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Exclusive Interview with NetShop ISP’s CEO ahead of the Upcoming Betting on Sports Europe – Digital Exhibition

George Miller

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Exclusive Interview with NetShop ISP’s CEO ahead of the Upcoming Betting on Sports Europe – Digital Exhibition
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

NetShop ISP, the leading Data Center Provider is exhibiting in the SBC Betting on Sports Europe – Digital event which will take place online on the 21st and 22nd of October 2020.
Stefano Sordini, CEO at NetShop Internet Services Ltd, spoke to SBC Media in an exclusive interview about the company’s participation and his expectations from the event.

SBC Reporter: What are you looking forward to at Betting on Sports Europe – Digital 2020?

Stefano Sordini: The Betting on Sports Europe – Digital 2020 will be NetShop ISP’s first ever fully virtual conference is exhibiting in. The SBC team has brought into the iGaming industry a fantastic platform for virtual events where in these “special” times the World is going through, our industry is stepping above and finds a way to connect businesses with young entrepreneurs, operators and suppliers.

We, at NetShop ISP, are interested to attend and listen to some great Discussion Panels and catch up with industry peers. Through our virtual booth we will be happy to greet existing clients and demonstrate our portfolio of infrastructure solutions to visitors.

Nothing can compare to physical events, one might say, however it is thrilling what technology can do to help people connect with each other. Kudos to the SBC team for what they have achieved so far!

SBC: What would be your biggest bit of advice for betting and gaming businesses trying to mitigate the impact of COVID-19?

SS: The key to survive whatever impact COVID-19 has had in your business, are the Partnerships and especially the deals you make with your business’ most crucial Suppliers. It is of vital importance to have honest and transparent Partners & Suppliers with whom you can negotiate flexible terms until your business can be fully restored.
If its payment providers with whom you have target goals in Volume you have to meet each month, make sure that there will be no penalties or consequences for not meeting the agreement’s goals due to your business impact from COVID-19.

Technology suppliers can also play a very important role in helping clients and affected businesses like yours. Having acquired a large capacity of bandwidth during the pre-COVID months, means that your monthly bill may not be sustainable after the COVID-19 impact. A good partnership should be both ends. Not only when you pay your bills upfront, but in case of Crisis you should make sure that your Hosting Provider will stand next to you and provide whatever flexibility is possible until your business overcomes this situation.

SBC: What are you promoting at Betting on Sports Europe – Digital 2020?

SS: During the event we will be announcing the launch of 3 new Data Centers which, alongside our existing locations of Cyprus, Malta, United Kingdom and Los Angeles, will help NetShop ISP to reach regions across the globe. Moreover, we will be showcasing our [email protected] Bundle to the attendees of the event. It’s our most recent product launch to relief businesses that had been impacted by COVID-19 and are in the process of shifting to Home working.

SBC: Which operator has impressed you the most in 2020?

SS: Which operator has shone a positive light on the industry? This might be through a product launch, commitment to responsible gambling, innovative marketing campaign, or for taking a certain stance in debates concerning the industry. As a Technology/Hosting Supplier of many iGaming Operators i wouldn’t like to naming any specific ones. I admire though all Operators who managed to diversify their portfolio of products and enhance their Customer Service given the impact of COVID-19 in our industry.

SBC: What partnership has stood out in the past 12 months?

SS: I was amazed when i heard about the acquisition deal between BtoBet and Aspire Global. The guys at BtoBet are in business for quite some time and, in my humble opinion, they grew to be among the top suppliers of the industry in Europe. This acquisition as said will help them to reach new markets which i am sure they will succeed.

SBC: What industry innovation will capture the most attention in 2020?

SS: I believe that 2020 and, going forward in 2020, there will be more focus and research on player-oriented products and features. Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are already being studied, developed and tested by Software Vendors and Development companies. The competition is so much bigger noawadays, with startups and new businesses entering the igaming market, that the traditional products will not be able to generate those profits to sustain every business in the pie. Therefore, innovation is what will keep this industry moving and allow existing businesses to profit and new ones to enter.

