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Celebrating six months of outstanding success: Interview with CEO Ivan Kravchuk

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Slot studio Evoplay has gone from strength to strength over the past six months with some fantastic new titles as well as celebrating its debut across MGA markets.

Ready for the World Cup and an exciting few months ahead for the company, we sat down with Evoplay CEO Ivan Kravchuk to talk through their CEE team’s perseverance, as well as overcoming the challenges that have made the studio such a standout brand today.  

Evoplay has performed fantastically so far this year expanding into multiple new markets – despite the challenges faced in Eastern Europe and Ukraine for your team, how have your team persevered?

The beginning of the war wasn’t an easy time for us and our team, but we managed to overcome the difficulties and continue our story as an outstanding provider of some really fantastic games. In order to do that, we really needed to summon a lot of resources in order to quickly adapt our operations to quickly and ensure the safety of our employees.

Our people are what we value the most, and that is why our first measures were focused on relocating employees to a safe place. As part of our contingency plans, we relocated 15% of our staff to our main office in Cyprus, and opened a new office in a safer area part of the country – in Lviv, the west of Ukraine. Accommodation, transfer, and any other support were our main priorities as we wanted to provide our people with a helping hand at this difficult time.

I am very proud to work with such compassionate and courageous people as from the first days of the war, they have participated in many volunteering activities, and I believe we as a country will return from this stronger than ever.

 

Following on from an outstanding year of success in 2021, which saw you awarded with SBC Leader of the Year as well as the launch of Star Guardians, how has Evoplay built on its momentum during the first six months of this year?

Star Guardians was presented to the iGaming industry at the end of 2021, so the first half of 2022 was also focused around entertaining players around the world with the release, with the futuristic title snagging two awards at this year’s CasinoBeats Game Developer Awards. As a revolutionary product, it’s received sos much positive attention not only from players and casino providers but also from our team. I should also mention Star Guardian’s artbook and comic book – which were both released this year – have become an unprecedented offering in the industry, and a fan favourite

Of course, Evoplay never wants to rest on its success, we have an ‘eternal engine’ which keeps pushing us to create something new, investing in innovations that other developers are afraid of. During the half-year period, we launched 12 products, supercharging our titles with Bonus Buy, Jackpot, and other gamified features that challenge the traditional concept of gaming. To illustrate this, our April release Goblin Run is an industry-first crash game that turns gameplay on its head to offer something fresh. We totally deviated from the classic crash-style game scenario, creating a fully-fledged storyline with a protagonist, antagonist, an opportunity to change skins, all played out with a very the impressive range of settings for a 3D game.

2022 has also been marked by entering into new partnerships with outstanding representatives of the iGaming business, while we also received a letter of recognition from the MGA and Italian certification for our 62 titles.

 

Looking to gaming trends – what’s in demand from players right now? What kind of gaming experiences are players looking for now that we’re truly post-pandemic?

More traditional demographics still choose retro-styled slots, while new generations are thirsty for unconventional products and immersive gameplay. At the same time, even retro games fans can find a fresh gaming experience and innovation with retro slots – if they offer something new. That is why we take a new look at classic slots and reconceptualise them with additional features such as multiplayer modes, Bonus Buy, jackpots, etc.

I’m very proud of our team and I believe Evoplay’s uniqueness lies in its ability to deliver excellent, high-quality products for both categories. One of our most commercially successful games is Fruit Super Nova which delivers an old-school ambiance, while Star Guardians offers futuristic take, and both of these are spectacular examples of our diverse product offering. That, I believe is what is key to catering to player demand right now – it’s all about multiple themes that can engage and excite.

 

With the World Cup on the horizon, we no doubt expect Instant Games to again perform strongly with sports fans looking for additional entertainment. How is Evoplay looking to capitalise on this, given your heritage for Instant Games?

