We usually start with an introductory question. Tell us about yourself. How have you become a blockchain entrepreneur?
I’m Colin, Co-Founder and COO of Cartesi. I am a previous venture capitalist and start-up founder with a passion to make blockchain a reality. I have an expertise in execution and years of experience in community building and business operations across the globe.
I originally got into blockchain while working for my previous venture capital firm, SOSV. We were actively investing in companies in a wide variety of verticals that were always trying to push the boundaries of technology. Some of these companies had discovered blockchain technology early on and were integrating into their existing products, or starting exchanges (such as Bitmex). I got to learn about blockchain through assisting our portfolio companies and fell in love with the technology and the possibilities it brang. From here, I eventually met my current business partners and Cartesi was born.
What is the story of Cartesi? What is special about Cartesi in the blockchain universe?
The Cartesi founding team initially got into blockchain as a result of Augusto Teixeira (our Chief Scientific Officer) being friends with Serguei Popov (Founder of IOTA and inventor of the Tangle).
Serguei Popov, one of our Advisors, initiated Augusto into the crypto scene through the Bitcoin whitepaper and sparked his interest in the technology, knowing that Augusto is a leading expert in cryptography and game theory.
Augusto had the original idea of creating a trustless marketplace for data scientists. Basically, it would allow specialists and companies to engage in a service agreement without the need to know each other or a reputation system. In order to implement that, he invited Diego Nehab (our CTO) to design and implement a reproducible VM capable of running Linux. With this architecture and the protocols Augusto had envisioned, we would be able to make generic computation verifiable by the blockchain. More specifically, the blockchain would be able to initiate routines in the emulator to verify the results sent by the specialists after they completed their jobs. The system would protect the two parties involved, only releasing the funds if the results were proven to be correct.
Later on, after engaging in long discussions, we realized we were tapping into a broader scope. Before Cartesi even had that name, we understood we could actually create a versatile layer-2 Linux infrastructure to overcome the problems of scalability of computation and infrastructure for blockchain applications.
Cartesi is special in the blockchain universe in the sense that it allows decentralized applications to be run within a Linux environment in a way that’s verifiable by the blockchain. Complex processing can be executed off-chain free from blockchains’ computational limits and corresponding fees.
By offering a Linux runtime environment, Cartesi is the only software-based verifiable off-chain compute system that gives developers a vast array of software that evolved in the last 30 years and that enable the applications we use on the Internet today.
You have talked about the twin major objectives of Cartesi in other interviews as well: increasing network efficiency and reducing programming difficult over blockchain? Could you share details about real life projects that actually achieved the objectives?
For sure! No software application is built in isolation. Mainstream mobile/desktop/web Applications today depend on multiple software dependencies that took decades to mature on operating systems like Linux. Cartesi brings all this software infrastructure to blockchain applications. Whereas without Cartesi, blockchain applications cannot use mainstream software, libraries and services, unless they sacrifice decentralization in some way.
Then, there’s the second problem. Besides being hampered by insufficient software infrastructure, decentralized applications also suffer tight on-chain processing limits. So, they can hardly offer a compelling alternative to mainstream centralized applications. They are often hard to build, being clunky and limited for developers and DApp users.
Cartesi solves these three problems by
1) offering developers the software and tools supported by a full Linux OS
2) moving off-chain all the heavy computation over large amounts of data, that blockchains cannot do
3) offering services and a token economy that allows users to securely rely on the network and remain free from inconveniences of blockchain tech (e.g. slow confirmation times, requirement to remain online to resolve disputes, and others).
We have only just recently open-sourced and launched our decentralized tournament infrastructure with Cartesi. With this, we have recently released our first DApp, Creepts – a tournament on a tower defense game. This game showcases a fully decentralized game that was developed using conventional software stocks on Linux and also requiring billions of microprocessor instructions (and thus impossible to run on-chain): https://creepts.cartesi.io
The most significant product from Cartesi for the gaming industry must be Creepts, the blockchain-based game. Tell us more about it.
Creepts is the world’s first fully decentralized tower defense tournament game built with and running on Linux. It is built on top of Cartesi’s Layer-2 Linux solution for blockchains, which is available as an open-source software stack that is under active development.
