, so operators can work hands-off on the payments side and focus on driving acquisition to a new audience of crypto users.

Perhaps DAOWallet’s biggest innovation is its ability to track fund provenance, both to mitigate AML risks, but also to improve VIP management. Any player who deposits crypto via DAOWallet will have their pseudo-anonymous source of funds tracked, ensuring both VIP and AML managers alike will know if this is a player prime for big stakes play, or alternatively whether they’ve been associated with red flag transactions in the past.

How can those with little crypto knowledge use DAOWallet to join the crypto gambling revolution?

The key purpose of DAOWallet is to allow deposits and withdrawals to and from a players crypto account to be as simple and seamless as possible. With that, we feel we offer a solution that requires only a minimum of crypto knowledge.

However, the wallet’s role is not necessarily to entice new players to crypto – though it can – but instead to deliver a functionable, painless means to support the millions out there who already hold and use crypto; and, most importantly, want to gamble with it at the best casinos around.

Do you see DAOWallet appealing to a certain demographic or region?

Without pigeon-holing an ever-expanding crypto base, industry research shows the main European demographic as being between 25 and 45 years of age and with above-average disposable income. This audience sees digital assets as more than a speculative asset, and want to find functional day-to-day uses for them, with gaming arguably the most tangible use case for them at this moment.

Saying that, DAOWallet easily supports varied requirements across any global market, such as Latin America, where concerns regarding banking infrastructure warrant the use of alternatives to fiat; or Africa, where barriers to credit card uptake mean many are keen to explore alternative online payment methods.

No matter the geography or demographic, our igaming clients can be confident DAOWallet will be covering all KYC and AML procedures in the backend on sign-up, ensuring a clean transition to the casino, which receives only whitelisted players. This is a major benefit of our solution over others on the market.

How do you see the current state of the payments sector in the gambling industry?

We hear so often that gambling as an industry is an early adopter for new technology. All the while however, there’s untold examples of cautious decision-making and sluggish, suspicious adoption of tech that could have major benefits to the whole ecosystem.

There is no doubt that the payments sector is impacted by this paradox, and the utilisation of crypto is a key example. Operators demand access to new markets and new player bases, and there is a crypto market hiding in plain sight, waiting to be serviced. They must take advantage of this opportunity, or they will fall back against their more forward-thinking competitors.

Do you see wider crypto adoption as attainable right now, or do other industry movements need to happen to facilitate wider crypto payments?

Yes, it is attainable, but various ways of thinking need to be reset for crypto adoption to reach its potential. It’s likely not a gambling industry-specific mentality, but too many look back at setbacks in the space and cling onto them as proof that crypto doesn’t have its place in today’s world.

This is naïve when you consider the various success stories that crypto has in engaging those who cannot access credit cards, those who may not trust the status quo and those who just want to be a little more progressive. I would like those doubters to take a deep breath and revisit what crypto adoption can do for the gambling industry.

As a deposit method, using the likes of bitcoin and Ether is a no-brainer for supporting bigger audiences in more markets. Those operators who don’t embrace it soon will likely find they have lost this lucrative audience and will struggle to win them back.

We have seen DAOWallet recently sign a major partnership with MoneyMatrix. Do you have any other partnerships on the horizon that you could hint at?

MoneyMatrix was a major deal for us and shows the strength of partner that we are looking at. In terms of what is coming next, we’re optimistic about various, progressed conversations with further platforms and a number of tier one operators in a variety of regions. Without naming names, there is a desire amongst potential partners to complement their existing payment partners to attract a new kind of customer, and that’s what we’re here for.

We’re well set to make some big announcements in Q4 in terms of new clients and operators, so keep an eye out for that.

What product improvements can we expect from DAOWallet in the coming months?

Our most recent launch was stablecoin integration, and this will go live with partners to great effect very soon. Not only are we opening more crypto avenues (Tether/TrueUSD) for those looking outside of the bitcoin and Ether hegemony, but it also makes our platform more adaptable to local banking regulation.

Significantly, this was driven by client feedback and demand, and we delivered it back to those same partners quickly and successfully, further proving our credentials as a customer-first partner. We know the size of the crypto gambling space and we want to help fiat-based operators leverage it for their own growth, and it’s through these collaborative projects that we can best do this.

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Interviews

Exclusive Q&A with Munly Leong, Co-founder of Balance Gaming Network

George Miller

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Exclusive Q&A with Munly Leong, Co-founder of Balance Gaming Network
Reading Time: 12 minutes

 

Let’s begin with your own story. What is the story of Balance Gaming? How was the company founded?

