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Yann Bautista: Peter & Sons is on its own path of slot creativity



Yann Bautista: Peter & Sons is on its own path of slot creativity
Reading Time: 5 minutes


What’s the back story to Peter & Sons? Who is behind the studio and where did the name come from?

The Peter & Sons story begins in 2019 when six people with tons of experience in mobile casino and game development came together to launch a studio with a difference. A few of us had previously worked together in a similar venture part of a major online casino operator. We knew we had what it took to create thrilling games that would stand out in game lobbies, and we knew that we worked well together. With that, Peter & Sons was born. As for the name, we wanted something that would inspire tradition, a label that conjured the image of a century-old family business transitioning from retail slot machines to online casino games.


How have you developed your company, its culture and indeed the Peter & Sons brand?

From the get-go, we identified five pillars that each project, hire and decision would be based on. The first is creativity to the core – creativity is not just what we do, it’s how we do it. This means trying new things, pushing boundaries for players and ensuring that our games keep moving the industry forward. The second pillar is anti-boring. Life is too short to be just another games company doing more of the same. We are here to walk our own path, stand out from the crowd and leave our mark. The third pillar is to sweat the small stuff. We leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of perfection. We are laser-focused on the details that make a difference to players and our partners. Pillar four is easy does it. We are super easy to work with and always get the job done. Our games are easy to spot in the lobby, easy to play and easy to enjoy. The last pillar is player-obsessed. We are committed to improving the player experience of our games because we want to be their first choice each time they enter the casino game lobby.


You operate in a highly competitive market so how do you ensure your games stand out?

As veterans of this remarkable industry, we are aware of and appreciate the competitive landscape we operate in. In addition to our pillars, we also took the decision that wherever as a studio we can control and affect, we will do it in the most positive way. From game production, to commercial engagement, to support – we try to go the extra mile in all touch points with our partners in order to increase the value of our services and consequently the performance of the partners.


Is there a Peter & Sons hallmark that players can instantly recognise when experiencing one of your games?

We have come to learn that both players and operators can instantly spot a Peter & Sons game due to our unique style. Our logo really stands out, too, and sticks in players’ minds. We actually use our logo in some pretty cool ways and try to implement it in each title, sort of like an easter egg in a movie. The Peter & Sons goat can be found in each title, whether that’s on the loading screen, as an in-game character, on symbols or even on win coins. Some call it subliminal messaging, we call it savvy marketing.

It also helps that we have a very successful title  in our portfolio. Barbarossa has become something of a flagship title and attracts a lot of attention from players and the wider industry. Unlike the usual churn curve of a slot, Barbarossa is showing elements of being a hit with a stable cohort of players that keep returning month in month out. We are working on a follow-up, Barbarossa 2, that will take the player experience to the next level and with even more big win potential.


How are you differentiating through game mechanics? Is this the most important area for a studio to differentiate?

For us, the magic is found in combining existing mechanics with new concepts and visuals to create a new player experience. For example, on our next run of games, we will be including special features around blocks – gameplay we initially introduced in Frozen Age – and more advanced mechanics around multipliers, as we did in Peter Hunter. We also have some classic slots in the works with consolidated mechanics including our twist on the fishing format. Mechanics are important, but if you look at the top-grossing games from the leading providers, they are mostly adaptations of existing mechanics.


How do you ensure your games appeal to a broad player audience?

We are all passionate about slot games and while our tastes differ, we know what matters most to players. This guides our mission as a studio, which is as simple as it is clear. And that is to curate a diverse portfolio that caters to the unique preferences of different players across different markets. We are unwavering in our dedication to achieving excellence in every aspect of game production. We don’t settle for the ordinary and instead meticulously study existing games in search of areas of improvement while drawing inspiration from our favourites. Reskins are a no-go for us. We take a quality-over-quantity approach and take great pride in delivering distinct experiences with each game we create.