Currently, Creepts is playable on the Rinkeby Ethereum testnet. In Creepts, players compete against each other to see who can claim the highest score in a fully-featured, real-time, browser-based Tower Defense game map. Players join a tournament by committing their high-scores and game moves to the blockchain, at a negligible cost. The game’s smart contracts then decide who the winner of the tournament is.
In order to play Creepts, players will currently have to go through a rigorous setup experience, downloading docker, setting up Infura, and installing the Cartesi Node. To simplify this in the future, we are now working on a read-write version of Creepts, which will present users with a similar experience to running a normal app without having to deal with any idiosyncracies of blockchain technology.
Is Creepts publically available now? If not, when can we expect to have its public release?
Yes! Creepts is publicly available now on the Creepts website: https://creepts.cartesi.io. We are currently offering both a read-only version which is playable immediately (although centralized) as well as instructions on how to setup the fully decentralize version on Ethereum’s Rinkeby testnet.
What are the values and features that do you think Creepts add to the existing crowded world of games?
Cartesi frees blockchain Layer 2 development from restrictive programming environments. The Creepts game logic that determines player’s scores is implemented in Typescript and runs over a Linux OS. The blockchain components of Cartesi do not care what the software used to write the Creepts DApp is. All it cares about is that Creepts can run inside of the Cartesi RISC-V machine emulator to produce verifiable and disputable game logs and player scores to the tournament contracts.
Cartesi also allows Creepts to be the first blockchain-based multiplayer game that is able to mathematically prevent one of the most impacting cheating vectors in decentralized and competitive virtual worlds from being exploited, which is the injection of arbitrary content into the persisted game state. Creepts can do so while accepting arbitrary off-chain (Layer 2) game logic, written for a Linux OS, incurring massively reduced computational costs for the Layer 1 components of the DApp.
What are the things do you think blockchain technology can bring changes to (let’s say ‘revolutionize’) the gaming and gambling industry?
Blockchain technology brings a lot of advantages and fixes a lot of problems we face in games and development today, largely due to having to trust people. Blockchain can make games self-hosting, so if players love it and are there to pay the transactions, it will never go away or be changed unless mutually agreed upon.
Full decentralization will also make game systems transparent and traceable, with provably fair game-play. This can potentially allow for much higher stakes and bids in tournaments, gambling, or games involving money.
Another big factor is in-game asset ownership. This is something that has already evolved and is quite popular. Blockchain brings the potential for players to truly own their in-game assets, and would even allow them to bring them into other games – this opens up a whole new class of gaming possibilities.
Cartesi is not an exclusive programming platform for the gaming sector. Still, what are the ways in which the existing gaming and gambling software and technologies can make use of Cartesi?
Correct, Cartesi is a general-purpose infrastructure that will enable a new wave of DApps that were not possible before. We are not limited to gaming, but it is a great showcase given the market for DApps and for Cartesi’s technology.
Now that we’ve released our decentralized tournament infrastructure, gaming companies can easily create never before seen tournament DApps without having to know about blockchain development, they can even create these complex games with any software of their choice. In addition, we’ll be launching our SDK and documentation next quarter, which will guide developers to build with Cartesi and venture into different kinds of game development.
We’re looking forward to see what people can come up with in terms of games on Cartesi!
The ongoing Corona outbreak is really in the process of crippling the world economy. Hope your company’s operations are going smoothly. Some experts say this would be like pressing a reset button on all fronts. How do you estimate the future of blockchain technology in a reset world? We would love to hear your views on this.
Our thoughts are with all those who are affected by the current outbreak that is going on. We hope it gets better soon.
It is very hard to predict or understand the effect coronavirus will have in how the world works, but one thing that has become clear is how decentralization is important in times like this. For instance, governments may be acting in haste by printing loads of money to cover up for lack of preparation, which is basically another way to tax the poor. Blockchain, DeFi and cryptocurrencies could be used to protect yourself against government actions such as these depending on where you live in the world. Individuals are growing increasingly scared of authoritarian methods that are employed by governments, and it may be used as an excuse to escalate this authoritarianism around the world, where blockchain would be another good defence.