The company was founded when Munly Leong (CEO) and Goodrich Johnson were approached by an esports organization that had floundered for several years and despite their history and money raises and hadn’t so much as put on one event or even had a casual community. This led Munly to look into the current state of esports which he had never been interested in and saw the waste and poor execution that had a common root cause i.e. the people that had access to or ability to raise funding for esports often had nothing to do with gaming and were clueless about it. Super League Gaming was a particularly egregious example where the only reason that raise even happened was that CEO had worked on Sand Hill Rd prior and game from an Oil & Gas background, what the hell is she doing in esports? They recently lost $14m on $1m revenue. We founded Balance at least to take a stab at an organization that would be led and run with gamers at the core with Munly being in a unique position of both having relationships with and an understanding of external capital unlike the average gamer or even game developer. The name Balance comes from us struggling to come up with a name for the niche we had chosen which was to cater for the other 90% of the market and gaming revenue in reality that ISN’T esports from not having enough time for it and Munly referenced an one man indie developer’s name Imba Games (common Russian/CIS region term relating to game imbalance) that he had briefly known at one point, lamenting that it was a great name wasted on something that didn’t have the potential for it and Godric suggested “What about Balance?” with the potential to allude to LAN’s as well if we ever started doing those and there really hasn’t been a name that fit since.

How does it work?

Essentially a bit unique, we started off validating the concept and bringing in early revenue via just a discord and preselling the concept along with an early partnership with Skyworth (largest TV manufacturer in China) who were also launching a VR headset at to both prove we could build and grow a grassroots gaming community first and also monetize it and validate charging for the concept. Most of this happened even by month two. We’ve now taken what was a small community fighting game event intended “for teh lulz” and are building it up with sponsors, streaming support with an invitational that is intended to potentially be small scale, interactive version of EVO that was recently cancelled. More on this later 🙂

We’re working backwards actually. We’re game developers at heart and are really NOT an esports company. This is being done as a fundraiser primarily as a backup plan / substitute for angel investment post Covid. Essentially our business is to start backwards compared to a typical game developer being community first, community is really at the core. From there we start with merch sales, selling events and sponsorships and are about to offer our own game / bundle deals in the near term along with a new category we still plan on pioneering called Gamer Travel (Covid was great timing huh 😉 that initially focuses on geooarbitrage to maximise gaming time while lowering cost per hour if someone wanted to game and nothing else. The savings can be significant i.e. $1000-3000/month rent in first world countries vs as little as $100-150 in a place like Thailand that still has the 4th fastest landline internet in the world. We can’t wait to start that going again when travel eases up. From the baseline of what larger game publishers would call “ancillary revenue” we would then use that cashflow to fund our own original IP development and geoarbitraging the costs of that too 🙂

Our readers would like to know more about Balance Gaming. Could you elaborate the concept since it is quite unique?

Yeah. It is quite unique where even for gamers. Essentially the concept starts from both a base and the specific type of gamer we are targeting. Specifically gamers who have been able to grow up and are now struggling from a time management standpoint of not having enough time to play, or not getting enough out of their playtime when they do have it rather than spending too much time to play from the standpoint of gaming addiction which is a common assumption with us. We start from a base that gaming is geneeerrraaaaaaally 😉 a hobby that requires at least above average intelligence (the smiles when I say this is the most fun part) to get the most out of and therefore the gamers that manage to grow up and out of mom’s basement as well have the means to make above average lives for themselves and the value in this has been completely overlooked.

Many look down even on themselves as gamers because of long time history and stigma of the activity when we were kids or younger. Even people with great businesses or solid tech backgrounds themselves often cannot make the immediate mental jump that there may be others who fit the bill and if we just reframe our thinking and rid ourselves of these starting assumptions, we may find that the peer groups we have around gaming are more valuable than many of us are assuming

Recently we’ve launched a public alpha of our members site and even some of our more interesting / useful members have only gone so far as to fill out just gamer profiles while not sharing their skills, businesses etc yet and it’s not all a privacy concern either but many either underrate themselves or don’t currently live a life where being known for particular things brings in opportunities for them. I’ll list some examples here where it has happened, but these are folks that are already active in terms of networking ,professional groups and are already pre-disposed to it. I’ll share some examples below and the last being myself.
https://network.balancegaming.network/members/hexrays/
https://network.balancegaming.network/members/mono/
https://network.balancegaming.network/members/fathamburger/

What are the ways an individual gamer will benefit from joining your platform?