This means we are always innovating to craft games that are not only fresh and captivating, but that are also infused with smart features. More than just mechanics, our emphasis is on seamlessly integrating these features into thematic elements within the game. The graphical presentation of these mechanical features is carefully curated to elevate the overall game experience, taking players on an amazing adventure with each spin of the reels.


Can you tell us more about SkillOnNet’s investment in Peter & Sons? How did this come about and how is it benefiting both parties?

Peter & Sons has basically become the content arm of SkillOnNet, which frankly brings some incredible perks for a relatively young studio. The first major upside is that we enjoy the resources that a tier one group such as SkillOnNet has at its disposal. This covers everything from accounting to legal and compliance. This support allows us to focus on what we do best, and that is producing brilliant games.

More importantly, we can leverage the dozens of local licences that SkillOnNet holds to deploy our content in regulated markets across the globe. At this point in our journey, this is a position we never expected to be in. Young studios struggle to obtain one or two licences in the early days, but we are already in a position to distribute in some of the biggest global markets including the UK, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Ontario, Italy, Portugal, Germany and Greece, not to mention those that are in the pipeline including New Jersey, Peru, Brazil and more. This allows us to cater to tier-one operators via a single integration into multiple markets.


2023 was a big year for you. Can you share one or two major highlights?

The year started with the SkillOnNet investment and ended with Peter & Sons move on to the next chapter of its success story. This progression saw us move from distributing only via the Yggdrasil Master Program and the Relax Silver Bullet to getting our own platform and RGS. This in turn allows us to create brilliant partnerships and integrations with some of the best aggregators and operators in the space including Relax, Hub88, IGT and Playtech. We have also launched a new website, grown the team and secured certifications and licences. This has put an incredibly solid foundation in place for 2024 and beyond.

How will you carry the momentum you have built over the coming 12 months?

Last year we were focused on building the foundation on which we can grow and not only achieve but exceed our goals. We are now expanding our commercial team significantly. Using the licences and certifications we hold, we expect to grow our independent distribution in all major markets with all tier-one operators in each. We have already built huge momentum behind our games and, as a studio, we are well known. This is a very fortunate position to be in but one we intend to take full advantage of.


Paving the Way for Regulated iGaming market: Will India See the Rise?



Paving the Way for Regulated iGaming market: Will India See the Rise?
Reading Time: 4 minutes


By Dr Aruna Sharma, Practitioner Development Economist & Retd Secretary GoI


Could you provide insights into the current market potential for iGaming in India, and what key challenges do you anticipate the industry facing in the near future?

The popularity of online gaming as a form of entertainment in India has surged with the widespread availability of inexpensive smartphones and affordable internet access. Global investors, developers, and other industry stakeholders are keenly watching the growth story of the Indian online gaming industry which has witnessed a 28% CAGR between FY20-23 and holds a market valuation of ₹16,428 crores.

However, instead of direct contribution in the economic growth story of India the online gaming industry is contributing in terms of increasing revenue (direct and indirect tax) collection (year-on-year). Additionally, the sector has attracted budding tech developers and entrepreneurs by providing them employment opportunities and fueling innovation to keep up with the rising demand for AI and other such immersive gaming experiences.

After some crucial and elucidative changes in the regulatory and taxation policies by the government in 2023, one can hope that 2024 for iGaming will thin the clouds that are shadowing accelerated growth of iGaming in India. 2024 holds promise for iGaming in India. While full regulation may take time, positive court ruling and increased focus on non-RMG segments could cause a casual gaming boom, potentially unlocking a multi-billion dollar market. However, regulatory uncertainty and potentially high tax rates remain a hurdle for attracting investments and interest of other stakeholders in this growing market and industry.


What are the main challenges facing Indian iGaming and how different are these challenges within the different regions of India?