We are of course hoping things become stable soon and the world carries on. Wishing everyone safety and good health!
If you have some important topic you would like to discuss, we are ready to talk to you! Please contact me on [email protected] and we can set up an interview.
Strategies for Cultivating Player Engagement: Insights from Head of SOFTSWISS Sportsbook Alexander Kamenetskyi
Alexander joined the company in May 2020. He has more than 26 years of experience in Sports Betting and Gambling. His expertise lies in betting trends, iGaming sports industry analytics, product development, and product team management.
From your perspective what are the most significant issues confronting betting and gaming companies?
Within the iGaming industry, two core objectives take centre stage: player attraction and player retention. In this context, two pivotal aspects demand our attention.
Firstly, if we take a closer look at the strategies and products of B2B companies, it becomes quite evident that many of them grapple with truly understanding what players really need. Secondly, in the world of betting, it’s not just about offering a product, it’s about making sure that product actively engages players.
What is more, it’s imperative for a bonus system to operate like a well-tuned instrument in the operator’s hands. It should allow them the flexibility to finely adjust the player journey from the moment they step into the project and keep them engaged for the long haul. We are talking about creating an environment where players are not just involved but genuinely interested.
At the same time, we understand that players may want to explore other gaming projects. Our key objective here is to ensure that once they switch to another platform, they immediately come to realise that our bonus system offers a more captivating and user-friendly experience. They might not be able to explicitly explain why, but they will unmistakably feel the distinction. This remains the foundational principle behind our development efforts.
What do you think about such methods of keeping attention, as gamification?
We all have this inner child inside us, right? And we often end up telling that inner child to put away the toys. That’s where gamification steps in. It’s like this cool trick where even apps that have nothing to do with games sneak in some fun stuff.
In the financial sector, there’s this interesting bank app that cleverly incorporates gamification principles. Now, you might think banking is far from gaming, but this app offers some cool incentives. Imagine getting extra cashbacks, cool avatars, and bonuses just for using the app actively. For instance, when you buy tickets to three different countries, they reward you with a ‘traveller’ avatar. They’ve even got this central character, a cat, that you can interact with, turning your banking tasks into a fun gaming experience.
It all comes down to our basic need to play, something we usually hold back on. But when you sprinkle in a bit of fun, engagement shoots up. We start getting into missions and quests, and that keeps us coming back for more. That’s exactly what these app developers are after – they want to keep us hooked. So, we keep coming back to take care of our virtual cat or spin that wheel because, let’s be honest, missing out on those means fewer bonuses. Plus, we are all in on those weekly missions to boost our ranking. It’s all about that core principle – making it fun to keep us around.
How can an operator gain player loyalty?
Throughout my years in this field, I’ve come to truly appreciate the power of personalisation. It’s a game-changer that goes beyond the allure of bonuses or the thrill of gamification.
Within our operations, we have specialised departments like retention and VIP retention. Their mission is to treat each VIP player as a unique individual, not just another customer. It’s about understanding that VIP players have distinct needs and preferences. By promptly addressing their requests and concerns, we make them feel genuinely valued. This principle isn’t confined to the betting world, it’s a universal truth. Bonuses certainly add excitement, but they’re just an extra layer.
When it comes to engaging with VIP players, I have frequently witnessed various scenarios. Sometimes, players approach with questions that have nothing to do with the project itself. They might ask for directions or assistance with entirely unrelated matters. Those who actively step in to help in such situations often become heroes in the eyes of the players. It’s akin to creating a bond where players instinctively look to us for any need, whether it’s related to placing a bet or seeking guidance on entirely different matters. It’s about cultivating a reflex in the player that says, “If I need something, I know where to go.”
When considering regular players who are not in the VIP category, it’s imperative to gauge their retention levels. For example, a company might use a system featuring five retention levels based on player profitability. Employees are assigned KPIs, which might include elevating their clients to the next retention level. Based on their performance, employees can also progress to the next level. This strategy has proven to be highly effective.