Aside from the networking opportunities once we scale further (or even now), we’ll have things like courses, partnerships and hell even gigs down the line in addition to more typical gaming giveaways, discounts and bundles. Instead of only selling this stuff, we’ll tie it to gaming and perhaps networking activity too with the overall theme that the gaming people would do naturally anyway would pay off in real life in ways other than money. At the very base level, we hope that this will be the most “productive” place for anyone to spend their gaming time as getting to know many of us may also open doors outside of gaming for you or at least give you a resource to tap in a lot of things outside of gaming, an analogy to things like country clubs, cigar clubs where you’re more like to meet either independently wealthy or at least time free and lifestyle designer types that one can meet through aviation we hope we end up being a similar space like that but on a broader larger scale too. It’ll be the only place in the world maybe where you can play video games where we also encourage you to ask for intros or open them yourself 🙂

For “Pros vs Joes” we’re currently offering FREE ENTRY for Members, Financial Services industry (e.g. fintech, crypto, real estate, traders, brokers) , startup founders and game developers and the same/similar benefits package that players get are also available for event viewers that meet this criteria. Startup founders and game developers are just love for us 🙂 However there are also a lot of similarities specific to competitive fighting games with trading which I’ll be elaborating on in a future article relating to a trading tips from millionaire futures traders ebook that’s part of our benefits package coming together as a combo. Why financial services? read on 🙂

We also have something that both your better/casino audience as well as crypto guys would want to look at. One of our partners / sponsors is Gold Rush Token / Clean Mining. We’ll be offering a chance to buy CLEAN gold (more on this later) at a double digit discount exclusive to Balance, direct from some of the oldest and historically proven mines in Western Australia. That’s nothing terribly new and there are other tokens that have done it. Those coming from a financial services background will be familiar with the concept of due diligence, things like KYC (Know your Customer) and be a bit better equipped to both perform it for an opportunity like this and ultimately potentially buy-in as well.

However, another layer that we’ll offer FREEBIES at a later date on is a world-first tokenization of actual gold ORE. Essentially this will be gold prospecting in a separate video game/digital form and can dramatically lower the cost of entry into the gold market. For those who don’t know, gold actually comes from gold ore which has to be processed and refined which ultimately means that only a fraction of gold can come from overall gold ore. The percent amount can between 10 to 95% before processing and so yes, someone could get very lucky but understandably many others outside of your readership here may not like to gamble. Gamblers or not however, we can offer some of these ore tokens essentially for free as both participants and viewers of our upcoming “Pros vs Joes” fighting game event that was recently postponed until both we and our partners got things more ready. We can now say that we’ll start things off officially by Sep 12th at the latest with official entry deadline by Sep 5th at the latest with trial runs starting as early as this week of the 26th. Depending on how things go and speed of re-registration we may go even earlier but this is so we don’t have to postpone again.

I should mention that not only is the ore special but the gold as well. Those that take advantage of the gold discount will also be pioneers in helping to establish a new category of gold in the global market that isn’t processed/purified via the traditional method of cyanide and mercury leaving no environmental impact that may take decades if not longer to biodegrade, hence CLEAN gold. While the mines themselves old and proven with deeper reserves still left to unlock, the process itself is new and was created by the Australian CSIRO, something like a more generally academic version of NASA that among other things, helped invent Wi-Fi. Regardless of whether anyone in our community pays anything more than an entry fee or not, through gaming, our players will have a chance in both playing a small role in the transformation of gold mining from something that is expensive and hazardous into something that is sustainable and environmentally friendly.

More info on CSIRO and Clean Mining
https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-08-30/csiro-pours-first-australian-green-gold/10180014
https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/MRF/Areas/Resourceful-magazine/Issue-13/Golden-alternative

How has been the customer response so far? Could you offer some year on year statistics?

What’s really interesting is that when we started out within the first month or two we had more paid members than free ones on concept alone. 46% conversion rate. By paid members meaning we asked people to pay $10 as a one off to validate that this is something we would pay for once we both had a system to offer digital codes in an automated or at least reliable fashion and enough value lined up where we felt we were ready to start charging monthly. Since when we’ve realized that we needed to make this tier optional as a network only has as much value as it’s members and we are still far from having an interesting enough critical mass yet. We’re not even one year old yet but in the last 2-3 months our Discord community has grown from 100 to 150 ish members now that we have someone who can spend time on it, Oliver/Sundeath who was formerly director level at Razer Europe. A big downside that hampers our growth is that we’re not something that people normally think to search for so doing media, offers and other things that can help get us exposure but we haven’t figured out or own organic traffic yet so growth only happens when we can work on it.

Has the recent lock down had any effect on Balance Gaming’s growth? Could your offer details?