  • The government is focusing on reducing threats like false information, mental health problems, money laundering, and financial losses for users by bringing rules and regulations such as the IT Rules, establishing SROs and SRBs.
  • Adequate regulation, that is conducive to doing business, is needed, first of all, to protect the Indian players. Because in the current situation, Indians are being abused by countless nefarious parties. Checking and curbing the illegal gaming platforms and enhancing mechanisms to ensure increased user awareness and behaviour while indulging in online gaming.
  • A pressing concern that requires governments urgent attention is to put in place parameters that differentiate between games of skill and chance for taxation.
  • As a fallout of high and retrospective taxation the industry is facing job losses, advertising and spending cuts and reduced investments in research and innovations.

Additionally, policy and regulatory compliance for the platforms have become increasingly complex with both center and state governments legislating on the same subjects and multiple ministries regulating the industry.


Delve into the necessity for a regulatory framework that is both balanced and adaptable.

Unregulated framework where user base is large leads to spread of iGaming in gray market with all its vices. By regulating the iGaming industry, the government can unlock other positive outcomes, such as increased tax revenues, economic growth via attracting more foreign investment, job creation, and better consumer protection. A thorough regulatory framework will enable transparent parameters to distinguish and license the game of skill accordingly and rest will fall under game of chance.

Regulations always bring in transparency and ensure there is no misleading advertising or non-payment of legal taxes. Additionally, regulations such as the IT Amendment Rules, 2023 have ascertained a robust grievance redressal mechanism by setting up of the SRBs and SROs.

Further a balanced and stable regulatory framework could provide assurance and confidence to the international iGaming companies in paying taxes while doing business in a regulated and transparent market, create jobs, and invest in the country and its people. Thus, comprehensive regulations, that are conducive to doing business and protect the Indian players, who are being abused by countless nefarious parties are necessary in the current iGaming landscape.

Consequently, foreign iGaming companies operating legally have consistently demanded that the Indian government establish an adequate and stable regulation and taxation regime. Instead, the government has consistently chosen to unwisely prohibit it, thus pushing this whole industry underground. Furthermore, iGaming companies face unfair persecution and baseless lawsuits from India.


The new 28% GST on online gaming has produced divided opinions about the industry’s future in India. How has the industry reacted to it?

Industry initially panicked at the 28% tax, fearing slow growth and reduced investments. The partial relief, clarification on the regulatory compliances have brought cautious optimism. Smaller firms remain anxious, fearing the high rate still discourages players and favors larger businesses. Long-term impact depends on pending Supreme Court judgment on game classification and potential tweaks to the tax structure.

The applicability of a flat 28% tax on the total value of bets placed in online gaming, irrespective of whether they are games of skill or chance has upset the applecart that was moving smoothly with the evolution of agreed principles among SROs and the oversight by SRB with clear distinction of the regulatory body between Games of Skill (permissible games) with that of Games of Chance.

The matter is now being reviewed by a Group of Ministers (GoMs) comprising of officials from ministries such as the Home, Finance, MeitY, etc. to reconsider the GST and how to counter episodes of money laundering and other such scams and frauds.


Finally, what can we expect from Indian iGaming as a whole this year, if you were to sum it up in three key points?

It is expected that 2024 will set pace by bringing in clarity in rule making, consistency of rules, inculcating a more stable policy environment that enables India to not miss the bus of becoming a hub for developers. The iGaming industry is expected to tighten its grip for filling the digital divide, enabling learning of cognitive skills and enhance conscious citizen messaging to further tap into the positive side of iGaming.

Additionally, iGaming industry should leverage technologies like blockchain to further the purpose of transparency and tracking of digital payment as a technical solution and for permanent storage of records to curb money laundering. Alongside formulation of regulatory policies, a stricter implementation of policies such as IT Rules (establishing SRBs), mandatory KYC, and compliance with Advertisement Standard Council in India (ASCI) norms for iGaming industry need to be inculcated in ensuring safe and secure gaming platforms.

The future of the gaming industry holds promise of growth, however, there is still a hazard that due to absent market regulation and destructive policies, international iGaming companies shun India, sending an unwelcoming signal to many other potential foreign investors.

