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Exclusive Q&A on the the Wazdan Mechanics with CCO Andrzej Hyla

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Exclusive Q&A on the the Wazdan Mechanics with CCO Andrzej Hyla
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

What spurred you into designing your own mechanic, as opposed to licensing an existing popular one?

In such a saturated market, it is so important to have something that truly makes you stand out. While we’re proud of the detail in our graphic designs and the artwork that pervades in our slots, we’re perpetually on the lookout for ways to enhance our offering even further. Looking around the industry, you can see the impact unique mechanics has on games. Everyone is keen to not only be the trendsetter with new mechanics, but also find one that will establish a new focal point for the industry. As a studio ourselves, lately we’ve added Hold the Jackpot, Moving Reels, Symbol Splitter, Infinite Multiplier and more.

Licencing existing mechanics, regardless of their popularity, is a commercial move that wouldn`t help us grow as a game producer. When partners see the value in what we create as a studio, looking beyond just the licenced mechanic, we’re able to experience much more growth together. We have a very creative mindset and a strong development team in house. This allows us to create the numerous unique tools we have, which has been added too recently with the Splitter mechanic.

How has the Splitter mechanic been received by fans so far, and do you plan to use it in more upcoming titles?

With the Splitter mechanic, the game quickly made it to the top of our list of best-performing products. By creating our new Symbol Splitter feature, we’ve been able to elevate both our product offering and our fan’s game sessions through this innovative addition, which sees a symbol being able to split into up to four more on any spin, for huge wins. In Gem Splitter™, the split can either increase the number of ways to win or the payout, even both, when splitting into 4 symbols in a 2×2 arrangement. In the Free Spins bonus the symbols will be split into a combination that’s most favourable for the players – that`s why they like this game so much. While a simple concept, it keeps every spin engaging and has tangibly driven up engagement, so much so that we’ve also built it in to our upcoming title, Midnight in Tokyo. In this new game, it will be activated by Wild symbols – Wild Splitters – which substitute for other symbols, except for special symbols, and increase the number of ways to win for players. The Ninja Cat will split symbols on either side of him into two, while the Kung Fu Cat splits symbols above and below. Wilds that have only one adjoining symbol will instead split it into three. Players are always on the lookout for something that’s straightforward yet exciting, and the Splitter mechanic manages to do this.

When creating new mechanics, how important is it to make sure it is easy to understand for players?

It’s crucial. Nobody wants to load up a new game and have to read an instruction manual and watch a video on how to understand it. People want to start playing a game and have an innate feel for how a mechanic works.

The entire team at Wazdan has a strong passion for games, so a rigorous testing process from actual players and fans has allowed us to develop a mechanic we’re extremely proud of and is visually clear in the added value for every potential spin.

With so much scope for game growth and development out there, its important that we don’t lose sight of what we do best – create fantastic experiences for players. With a team that genuinely enjoys creating games, as players themselves, we understand this and it allows us to improve the quality of our products.

What is next for the Splitter mechanic? Will it be licensed out or kept in house?

While we’re extremely proud of what we’ve created with the Splitter mechanic, it is still in its relative infancy within the iGaming arena. Gem Splitter™ was a huge success, while Midnight in Tokyo will take the mechanic to a new level by having it triggered by Wilds in-game, as we continue to build it into our games arsenal on a broader basis.

Our key goal as a business is to help partners build a strong position in the market, and we want our games to help them attract and retain loyal customers. We want to be responsible for the success experienced by many in the industry, but it is also important for us to remain a company with unique and innovative solutions.

We’ll continue to find ways to refine the mechanic while also incorporating it into our portfolio in increasingly innovative ways, which is an extremely exciting project for us. As for what the future holds, who knows, but it’s certain to be action packed with this mechanic!

Interviews

RubyPlay and BetConstruct interview: delivering bespoke content for Mr. First

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RubyPlay and BetConstruct interview: delivering bespoke content for Mr. First
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The launch of Mr. First by BetConstruct 12 months ago saw the creation of an iconic character that has proven to push the boundaries and deliver increased engagement within the iGaming and crypto industries.

