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!
BETER Live partners with FAVBET in major boost to operator’s live casino offering
BETER Live’s suite of premium games now available at popular Eastern European brand
BETER Live, the live casino division of the betting content and data provider BETER, has joined forces with the popular online sportsbook and casino brand, FAVBET.
From now on, BETER Live will provide FAVBET with a portfolio of authentic and interactive live casino titles in markets across Eastern Europe. This includes more than 20+ games and variations covering Roulette, Blackjack, Gravity Blackjack, Gravity Roulette and Ukrainian Roulette.
Game presenters have been trained to the highest possible standards and also know how to provide an engaging player experience, chatting with players throughout their time at the table.
FAVBET recently launched a UA Roulette table, powered by BETER Live, which has been tailored to meet the specific preferences of Ukrainian players. The new localized game has already found a response among players, showing a near 40% higher conversion rate and 4x more organic traffic compared to the provider’s regular roulette.
BETER Live has emerged as a must-have live casino provider for operators looking to not only meet but exceed player expectations. Therefore, even though the partnership between BETER Live and Favbet Live started not so long time ago, they are already preparing to launch something that will strengthen their collaboration in the long run.
Anna Vikmane, Director of BETER Live, said: “We are delighted to share the news of another successful partnership between BETER Live and a leading operator, FAVBET. It is one of the most recognised brands in the Ukrainian market and one that players trust.
Localisation is key to FAVBET’s success, and we have been able to work with the operator to ensure our content delivers a localised player experience. Shortly after we launched our first games and FAVBET could see they were a big hit with its customers, we rolled out Ukrainian Roulette – the operator’s first step towards a dedicated offering for the market“.
“BETER Live is successfully blazing a trail in the live casino space and we are excited to have added its games to our portfolio, allowing us to provide a fully localised experience to our players and to stand out from our rivals. BETER Live has earned a reputation for delivering quality and its live casino titles really are second to none.
We now look forward to working closely with BETER Live to continue to enhance our live casino offering and have many exciting products and updates in the pipeline”, – commented FAVBET.
Romania Q&A w/ Danielle Calafato, CCO at Gaming Corps
Can you give us an overview of your operations in Romania and how significant a market this is for you?
We’re now live in Romania with six customers so far, and there’s more in the pipeline. Romania has been a significant market for us due to the demographic of its players, who love non-traditional content.
In the early days it was a driving force for one of our key customers, which then helped us secure more agreements with casinos in the Romanian market. We’re now looking for further growth there by onboarding more casinos and developing more slots which will have themes that will resonate well with players in this market.
However, we won’t stop continuing to develop and being creative in the non-traditional space.
How would you assess the performance of your games in Romania so far? How have you tried to achieve cut-through in the Romanian market?
Mines content has done really well, leading to some branded content being released in that market. Slot content is also on the up, but we expect to achieve even better performances out of upcoming themes such as Super Hot Stacks, which are themes and game mechanics that will suit Romanian players.
One client has streamed a number of our games such as Plinko, which we believe to be the first game of its type in the Romanian market. We’ll ensure we continue developing in the non-traditional space for markets like Romania.
As a new presence in the industry with limited games, Romania has definitely been more significant for us than other markets, but there’s still lots of room for growth.
There was even a TV advertisement broadcast via one client, when our Mines content went live.
How do your games appeal to players in Romania specifically? Have you tailored your games for this market in any way?
Mines content has performed well, and we have had a couple of slot titles which have done ok.
We haven’t created market-specific content as we aren’t large-scale enough to do that yet. However, we are making sure we create new content that has themes that historically have resonated well with players in Romania. As mentioned earlier, we also believe our Plinko product was the first in this market, so we are innovating in the non-traditional space for sure.
How do you see the Romanian gaming market developing in the coming years?
For many years, Romania has been a market with a very traditional taste in games that has crossed over from land-based operations, hence the dominance of EGT, for example.
But what we have seen over the last few years is that more modern visuals and alternative game types have been slowly taking more and more market share. I believe that with the next generation of players not being as familiar with land-based products, we will see an even greater shift to our style of product.
Going forward, what are your main aims for the Romanian market?
We have had real success with our arcade games to date and our very close partnerships with key players in the market have seen the majority of the remaining operators want to work with us.
This has put us in a position where we now have distribution to most online players. As the quality of our slot content continues to improve, we really want to see this start to resonate and build a brand identity with the Romanian slot players, in the same way we have done with arcade games.
How important a role will the Romanian market play in Gaming Corps’ overall operations?
It is a very highly-regarded market and a lot of operators consider the bigger Romanian operators to be very valuable.
Seeing our content being pushed, while further developing close relationships with Romanian operators, will only drive our overall performance and should significantly increase the desire for our games across this part of Europe.
Incode Technologies and MaxBet Transform Player Onboarding with AI Identity Verification
Incode, the global leader in next-generation identity solutions, today announced a game-changing partnership with MaxBet, a premier gambling operator with a strong presence in Eastern Europe.
This strategic alliance integrates Incode’s AI-powered onboarding technology into MaxBet’s multi-platform offerings, including both physical and online gambling services accessible via web browsers or MaxBet’s native app. Incode’s state-of-the-art, AI-powered Passive Liveness Detection technology offers a frictionless user experience by verifying in mere seconds that a real person is interacting with the platform, all without requiring any additional actions or movements from the user. This industry-first innovation helps eliminate identity fraud and age verification concerns, while boosting customer satisfaction.
Further enhancing user trust, the system swiftly and accurately verifies over 4,600 different types of documents, a feat achieved in just a few more seconds. This extensive coverage and speed not only facilitates user base growth but also significantly improves security around age verification, KYC, and fraud prevention.
By utilising cutting-edge machine learning, the system can identify even subtle indicators of document forgery, surpassing the capabilities of human scrutiny.
These advancements further MaxBet’s ongoing efforts to streamline operational efficiency and customer onboarding, while meeting Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance standards. The integration will expedite the customer onboarding process, widen document coverage, and improve the overall user experience, which is expected to positively impact conversion rates.
In a move that sets new industry standards, MaxBet becomes the first gambling operator in Eastern Europe to leverage Incode’s state-of-the-art onboarding solutions, which are designed to streamline the often laborious manual review process for IDs. This will allow MaxBet to optimise operational efficiency and reallocate valuable resources.
“Working with one of Eastern Europe’s leading operators is a proud moment for the business. Incode’s biometric, Integrated Identity platform allows MaxBet to manage user identity journeys from onboarding and verification to orchestration and analytics all within a single platform.”, stated Ricardo Amper, CEO and Founder of Incode Technologies. “MaxBet will revolutionise its customer experience, document coverage, and conversion rates with industry-first passive liveness detection.”
Ninoslav Lazarević, Online Director at MaxBet, echoed the sentiment: “The integration of Incode’s transformative technology significantly raises the bar for identity verification processes within the gambling industry, not just in Serbia but throughout the Balkans.”
By coupling Incode’s unparalleled identity verification technology with MaxBet’s extensive market reach, this partnership creates a significant impact, setting a new precedent for identity verification in the region’s gaming sector.
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