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Software is complex and success hard to achieve, Q&A w/ Max Francis Founder of Black Cow Technology



Software is complex and success hard to achieve, Q&A w/ Max Francis Founder of Black Cow Technology
Reading Time: 5 minutes


Online gambling operators continually engage with different software projects but the rate of failure remains incredibly high. This is usually due to time pressures placed on the project. To learn more about software development, and some of the pitfalls operators need to be aware of, we spoke to Max Francis, founder of Black Cow Technology and 25 year veteran of software development. Max also talks about Agile and Rapid Application Development, and how by adopting these approaches, and working with a specialist software developer, operators can hugely increase the chances of success of any software project.


What are some of the main challenges operators and suppliers face when it comes to software development?

Software development is about solving a problem and the very nature of this means that we don’t know how long it will take. This is one of the biggest challenges operators and suppliers face when it comes to software projects. They struggle to understand that software development is a creative process and that we are trying to solve a problem we haven’t tackled before and we simply don’t know how long it will take to do this. This doesn’t reconcile with the date-based mentality of most organisations when it comes to deadlines and completion. This often sees projects rushed and hurried to meet an arbitrary deadline and this usually results in the project falling short of the mark or failing completely. It’s much less painful for all involved if there is a universal, upfront understanding that we can never know how long a software project will actually take.


What do companies need to consider if they are to complete software projects successfully – on time, on budget and in a way that effectively solves the issue?

Operators and suppliers need to make business commitments of their own and they need to be able to rely on the software provider they are working with on the project. To be able to do that, both sides need to accept the project is going to vary and evolve over time, and that they will have to trade off three crucial dimensions if it is to be delivered successfully:  features, quality and timescales. It is impossible to secure all three and at least one will have to give. So, if a project needs to go live by a certain date, that might be fine, but functionality can’t be fixed for that date. If the project needs certain functionality, then you can’t set timescales. If certain functionality is absolutely required by a certain date then the quality will have to give. Most projects try for all three – features, timescales and quality; and this is why they fail.


It seems that being realistic about what can be achieved is key.

It is indeed. When it comes to it, a software development project ends up in one of three places. Good with all the features but not quick; good and quick but not with all the features; or all the features and quick, but not good. The latter approach, perhaps surprisingly, can be useful for prototyping and proof-of-concept projects but care must be taken when developing without quality. All too often, trial projects end up seeping into mainstream production and people wonder why the quality is so poor. In my experience, it’s much better to be realistic about what can actually be achieved rather than trying to run a project with blindly perceived “needs” that just can’t be met. This doesn’t mean scaling back ambitions, it just means understanding the compromises. That said, to be able to predict what can be done, we need to understand and deliver small useful chunks of what we know rather than failing to deliver based on what we want. It’s always best to be realistic, and Agile and Rapid Application Development principles help us to do this.


Can you tell us more about Agile and Rapid Application Development principles?

At Black Cow we have the mantra “something useful to someone, sooner”. It’s essentially about partnership-oriented iterative delivery. Satya Nadella of Microsoft put it quite nicely: “set and repeatedly meet short-term goals”. The central idea of any Agile development practice is that we don’t know what we’re going to eventually need, so expect change and collaborate to deliver for the biggest difference to the business now. Think vertical slices rather than layers: do some of it fully rather than lots of it partially. Everything flows much more easily in our projects once our partners understand that it’s ultimately about delivering to their imminent business need. For me, the most important aspect is the partnership – all parties are delivering this project. We’re not trying to ruin your day by telling you that it can’t all be done; we’re trying to help you plan! Choose the compromises before they choose themselves.


Can you give a few real-world examples of what these approaches look like?