Furthermore, when discussing player retention, I would pay attention to recommendations. For instance, consider a scenario where we inform a player that their favourite team is scheduled to play today, but one of the key players is sidelined, and the team is facing issues with their striker. Our approach isn’t about misleading the player; it’s about establishing trust, knowing that maths will do the rest.
Another effective approach to engage players is by introducing tournaments, quests, and jackpots that encourage friendly competition among players. These diverse tools can be harnessed to incentivise players to participate in various activities. For instance, the operator might announce that all bets placed on the International 2023 will contribute to a specific jackpot. This strategy motivates players to actively partake in these actions, enhancing their overall experience.
When discussing betting with odds, it’s important to keep in mind that our profits are linked to the margin. Unfortunately, this fundamental concept is often overlooked by many operators in the betting industry, even those with extensive expertise. It’s common for them to disregard the critical point that a bookmaker’s earnings aren’t intricately tied to the odds they present but are, in reality, shaped by the margin they can uphold.
In certain tournaments, we encourage players to engage in a competition for a shared prize pool. These tournaments come with two key limitations: firstly, the prize pool is fixed for that specific tournament, and secondly, there is a time limit since the pool gradually decreases if players are not actively involved.
Moreover, we can design tournaments where players receive rewards for specific in-game actions or achievements, adding an extra layer of excitement and engagement to the competition.
At SOFTSWISS, what are your primary areas of focus when it comes to designing and enhancing your products?
We have three main criteria in mind. The first two are super important, while the third serves to complement them.
Firstly, we always look at the player’s needs. Keeping players engaged and interested is a top priority. Secondly, we’ve got what the operator needs. We want to motivate players to do things that are not only fun for them but also good for the operator. Like, encouraging bets on live and express events – it’s a win-win. Lastly, there’s market trends. We are always keeping an eye on what’s hot and what’s not because we know other operators are doing the same. We want to stay in the game and make sure our players have the latest and greatest.
And let’s not forget about the importance of automation. The smoother and more automated these tools are, the better they work for both operators and players.
Diving into the finer details, let’s examine what a player really needs. Ideally, betting should be effortless for them, requiring minimal thought, and in return, they should receive bonuses for their actions, serving as a catalyst for their engagement. It’s imperative that players feel acknowledged, encouraged, and valued – just like that.
When it comes to bookmakers, their main objective is to motivate players to bet on live and express events. This is all about boosting player engagement. However, operators generally prefer not to invest excessive time and resources into managing bonuses and customisation, as it can be a challenging task.
Another challenge revolves around content. It involves the need to brainstorm ideas, create content, publish it on the site, promote it to players, and most importantly, ensure that they engage with it. Many companies maintain dedicated departments to handle these tasks, specifically focusing on content management. Unfortunately, this can result in substantial financial overhead as these departments need ongoing maintenance and resources.
Our system empowers operators to effortlessly create new bonuses in a matter of minutes. Even for bonuses that were issued in the past, it takes less than a minute to relaunch them. The brilliance of our system lies in its ability to automatically generate T&C and banners, completely removing the need for operators to get involved in this process.
Furthermore, when a bonus reaches its expiration date, our system removes the associated banner and all related content automatically. This means operators don’t have to spend their valuable time and energy on content management. In essence, we strive to save our partners precious time and streamline their operations. With our product, we aim to shift operators’ primary focus towards attracting more traffic while automating repetitive tasks, ultimately making their workflow much more efficient.
The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook comes equipped with integrated gamification features, including exclusive industry bonuses and jackpots, providing both players and operators with a wide array of enhancements to elevate their gaming experience. Beyond the typical sports betting bonuses, the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook boasts four entirely unique bonuses that play a pivotal role in substantially boosting player engagement – Hunting Bonus, Hunting Tournaments, Lootbox Bonuses, Freebet Booster.
Another challenge that operators often grapple with is determining the right value for bonuses. It’s essential that players receive bonuses that match their betting activity and continue to entice them. This balance is critical in all areas of betting, whether it is online casinos, offline casinos, or sports betting.