Yeah actually our first major growth drive that I headed up brought in many of our first 100 users, lol. That happened a month into the pandemic around Epic’s free release of WWZ. Unfortunately it was both a pretty short game content wise and people really focused on doing nothing but gaming that initial month of lockdowns. No one wanted to hear about “Balancing” and once they were done, many moved on. We did have an interesting story even ahead of time back then where when I was able to play, I encouraged two regulars at the time to talk about their lives and our mutual ASEAN region and those two ended up both doing client projects together and playing other free games together as well. One was a graphic designer and another was a music producer/student. At the time we didn’t have enough of us engaging people so eventually they left since they were largely only playing with each other by that point. Lesson learned not just for Balance and in life for me that I just need to ride waves while they are around instead of what I actually during that period which was working on some contract gamedev work at the time or building the Balance business while everyone else was gaming and would have preferred if I’d either led things or at least joined them for it.

What are the more popular games and tournaments on your platform? Could you describe the games a bit?

Our most popular is Rainbow 6 Siege and that’s a game that should be well known to you guys since it’s gone from underdog cult game to having one of t he better prize pools in eSports with strong Ubisoft support in recent years. Rainbow 6 is a series that is based on terrorist/counterterrorism originally that prided itself on realism being the first “one shot and you get killed usually” game on the market. I can still remember the LAN party where I played the original game in the series for the first time, it was quite refreshing and hilarious compared to the run and gun shooters like Doom and Quake of the day. These days the game is more similar to LoL or DOTA that is based around Heroes having different powers and abilities, some of which are deliberately designed to be counterpicks. They are perpetually “training”/fighting each other given the multiplayer only PVP context and there are generic terrorists only as AI NPC’s to beat on in generic It used to be World War Z as I mentioned which is a co-op class based zombie killing gaming that’s spiritual sequel to Left 4 Dead 2 that I actually like a lot more than it’s original inspiration and in addition to that we have some fighting game players i.e. Street Fighter, Tekken etc but that’s almost a niche within itself in gaming these days that doesnt play other stuff or interact with the broader gaming community. We’re a bit sad about this and even within fighting games themselves, the competitive level has gotten to the point where people not only just focus on one game, but even just on training one particular character and mastering all the various matchups instead. This means that they dont even play the rest of the genre or even necessarily the rest of the characters in the game! This overcompetitiveness isnt necessarily good for the fighting game industry if they focus purely on tournament type players. Happy Medicine (our resident fighting game pro, former CPT/Capcom cup, world class Bison main) and I talk about this separately in this video here – g66FBCzv_mg . We’re still done with World War Z btw, despite how the whole game can be beat in less than 4-5 hours currently and a bit more if you are doing horde mode as well, if you’re deliberately going to slow-play it and make it last, please come and join us! We’re the place for that lol.

Tell us more about the platform and gaming partners of Balance?

For our “platform”, we have a few key pillars. The first is the always free Discord community where people can only just join as regular gamer and that’s fine. The next level is the membership site which is intended for people to try and look up / surface people that should try to get to know on Discord for either gaming or things outside of gaming. Maybe find out that someone you’ve been gaming with all along can also be a collaborator of some kind in real life too. We also haev an ecom store for all kinds of stuff i.e. offering our own game codes and digital goodies for sale , physical products like geek toys including “gamereats” where we’ll start with snacks and more. Lastly we want to offer “gamer travel” again as soon as we can, starting out with introducing the concept of geo-arbitrage to gamers that’s already well known to location independent and digital nomad types but is probably brand new to gamers. Essentially this means save money on gaming time (plus get more time) in a cheap locale but we can expand this to travel to places that are significant to gaming history as well given a lot of us have deep knowledge and connections with the industry. This is all going somewhere and your next question will naturally segue into that 🙂
One of our gaming partners BRK / Gen2 Technologies where you picked this up from 🙂 is currently working on a world-first interactive streaming platform which we’ll be designing our invitational event around. They definitely have something that will have “pandemic market fit” and we cant wait to get started on it. The event will be physical with social distancing concerns and a limited amount of people but it’ll be super interactive when it’s streamed unlike other events. Just like how we were behind on things, they’re pretty behind too and it looks like we’re going to have to push further back past August. Additionally they’ve just entered an exciting trial period of just their broadcast quality wireless camera tech with PGA Tour Golf.

Finally, how do you see the future developing? Are there going to be any immediate developments in Balance Gaming in the near future?

Yeah we have some angel money hopefully finally coming in within the month and from that we can actually offer some more benefits that hopefully help pull in more users as well and pay for the help in community building 🙂 I think we’ll be the first company to actually pay gamers to build guilds and coommunities under us and also give you a rewards budget to spent on your users as well as kick some nice things to all the hard work your officers do. Anyone who’s ever built or run guilds knows that its pretty much an unpaid second job and guild applications look moore and more like job applications these days. At least we want to take out the unpaid part and compensate some for this especially if they want to build a more casual / mature / non competitive guild that fits the demographic we’re aiming for anyway.