As Mr. First celebrates his first birthday, we spoke with Dr Eyal Loz, Chief Product Officer at RubyPlay, and Ruzanna Elchyan, Head of Gaming at BetConstruct, to reflect on how both organisations have worked together to build unique gaming experiences around the popular brand ambassador.

 

May marks the one-year milestone of Mr First. Dr. Eyal, what positive impact has this fun and creative character had within iGaming? What do you like most about the character?

Dr. Eyal Loz: Mr. First is a relatable, fun character that can easily deliver complex initiatives. Seeing Mr. First post online, and also, meeting a larger-than-life Mr. First in gaming shows, really connected us to the fun narrative of this brand ambassador. Mr. First is successful and confident, but also very relatable, not too serious or intimidating. The overall impression is – if “Mr. First can do it, so can I”!

 

Ruzanna, what was the inspiration behind Mr First, and what sort of impact has it had on the iGaming sector?

Ruzanna Elchyan: Mr. First was inspired by the need for a charismatic and relatable character who could serve as an advertising agent and an expert in the crypto and iGaming industries. His impact on the iGaming sector has been profound, bringing a fresh and engaging narrative that resonates with players. Mr. First’s presence has not only made gaming experiences more enjoyable and memorable but has also increased engagement and interest in iGaming, particularly among younger audiences. This has significantly contributed to the sector’s growth and evolution, establishing Mr. First as a symbol of innovation and excitement in the industry.

 

How does BetConstruct envision the incorporation of Mr. First and other games into future collaborative projects with studios like RubyPlay, considering the positive reception and engagement witnessed at the BFTH Arena Awards?

Ruzanna Elchyan: BetConstruct is looking to integrate Mr. First and other games into future collaborative projects with studios like RubyPlay, utilising innovative strategies to enhance player experiences. The enthusiastic reception and high engagement levels at the B.F.T.H. Arena Awards highlight the potential of these partnerships. This positive feedback motivates BetConstruct to push the boundaries of iGaming creativity, ensuring that upcoming projects are not only entertaining but also transformative in their impact on the industry.

 

Dr. Eyal, Immortal Ways: Mr First was a big success and was crowned ‘Best Online Casino Game’ at the BFTH Arena Awards. What has been the key behind this game’s triumph?

Dr. Eyal Loz: We wanted to connect with the authenticity of the Mr First character. Wouldn’t it be fun to get a shirtless Mr. First travel back in time to ancient Egypt? We combined this art narrative with our strongest performing mechanic, Immortal Ways, to create an appealing immersive gaming experience.

 

With the increasing demand for innovative gaming experiences, what role does BetConstruct see collaborative events like the BFTH Arena Awards playing in driving industry innovation?

Ruzanna Elchyan: BetConstruct recognises the growing demand for innovative gaming experiences and sees collaborative events like the B.F.T.H. Arena Awards as instrumental in driving industry innovation. These events serve as platforms for companies to showcase their latest creations, exchange ideas, and inspire one another to push the boundaries of what’s possible in iGaming. BetConstruct is dedicated to supporting and participating in such events to foster industry-wide innovation and growth.

 

Dr. Eyal, talk us through the development of RubyPlay’s Mad Hit Olympic First, what differentiates this title from previous games within the ‘Mad Hit’ series?

Dr. Eyal Loz: The Summer Olympic games are coinciding with the BFTH Arena Awards. This gave us an idea, connecting the narrative of Mr. First taking on big challenges with style, in a fun way. We thought “Wouldn’t it be fun if Mr First represented BetConstruct in the Olympics?”. So, this time, our Mr. First is an Olympic cycling champion, who will bring home some gold medals! The Mad Hit mechanic is a 5X5 reel array with 25 independent reels, and 3,125 ways to win. I’m sure players will love it!