Interviews

Exclusive Q&A with Andrey Vajdyuk, Head of Business Development for NetGame Entertainment

George Miller

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Exclusive Q&A with Andrey Vajdyuk, Head of Business Development for NetGame Entertainment
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

How has 2021 begun for NetGame Entertainment?

We’re incredibly pleased with how the year has begun as it’s seen us deliver on our key growth targets in Q1. Against the backdrop of an unforgettable 2020 for the industry, we worked tirelessly to set the perfect foundation and it’s allowed us to seamlessly focus on new jurisdictions, promotions, aggregator and platform partnerships.

Our creative games studio has been busy with several hugely popular releases that included the latest in our Book of Nile series and Fruit Cash Hold ‘N’ Link. Another milestone for the business since the turn of the year was the launch of crypto currency and it means we now work with all world currencies.

NetGame Entertainment’s creative studio continues to release a wave of successful slots, what makes these titles standout from the crowd?

Our creative team and studio is second-to-none and deserves all the plaudits for the positive reception of NetGame’s titles. The team has been curated over time and is perfectly positioned to drive the business forward through designing exceptional iGaming experiences.

Supporting the innovative thinking are outstanding graphics, fair and trusted math and a combination of interesting features that each help deliver the best experience to players. Particular attention is paid to our bonus games and multiplayer elements that both have positive impacts on player engagement and retention.

Engaging bonuses feature heavily within NetGame Entertainment’s slots, what impact do these have?

Bonuses add to the fun for players and make games more exciting as we constantly strive to make every user’s experience interesting and enjoyable. NetGame’s bonus games are synonymous with our brand and there are various levels to the in-game features. One component that players love that’s present in some of our titles is the option to buy different starting levels within the bonus game to give a greater chance of success.

We are proud of our Progressive Jackpot Series Game and these have really added to player engagement and therefore life-tme-value. Other NetGame features include Free Spins, Buy bonus feature, Gamble feature, Tumbling reels, Hold N’ Link, Pick’em Game, Fortune Wheel, Super Laser, Multiplayer Mode, Totalizer, Pay-any Symbol and Quick cash.

The Fishing Kingdom slot has a multiplayer element, is this something that NetGame Entertainment will introduce more?

Fishing Kingdom has been incredibly well received and the results have been beyond encouraging. The game has been beautifully designed, but the standout feature is the multiplayer element. Given the results thus far, we plan to develop these styles of games and there will be another three launched during the remainder of the year.

How do slot series, such as Book of Nile, perform when compared to standalone titles?

We’ve been thrilled with how warmly the public has taken to the Book of Nile series. Magic Choice launched in February as the third installment following Revenge and the Lost Chapter. The Egyptian series is packed full of fun features and builds a narrative across the three games that players have really engaged with. Book of Nile is one of our most volatile games and that really adds to the breathtaking experience on the reels. Our series games and standalone titles perform equally well with our partners and that’s thanks to the creative team’s commitment to fun, thrilling and rewarding experiences. The key for us is having a diverse library of games to suit all our partners’ demands.

What are your business expectations over the next 12 months?

The next 12 months promise plenty for NetGame Entertainment and we have high expectations on delivering on our action-packed roadmap. One core element of that strategy is that we’re close to obtaining our MGA license and you are the first publication we have shared this information with.

Later in the year we’ll also be revealing some more details on some major arrangements with big aggregators and operators. These significant deals will allow us to expand NetGame’s reach in the market and give more players the opportunity to fall in love with our proprietary titles.

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Interviews

Exclusive interview with Petra Maria Poola, Head of Business Development and Operations at OneTouch

George Miller

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Exclusive interview with Petra Maria Poola, Head of Business Development and Operations at OneTouch
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

We sat down with Petra Maria Poola, Head of Business Development and Operations at the mobile-first casino game developer OneTouch, to discuss how suppliers should adapt their products to the geographic regions which they are targeting.

Is content localisation a myth?

No – for those who get it right, it’s an invaluable acquisition and retention strategy. What do we mean when we talk about localised games? Put simply, it’s a title that’s tailored to a specific geographic audience.

And it takes a lot more than just changing the language to do that. From both a visual and technical perspective, adapting your content to individual target markets can do wonders for engagement.