We are well-prepared for the World Cup as we already have an exciting package of titles dedicated to football on our teamsheet, all with a host of exciting features available that we’ve created to wow fans! Currently, we’re working on a new sports-themed title, which is set to win the audience of bettors and instant games fans who have always been our focus of interest. Not to give too much away, suffice to say, it will be a game delivering a multiplayer experience and a completely new level of betting excitement. We see it as the next all-time hit in the vertical of sports-themed games and we’re looking forward to seeing what sports fans make of it.

 

Last but not least, one for our readers – with Star Guardians still proving to be a one-of-a-kind hit with players – what’s up next for Evoplay’s next flagship game?

Our current flagship game, Star Guardians, is still among ours and ours players’ favourites, so we keep giving it attention, fleshing out its promotional activities and enhancing the gameplay in real-time with user feedback. It’s a launch that has meant to us, and we’re here to keep evolving the game to entertain players even more.

On to the next big news, I’m sure plenty will be delighted to hear that our team has already started developing a conceptual idea for our next flagship game, and we can’t wait to see the result, so stay tuned! We also have several ambitious games in the pipeline, aimed at targeting a real variety of players. One of our primary goals is to extend our audience reach with sports bettors and Esports fans, as we know exactly what kind of exciting fast-action gameplay they’re looking for, being players ourselves. Our job is now to create that for the gaming world!

 

Eastern Europe

7777 gaming is now available on WINBET Romania

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7777 gaming is now available on WINBET Romania
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7777 gaming is excited to announce the launch of its 100+ certified games on WINBET Romania, a leading online operator known for its top-tier sports betting and casino entertainment. 7777 gaming’s most sought-after games are now available to WINBET players in Romania.

With over 20 years of international experience, WINBET has quickly become one of the most successful chains of gaming clubs in Eastern and Central Europe. Present in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Georgia, Belarus, and Tanzania, WINBET has been a significant player in the Romanian gaming industry since 2007, initially through gaming halls and later expanding with sports betting agencies and the online platform WINBET.ro (Casino and Betting).

7777 gaming’s extensive portfolio, which is now available to WINBET Romania’s players, includes popular titles such as Crazy 100 Bucks, Club Mr. Luck, Zeus Quest, Cash 100, and many more. This partnership is set to enhance the gaming experience for Romanian players, offering a diverse range of innovative and engaging game options.

Asya Raykova, Partnership Manager at 7777 gaming, commented: “Romania is a key market for us, and we are excited to bring our top-performing, certified games to WINBET’s extensive player base. This collaboration underscores our commitment to providing high-quality gaming experiences and reinforces our position as a leading casino content provider in the iGaming industry.”

Nita Cristian, Head of Casino at WINBET added: “With our dedicated team working tirelessly to create a welcoming environment that fulfills our customers’ need for entertainment, we aim to incorporate the most modern and in-demand gaming providers in the market, such as 7777 gaming. We eagerly anticipate our players’ feedback on the new game titles by 7777 gaming added to our website.”

Adding another strong partner in Romania to its business network strengthens the position of 7777 gaming as a leading B2B casino content provider on the market.

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Eastern Europe

OKTO expands digital payment footprint in Romania through Integration with Cyber Team Solutions

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OKTO expands digital payment footprint in Romania through Integration with Cyber Team Solutions
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OKTO, the only payment provider offering omnichannel digital payments across both online and retail sectors, is excited to announce its collaboration with CyberTeam Solutions, a leading Romanian company specializing in integrated solutions for the gambling and casino industry. This partnership will expand digital payment solutions across CyberTeam connected venues, enabling instant deposits and withdrawals with OKTO’s cutting-edge payment services.

This strategic integration introduces in Romania OKTO.DIRECT, the ultimate retail payment gateway, offering consumers hassle-free deposits and withdrawals with multiple payment methods, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Visa and Mastercard as well as Instant Bank Transfer. Alongside OKTO.DIRECT, the integration also incorporates OKTO.WALLET, the advanced e-wallet of OKTO available for both retail and online use, providing an unparalleled omnichannel experience for users.