 

And Ruzanna, what do you like most about RubyPlay’s latest bespoke title Mad Hit Olympic First?

Ruzanna Elchyan: Mad Hit Olympic First stands out for its innovative fusion of the Olympic spirit with the excitement of online gaming. This unique approach creates an immersive experience that transports players into the world of competitive sports. The game’s storyline is rich and captivating, drawing players in with its narrative depth and attention to detail. Combined with its engaging gameplay mechanics, Mad Hit Olympic First offers a truly distinctive gaming experience that sets it apart from other titles in the market.

Could you elaborate on the collaborative efforts between RubyPlay and BetConstruct that contributed to the game’s success and how this collaboration might evolve for future projects?

Dr. Eyal Loz: Our partnership with BetConstruct is based on a lot of mutual respect. We both see each other as tenacious innovators, never afraid trying new original business and design directions. For example, both companies celebrate creative fine arts, and try to bring that appreciation into our core business values. When two successful organisations share core elements in their vision, successful collaborations and opportunities are inevitable.

 

How important is BetConstruct’s partnership with RubyPlay? What do they offer differently to other game studios?

Ruzanna Elchyan: BetConstruct’s collaboration with RubyPlay holds immense importance, as it facilitates the delivery of a diverse and captivating selection of games to players, effectively distinguishing them in the fiercely competitive iGaming market. RubyPlay’s distinctiveness among game studios stems from its unique development approach and unwavering dedication to innovation. This commitment makes RubyPlay an invaluable partner for BetConstruct, enriching our offerings and enhancing the overall gaming experience for our players.

 

What does the future hold for the RubyPlay / BetConstruct partnership?

Dr. Eyal Loz: We will continue working together in multiple markets. I’m really looking forward to seeing our new innovative product and promotional initiatives rolled out for the BetConstruct players. As always, when we all row together in the same direction, the sky is the limit.

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Affiliate Industry

Interview w/ Andre Machado, Head of Publishers Relations and Affiliation at Sportradar

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Interview w/ Andre Machado, Head of Publishers Relations and Affiliation at Sportradar
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Before taking the stage at EEGS’ upcoming Free Webinar, ‘The Relevance of Media Buying Activity in the Affiliate Space’, Sportradar’s Head of Publishers Relations and Affiliation, Andre Machado, sat down with EEGS for an exclusive interview. In this in-depth conversation, Andre shares his expertise on the importance of media buying, affiliate marketing, and navigating the complex compliance landscape. Get a sneak peek at his insights and expert advice before he shares his knowledge with attendees at the free webinar.

Can you share some key insights into the evolution of digital marketing within the iGaming industry over the past decade, and how it has influenced affiliate marketing strategies?

Operators are subsequently turning to automation technology to scale their campaigns and streamline their marketing processes. Automation has been the key and is being used within programmatic advertising technology to efficiently acquire new bettors at this critical time. Programmatic automates the buying of online advertising in realtime to serve highly targeted adverts to the most relevant audiences, which is highly efficient and limits ad wastage. In fact, our proprietary ads programmatic marketing service has enabled our global operator clients to increase click-through-rates by up to 60%, while increasing net gaming revenue by as much as 110%. We estimate that reducing the manual inputs in this process saves our clients up to two months’ worth of productivity annually.

Automation is similarly enhancing operators’ advertising performance across publisher sites, such as high-profile sports and media news websites, and for their sponsorships. By using data to understand fans’ most consumed online content, Sportradar’s Engagement Tool, the adtech we are using in our Affiliate Project, uses automation to display contextually relevant betting ads across both premium publishers and rights holders’ websites. The range of these adverts and the speed at which they are delivered increase click-through-rates by up to 2,2X which would be impossible to replicate manually. The affiliate space is following these macro trends and we are seeing a more sensible vision from the Operators to new ways of cooperation, and Media Buying is one of them.