The main obstacle here is finding a way to reward smaller players appropriately without overly lavishing them with bonuses. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense for a player betting just 1 euro to receive a whopping 100 euro bonus. Conversely, it’s equally vital not to underwhelm high-value players. It can be quite awkward when a VIP player, who is wagering substantial amounts, is offered a mere 100 euro bonus. Finding this balance is a delicate yet crucial aspect of our work.
The real challenge here is to make sure we automate this system effectively. Fortunately, we’ve got it covered through our Hunting Bonus. Our system operates seamlessly in automatic mode, guaranteeing that players who consistently bet larger amounts, like 3,000 euro, get the free bets they deserve.
The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook smoothly integrates with various platforms, seamlessly collaborating with their CRM systems and features. This eliminates the need for extensive operator retraining, allowing them to continue working with familiar tools and processes. Additionally, it offers enhanced customisation options for a more personalised experience.
More importantly, this flexibility extends beyond SOFTSWISS platforms. Operators are not confined to using platforms exclusively developed by SOFTSWISS. They can effortlessly incorporate our Sportsbook functionality into a diverse array of platforms, whether within or outside the SOFTSWISS ecosystem.
What business metrics can be improved with gamification tools and bonuses?
The operator can offer a bonus for the next month if a player’s deposits exceed 1,000 euro for the current month, given that the player typically deposits around 800 euro. In this scenario, even if the player’s current deposits stand at 800 euro, and they may not have the full amount readily available, there’s a strong likelihood that they will make an additional 200 euro to qualify for the bonus. This action automatically elevates the player’s status or level.
By focusing on a player group that typically places an average bet of, let’s say, 5 euro, the operator can implement a unique bonus strategy. For instance, for players who achieve a winning streak in football bets with a wager of 7.5 euro, every third successful bet activates a 10 euro free bet. As players persist in their betting activities and progressively raise their average bet, often without being consciously aware of it, the operator witnesses a natural 50% increase in their average bet size.
Consequently, the operator anticipates a corresponding 50% increase in Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). While the bonus component of the operator’s expenses does increase in this scenario, it typically remains around 25%, and the GGR surges by 50%. In essence, the operator gains an additional 25% in overall revenue.
Regarding bonuses, operators in both casinos and sports betting often fail to address a crucial aspect: defining the bonus offer’s purpose. Operators must precisely determine their incentive goals, whether it’s increasing deposits, raising the average bet size, or prolonging player engagement. Bonuses should be strategically tailored to encourage players to take particular actions that align with the operator’s objectives.
When implementing a bonus, it’s imperative to recognise the intended impact on a particular metric and establish clear, measurable criteria for assessing its success. This clarity ensures that bonuses are not just a perk for players but also a strategic tool for driving desired outcomes in the operator’s favour.
SOFTSWISS is an international iGaming company supplying certified software solutions for managing gambling operations. The expert team, which counts 1,500+ employees, is based in Malta, Poland, Georgia, and Belarus. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013 SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.
Bespoke creation: How BetGames is driving demand for the unique
Certain suppliers in the online casino space make names for themselves with products that almost become their trademarks. For live dealer and betting games creator, BetGames, its penchant for developing games that haven’t been seen before – by blending elements that stand it apart from the rest. CEO Andreas Koerbel tells us how they achieve this consistent innovation and what drives it.
With BetGames having announced plenty of exciting news in recent months – especially when it comes to tier-one branded content, can you tell us a bit more about your recent launches?
It’s been a really exciting last few months in terms of our product roadmap, with the launch of our newest bespoke game show – created with one of the world’s biggest operator conglomerates. Crypt of Giza is the industry’s first gameshow to include a Pachinko mechanic in the main game. It’s had an incredible reception since launch and reflects the true innovation that went into its development, which we’re delighted with.
To maintain that momentum, we also have six further branded games in the pipeline. Some bespoke and some branded. Having the heritage and expertise that we do in the development of this nature really allows us to diversify and meet the needs of operators across the spectrum. There’s plenty more to announce on that front in due course.
Looking at your big-name partnerships with major operators, including Entain and Betway, what do you see as the demand/use case for exclusive deals?
It’s an interesting question. From the discussions we’ve had and continue to have, advertising and promotion is becoming more and more difficult globally, especially in key mature markets like the UK, mainland Europe and even South Africa. Increasingly stringent regulations are seeing approval for promotions take months and this is having a knock-on effect on operator spend.