Vlad Evghenie, Country Manager Romania at OKTO, shared his enthusiasm for the collaboration: “At OKTO, we’re all about delivering next-level payments. We’re glad for our collaboration with CyberTeam Solutions and we’re fully aligned, giving users and operators alike the omnichannel, smooth, instant experience they crave for pay-ins and outs. This partnership is about raising the bar for gaming experiences across the board, and payments as the last mile of the experience is the most crucial.”

Echoing this sentiment, Cosmin Murzea, CEO of CyberTeam Solutions commented, “We’re excited to kick off this partnership with OKTO. By integrating their advanced payment technology with Cyber Platform, our player-centric gaming management system, we’re enhancing the gaming experience with seamless, advanced, and secure transactions that prioritize player experience, safety, and security.”

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Eastern Europe

SBC Summit Tbilisi 2024: Uniting Key Stakeholders for Vital Regional Insights

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SBC Summit Tbilisi 2024: Uniting Key Stakeholders for Vital Regional Insights
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1,500 industry professionals will gather in Tbilisi, Georgia next week for the second edition of SBC Summit Tbilisi. Organised in partnership with Georgia-based company, Sports Media Holdings (SMH), and supported by presenting partners EGT Digital and Amusnet Georgia, the event promises delegates unmatched opportunities to discover the latest industry innovations, expand their industry network and enrich their educational horizons.

The event’s focus on pivotal Eastern Europe and Central Asia markets, including Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Bulgaria, and Romania, along with emerging markets like Uzbekistan will provide delegates with a comprehensive exploration of these vital regions, guided by insights from esteemed local experts.

Set to take place between the 25th – 26th of June at the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace, the specialised summit will unify key stakeholders from leading regional and global operators, suppliers, affiliates, game developers, media organisations as well as specialists in marketing, CRM, SEO, payments and more.

Former Manchester City COO, and founder of EQ Esports & Gaming, Chris Bird, will kick off the event by delivering a keynote titled ‘Influencers, Content and Esports… You Bet! Unleashing the Power of Dynamic Strategies in the Esports Ecosystem.’ Bird will share effective strategies for leveraging influencers to drive the growth of esports and produce engaging content.

The conference agenda will serve as a pivotal educational platform for delegates seeking to expand their knowledge of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia regions. Attendees can expect to glean vital knowledge from over 60 distinguished experts across two dedicated conference tracks. Discussions will encompass topics ranging from navigating the region’s complex regulatory and compliance restrictions to the impact of Euro 2024 on sports betting.

Additionally, the conference will spotlight the burgeoning iGaming sector within the region. Delegates will gain key insights into the iGaming landscapes of markets such as Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Georgia, and Slovenia. The agenda also includes discussions on cross-market strategies for iGaming operators, emerging market opportunities, and iGaming socioeconomic impact on local communities.

The exhibition floor will feature 30 global and regional brands presenting the latest industry-defining technologies, innovative services, products, and new game releases. Notable brands featured on the show floor include Amusnet, Aviatrix, BetConstruct, Betlive, CreedRoomz, Crocobet, Digitain, EGT Digital, Setanta Sports, VBET, Winfinity and many more.

Concluding the first core day of the event will be an exclusive Poker Tournament, sponsored by Betlive and EvenBet Gaming. Set to be held at the ATI Rooftop Restaurant at the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace, the tournament offers delegates the perfect opportunity to sharpen their poker skills, network with industry peers, and enjoy complimentary drinks.

In the evenings, attendees can look forward to building meaningful business relationships in scenic, lavish venues across several dedicated networking events. The first core day will conclude with the ‘Official Opening Party’ sponsored by Setanta Sports at Stamba Hotel. On the second day, an exclusive VIP dinner for C-level executives will be held at the Republic Restaurant, followed by the ‘Closing Party’ at the Republic Event Hall.

Rasmus Sojmark, CEO & Founder of SBC, said: “The inaugural SBC Summit Tbilisi was a tremendous success. This year’s event has built on that foundation to deliver even more. We’ve expanded networking opportunities, enriched educational experiences, and secured some incredible speakers.

“This year, we really focused on providing a comprehensive exploration of key regional markets, ensuring attendees are well-equipped to thrive in their business endeavours in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.”

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