 

With your extensive experience in digital marketing, what do you believe are the most critical factors for success in affiliate media buying specifically within the iGaming sector?

If operators can better understand their fans’ interests and browsing habits, they can more effectively target and engage them with personalised content. This is key to acquiring new customers, re-engaging existing players and building brand awareness. Marketing solutions that would enable them to fully understand where and how bettors were interacting with their brand. These customer insights power digital marketing technologies, which decide the most relevant bets to serve to players, on the right platform at the right time. This personalised approach engages fans more deeply, delivers greater conversions, customer loyalty and revenue growth, while limiting advertising waste and compensating the right partners/affiliates.

 

How do you see the role of data analytics shaping the future of affiliate marketing, and what tools or methodologies do you find most effective in optimizing media buying campaigns?

AI’s role cannot be understated, but it needs data to deliver marketing efficiency. Similarly, data is a resource that is only as useful as how effectively you use it. Therefore, the real game changer is when the two are combined. Operators possess deep pools of anonymised customer data, which offer valuable insights into fan behaviours and interests, such as previously bet-on teams or most frequented digital channels. AI algorithms within digital marketing technologies process this data to create personalised dynamic football adverts that can be delivered on fan-favourite channels. For instance, a FCPorto fan who regularly uses Instagram might receive dynamic ads containing the odds for their team’s next fixture across the platform’s story’s function. With this data readily available, the AI capabilities within marketing services allow operators to truly create highly targeted and customised fan experiences that achieve greater acquisition and brand awareness.

 

Given the dynamic regulatory landscape surrounding iGaming advertising, how do you advise affiliates to navigate compliance risks effectively while still maximizing their efforts?

By focusing on the content that fans care most about, AI-driven personalisation tools can drive efficiency and limit advertising waste, everything aligned with the current local regulation. This is essential at this moment, when operators must supply advertising creative for the hundreds of weekly matches played across football’s biggest competitions, as an example. While this was previously a protracted, manual process for creative teams, AI and automation technologies are powering Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) solutions to address this operational challenge quickly and at scale. We use DCO in our industry-specific Dynamic Display solution to engineer an unlimited supply of personalised betting advertising creative, based on fan content preferences and the most popular pages on operators’ websites. The customised content within these creatives engages end users more deeply and improves click-through-rates, while automation saves valuable time and money to achieve more effective budget spend and higher ROI.

 

Given the ever-changing landscape of digital advertising, what emerging trends do you foresee shaping the future of affiliate media buying, and how should marketers adapt to stay ahead?

In the same way that football clubs allocate their transfer budgets effectively to deliver the best performance on the pitch, operators who execute efficient marketing strategies are most likely to succeed in the marketplace. By leveraging data and AI within the latest advertising technologies, operators can better understand their customers, find their audience quickly and serve them with the content that’s most relevant to them. As with player scouting, to find a hidden gem, you often need to search where others aren’t looking. Similarly, with betting customer acquisition it pays to have exclusive access to audiences. With our Engagement Tool, we work with a single operator in each geographic market to gain visibility on premium publishers in the region, while using our unique adtech to deliver automated, contextually relevant ads that subsequently delivers strong acquisition performance. This might be a trend, it would help to balance the competitiveness within the markets.

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Interviews

Exclusive Interview w/ Mr. Hayk Sargsyan Chief Executive Officer of Galaxsys

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Exclusive Interview w/ Mr. Hayk Sargsyan Chief Executive Officer of Galaxsys
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

European Gaming caught up with Hayk Sargsyan, the visionary CEO of gaming studio Galaxsys, one of the leaders in fast and crash games, which are capturing the attention of online casino players across Europe and Latin America. Hayk’s leadership and strategic vision have been instrumental in Galaxsys’s rapid growth and success.

 

Tell us about Galaxsys and why Fast and Crash Games are becoming popular with casino players. 