Ultimately in the LONG TERM future, despite how all this is already quite the going concern business-wise, the whole goal is to use this cashflow to then fund game development. Both internal and external third party to us. Game development is the unique DNA that I bring to Balance personally and I’m sure you guys know especially looking at companies like Tencent how valuable things can be when you have your own IP to sell and we’ve already learned the hard way that frankly its much easier to build up communities around having your own game vs using others’ games in this new Discord age.

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Interviews

“We want to innovate and ensure that no two releases are ever the same”: Exclusive Nordics interview with Darren Stephenson from Push Gaming.

George Miller

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“We want to innovate and ensure that no two releases are ever the same”: Exclusive Nordics interview with Darren Stephenson from Push Gaming.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The Nordic region arguably has some of the most demanding players in Europe when it comes to slots – we caught up with Push Gaming’s Director of Business Development to talk through the supplier’s success in capturing their attention.

Can you give us a quick snapshot of Push Gaming’s operations in the Nordics?

The decision to enter the Nordics was a strong option for us for a couple of reasons. Primarily, this was due to the fact that the Nordics is one of Europe’s most established gaming regions. Online gambling (and in particular slots), are very popular there, so becoming a part of this was an obvious choice.

Also, at that point in time, we had chosen the Relax Gaming platform for our distribution channel. This provided us with a fantastic opportunity to reach a number of respected Nordic operators that were already integrated onto the platform and enabled us to establish a foothold in the region quite rapidly.

Naturally our CEO James Marshall started spending more time in Malta working with our partners to promote the games and ensure everything ran smoothly for them. Over time, and with plenty of Scandinavian operators having their base in Malta, it was a natural progression into becoming a really key region for us.

Why do you think your games have proven so popular in the region?

Scandinavia is one of the most mature markets when it comes to slots, and our slots are designed to be different and challenge the status quo.

Our design team utilises cutting-edge technology to deliver an immersive experience. The attention to detail, which is so important to us, fits perfectly in a market where players notice the smallest of differences, and our quality versus quantity approach resonates well with such a demanding group of players.

How would you profile the typical Scandinavian player? Are there typical demographics?

We try to avoid getting drawn into focusing too much on specific demographics. We simply aim to create a highly entertaining product that is set to resonate with all types of players.

We want to innovate and ensure that no two releases are ever quite the same. Of course, there are certain themes which you might expect to resonate with one region or market more than others, and that might become part of our launch planning discussions with our partners.

A good example of this might be that we have very high hopes for Joker Troupe, as the Joker theme has always proven so popular in the region.

The key takeaway for us here is much its popularity resonated with our approach. After all, we’re an entertainment company at heart – and evidently with the right combination of maths, graphics and immersion, we’ve learned that you can engage and entertain multiple types of players with the same game.

Are there certain design elements of game mechanics that you look to incorporate to meet regional preferences?

When it comes to mechanics, HypermodeTM, the in-game feature for Joker Troupe, has also been very well-received. It gives the player a timer instead of a set amount of spins, and when landing enough of the joker symbol, players can reset the timer and continue spinning.

The game is a fusion of a popular theme combined with exciting mechanics and was heavily influenced by the Scandinavian markets and the demand we’re seeing from Nordic players. The product owner that ran this project was also Swedish so his own experiences and preferences would of course have had an influence on the end result also.

That’s not to say we launched Joker Troupe with plans to make it all about that region, but rather – if it’s good enough for players renowned for their discerning nature, then we’re likely on to a winner.

How do you view the development of the Swedish market since regulation at the beginning of 2019?

It’s certainly evolving. It may have been a somewhat rocky start but being suppliers, we’re lucky that it’s been less of an issue for us. Sweden’s licensed gambling operators still reported strong numbers in revenue for the first half of 2020 so the market remains extremely important and will continue to be a key market for us and will certainly stay a big part of our future plans.

What can you tell us about your plans for 2021 and beyond for these markets?

In general, I see no reason why Scandinavia can’t continue its successful upward trend. Regulation will of course have an impact and is something that will need to be monitored.

When it comes to potential expansion, we are very close to launching with one of, if not the biggest, operators in the region – so we are super excited to see our games going live and look forward to sharing more news on that partnership.

We’ll also be steadily innovating and tailoring our platform in line with our planned expansion, which we hope will be of great benefit to our partners. And of course, we wouldn’t be Push Gaming if we didn’t have a line-up of new immersive games with great features in development, so stay tuned!

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