For example, there are obviously still places lacking in internet coverage, particularly in growth regions such as Latin America. For suppliers trying to enter those territories, that makes it all the more important to ensure that your games don’t take up too much storage, and can be easily downloaded by those with an older smartphone model or a slower internet connection.

Do you localise your games? If so, how? And which regions are they tailored to?

Here at OneTouch, we think it’s all about striking the right balance between creating international hits with cross-cultural appeal, while also producing content for specific local audiences.

Our recent release, Ganbaruto Battle, draws inspiration from the great Japanese tradition of sumo-wrestling. It features a renowned Estonian wrestler called Baruto Kaito, so its appeal is likely to include, without being limited to, players from that country.

Equally, classic casino themes such as Ancient Egypt and Vegas-style fruit symbols often generate global popularity. Our timeless slot title, Forgotten Pharaoh, has achieved tremendous and widespread success by drawing on the former theme.

One might expect that our basketball-based slot MVP Hoops performs especially well in markets where that sport is popular, but it’s actually proved a hit in regions where basketball is not generally followed by the wider population.
Finally, we expect our upcoming title Live Crash to reach a transnational audience, because it is a crash-style title similar to those enjoyed in the crypto-gambling space – which is rapidly gaining followers from around the world.

We research every market diligently to understand what its players want in precise detail. Localisation has proved a successful strategy for OneTouch!

Are there any aspects of game development which are internationally uniform, and do not vary based on where you are in the world?

Some aspects of content development require more localisation than others. Failing to geographically adapt your game from a visual perspective might mean that customers might not want to play it. Failing to do so from a technical perspective, meanwhile, could mean that they are not able to play it.

However, there are other stages of the game development process which are not subject to regional variation. With the exception of a game’s volatility, mechanics do not tend to vary all that much on the basis of geography, unlike technical and visual effects.

Similarly, sometimes localisation isn’t just about adapting to cultural or infrastructural differences, it’s simply a case of knowing the ratio of land-based to online players within the market you are targeting. It’s all about creating an enjoyable entertainment experience for the end user by paying heed to their specific cultural context. Get that right, and you could be onto a winner.

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Cryptocurrency

‘What is the role of social media within real-money gaming, and how will this change in the years to come?’

George Miller

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'What is the role of social media within real-money gaming, and how will this change in the years to come?'
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

We sat down with Tom Leadbetter, Head of Marketing at multiplayer casino game developer FunFair Games, to discuss the increasingly important role played by social media within the modern-day gambling industry.

The casino industry’s use of social media is fundamentally outdated. Specifically, the world of iGaming has yet to understand the true value of community engagement.

The crypto space, by contrast, has long been ahead of the curve. That includes crypto-gambling, which places community at the heart of its acquisition strategy. Yes, many in the real-money gaming sector post about their activity, but that’s rarely followed up with a conversation.

That’s why FunFair Games uses social media to start a two-way dialogue with its community, stimulating discussions on platforms such as Discord, Reddit and Telegram, as well as more conventional social channels like Twitter, where we’ve got more than 35,000 followers.

I doubt there are many companies in the real-money space who use Reddit, but we’re proud to call ourselves pioneers in the gambling industry’s use of social media. And with a current membership count of nearly 17,000, as well as 72,000 page views in January alone, we’ve found the platform to be a fantastic engagement tool.

Keeping your community engaged takes more than just emailing a newsletter without response. We live stream our games at the prototype stage, and ask for community feedback on the names of the characters found in our titles.

In that regard, social media is a great way to garner instant feedback on your content. The crypto index is much younger, boasting a higher level of popularity among Gen Y and Z players than the mainstream casino sector.

Crypto is therefore a useful predictor of things to come. If the emerging generation of player wants more community-driven experiences, it’s likely that social media will prove key to the gambling industry’s future.

There’s a tendency for the real-money sector to fear community engagement. In some ways, that’s understandable: scroll through Twitter these days, and most of the stories you find about gambling tend to be negative.

That negativity, though, stems from a lack of trust. That’s a word you wouldn’t normally associate with the world of gambling, but social engagement allows you to cultivate it. Most of the feedback we get is positive, but our community often flags potential problems too. We don’t shy away from spirited discussions and debates with them – it’s not that everyone agrees, but that everyone cares.

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