Galaxsys is young company, only a few years in iGaming B2B terms. We specialise in unique ‘fast and crash games’ for the iGaming and online casino market. These games are characterised by their fast-paced gameplay, and the thrill of the game theme. We design, create, and develop highly engaging and attractive games for casino players, offering them a unique and exciting gaming experience.

Casino and Slot players like to maximise their time to play without learning the complexities of characters, bonus conditions, and bonus rounds, which can confuse them, particularly when they have only a certain amount of free time for gameplay.  Galaxsys games are played across many different markets. Online casino players want to try something new and different, but they also like simple and easier-to-play games, which is why we provide these.

At Galaxsys, we understand that players value a streamlined experience with low friction and control over their gameplay. This is why our Crash and Fast Games are in high demand, as they cater to these player preferences. B2C operators are also keen to add our game portfolio to their casino lobby, further validating our player-centric approach. 

Ninja Crash has won several awards. What makes this such a great game?  

Ninja Crash performs strongly in our game portfolio across continental Europe and Latin America, where the game won the accolade of ‘Most Played Game 2024’ at the SiGMA Americas Summit. Recent upgrades include a mobile landscape, auto-play mode, freeze bonus feature, and advanced algorithms designed to captivate and retain players. These combinations of upgrades increase the player’s enjoyment of gaming, which leads to increased player satisfaction and revenue.

One of our flagship unique games, Ninja Crash, is very popular with operators. We added the Combo Bonus feature, and the multiplier can now reach up to 500x for each slice, and a new Ninja character has been introduced. Our design and product teams have taken this engaging and fan-favourite game to the next level to offer players an enhanced and immersive gaming experience.  

From an engagement, player experience standpoint, Galaxsys games are focused on providing the players with a straightforward gaming experience that delivers high-quality visuals, themes, and elements that the player can relate to and play with little effort.  

It’s the trade show season. What other games are you showcasing on your travels? 

Galaxsys’s game portfolio stands out with its accessibility to 150+ operators, 170 currency options, and the availability of 30+ games in a single game integration. These unique features and robust performance with our partner operators across all markets make them a compelling choice for potential new partners. Partnering with Galaxsys not only gives you access to our innovative games but also our extensive network and industry expertise, which can help you maximise your revenue and player engagement.

Our sales team is always excited to showcase our new games at industry events. ‘Dr. Shocker‘ offers a thrilling, fast-paced experience where players connect cables to win. ‘Tower Rush’ challenges players to create endless floors for maximum chances. ‘Limbo Crash’ introduces an exciting concept, with winnings dependent on chosen multipliers. ‘Bingo Star’ combines popular bingo elements with a surprising twist. ‘Hot Gear’ blends speed and fashion, requiring players to scratch their fingers and reveal matching odds or attractive symbols. ‘Cosmo Saga’ is a puzzle game that requires players to move colourful particles to create winning combinations. Each game is designed to provide casino players with a unique and engaging experience, and we are confident that they will be well-received by our audience. 

What are your plans for summer and the remainder of the year? 

We aim to continue improving, upgrading, and innovating across our game portfolio to deliver the best gaming experiences. In the coming months, we plan to expand our market presence in Europe and Latin America and explore potential partnerships with local operators. Doing so can drive player engagement and revenue opportunities for our partner operators, which is at the core of our business strategy.

Europe and Latin America are undoubtedly growing and dynamic markets for B2B gaming studios such as Galaxsys. We have seen strong market demand for our games in Brazil and Mexico, and the Baltics where players are particularly drawn to our unique game features and engaging gameplay. Therefore, it is essential to follow regulatory change and the requirements of those frameworks to ensure the optimal certifications and gambling responsibilities. We were also delighted to have our games certified recently in Peru and Colombia, further expanding our market reach in the region.

We will work with our partner operators to deliver more profound game experiences and localisations. We have commenced the development of our own slot games, which we are incredibly excited to introduce into the marketplace over the next two quarters of this year.   We shall be attending many summer expos such as iGB Live, G2E Asia, and SiGMA Asia to further showcase our games.

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