So, it’s good to have a plan but make every effort to base your plans on what can actually be achieved now rather than what you ultimately want to achieve. Then you need to recognise that plans always change. It’s important to tackle small enough chunks to allow yourself a better chance of success by predictably delivering, then delivering to the imminent business need. And be sensible about what that need is. To determine this, look to solve today’s problems and not the problems you might have tomorrow (unless that is in itself today’s problem). Recognise that there will always be compromises.

Think progress and not perfection. Success comes from delivering as consistently as both sides can manage and seeking to optimise at all times. Adjust the process based on the progress you are making. Don’t believe anyone who tells you they will deliver on time – they are only saying this and can’t guarantee it. This includes the customer providing material to the software developer such as specifications and responses – this is also a form of delivery.

Finally, always treat timescale requirements with suspicion. You must ask if time really is of the essence or whether it is just a desire to get something done as quickly as possible. A real deadline means the project fails completely if it’s missed. This is usually not the case.


What do operators and suppliers need to look for in a software development partner? And what should the working relationship between both parties look like?

Working effectively and with the right software provider is mission-critical. The supplier and the customer need to deliver, support and commit to each other. There are no sides here, this is a partnership of equals. It’s a relationship that works best when the customer keeps the supplier focused on the requirements and the supplier keeps the customer focused on what’s technically possible. In this way both parties converge on a solution and are equally committed to the shared goal. “I’m the customer and this is what I want” doesn’t get software delivered. A more intelligent approach is needed.

Software projects are highly complex interactions between several parties with requirements that change on the fly. Projects also continue well after delivery – it’s never about providing a fixed bunch of requirements as a package and then you’re done. That’s why we ensure we take the customer on the journey with us, acting as a true partnership. This is why non-software businesses should engage good software experts for their software projects, allowing both sides to get on with what they do best and allowing the project to succeed.

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How has 3 Oaks Gaming’s Flip to Win promotional tool set the market alight



How has 3 Oaks Gaming’s Flip to Win promotional tool set the market alight
Reading Time: 2 minutes


In 2023, 3 Oaks Gaming enjoyed a breakthrough year, with its powerful portfolio of slots and promotional tools resonating with players worldwide. With 2024 still in its infancy, 3 Oaks’ Flip to Win tool has proven to be one of its most successful released, with impressive stats showcased across a number of facets. We caught up with 3 Oaks Gaming’s Promo Marketing Lead, Maria Osyka, about how the tool has put the distributor on the map.


Promotional tools still have a hugely important place within the market. Much like a new slot game, a successful promo tool needs to be unique and stand out in a saturated environment. Numerous tools will keep being churned out with no outstanding differentiator, and this is what makes Flip to Win so distinctive – an emblem of how a tool can entice players by keeping it relevant and fast-paced.

How Flip to Win works

Flip to Win is a proprietary in-game bonus engine, guaranteeing randomly generated prizes to reward players throughout a gaming session.

A trio of cycles takes players on a rapid adventure, returning to the main game after the initial flip, repeating the sequence twice more, with the ability to enhance player retention and acquisition. This provides the ultimate gaming experience. Since being introduced to the market, the tool itself has gone from strength to strength, enjoying spectacular results since launch.

Positive results across multiple indicators

Within two hours of the campaign going live, the Average Bets and Average Rounds indicators of the promo winners showed an increase of 127% and 143% respectively.

When we compare a player’s session to the following week,   with the same number of hours by the Average Rounds indicator, we can conclude that participation in the Flip to Win campaign has a positive effect on the length of the spin session, exhibiting a 45% increase.

With the Flip to Win tool to the fore, the average session duration indicator shows that the length of time participants play for is extended by approximately 25%, ensuring that retention dramatically increases.

Thanks to these results, the effect of the Flip to Win promo tool has reached its goal in terms of retention, extension of sessions, and bets placed.

It has shown that it primarily affects important KPI indicators as short, three-hour campaigns can influence these parameters, which means a win-win situation for both the operator and us at 3 Oaks Gaming.

The quality and unique nature of promotional tools has never been more important!

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