We’re now seeing major players moving some of their advertising and promotional spend to bespoke branded games, transitioning slowly from branding to retention. They appear to be asking themselves if they should put another few million towards a branding project or similar to a studio to create unique and bespoke games that can only be played on their brand platform.
Since we completed our recent projects with the likes of Entain and Betway, we’re seeing an uptick in operators approaching us with similar requests. I wouldn’t say it has become mainstream as yet but highly complex bespoke content of the nature we’re involved in is certainly on the increase.
This kind of work has served as a door opener for us and also helps pitch our existing product range too, so now our partnerships with top-tier brands are more commonplace it’s having a positive effect on our growth across the board.
You recently launched Crypt of Giza, which is iGaming’s first ever pachinko gameshow, can you tell us a bit more about this innovative direction and how key do you see themes like Egyptian and Japanese resonating with players when launching new products?
We love the game, and we see that players love it too. It’s the best-performing bespoke launch we’ve ever had by far – which is fantastic given it’s a real debut in the gameshow space. And the incredible thing to note is that it’s currently only live in the UK, so when it rolls out globally, which should happen very soon, the potential is phenomenal.
With the pachinko mechanic – especially when you use such a physical device like we do, the experience is amazing, Watching the ball make its way around the field of play is incredibly engaging and fits the medium perfectly.
We saw in development and early testing that this was something that players loved – the thrill in the unpredictability of the travel of the ball, even up until the last second keeps players on the edge of their seats like nothing else.
We didn’t want to produce another wheel-based game, that approach has served us well before, but it didn’t align with how we’re moving forward as a brand and as a creator of unique products.
In short, Crypt of Giza is new, it’s an exciting, easy-to-play game with that thrilling element of unpredictability. The use of the pachinko mechanic is something that we’ve already seen other suppliers start to work with and we suspect that it’s the next big thing in terms of gameplay.
Combine that with a theme like ancient Egypt that is evergreen and the resulting product makes players feel right at home while delivering a fresh experience.
Diving into the creative process of developing unique branded content for operators, how much do you see BetGames 10 years of experience in the industry giving you an edge over the competition?
I believe our strength stems from owning the full production of games in-house. We do everything ourselves – maths, game design, engineering, operations and this gives us full control and oversight of all our projects which is important.
The other point is that for over a decade, we’ve been renowned for creating unique games – it’s a key part of our legacy and a real USP of ours. The feedback that we get is that we’re always in the frame when there is a requirement to create something that isn’t run of the mill, and this allows us to remain comfortably at the top table.
When it comes to branded games – what are the core challenges that one must overcome to create something special, and what goes into the process to make them truly unique for your partners?
One of the key things we need to distinguish is the difference between branding and bespoke. Branding often involves simply taking an existing concept and slapping a name on it – like a branded Roulette environment – whereas bespoke does what it says – it’s something new and unique. Crypt of Giza is just that, there’s no branding on there and performs due to its inherent strengths.
A bespoke game is an involved iterative process, requiring time and commitment – an incredible challenge, but because of our heritage of successfully delivering projects that perform we enjoy a level of trust with our partners that we can deliver on.
Crypt of Giza, for example, was 18 months of hard work – true innovation isn’t achieved overnight, and you can see that in the finished product. Patience, an appreciation for the creative process and the openness to accept fundamental changes during this process are key, it’s unpredictable. To achieve the right result, it’s unrealistic to expect this kind of finished product in less than 12 months. It’s a labour of love, trust and close collaboration but the results are there for all to see.
Looking at BetGames’ focus for 2023-24 – do you see this as being a core pillar of your creative direction and can we look forward to plenty more of it?
The bespoke channel is a fantastic but challenging direction to take and something we enjoy working on – but to make something truly special, you have to be selective with the projects you undertake, as it’s a good 18 months of intense development that is hugely involved.
We actually only agree to engage with a small percentage of the requests we receive, such is our determination to allocate our resources and deliver the right products to the best of our ability, maintaining the high quality we’re renowned for.
It’s a fantastic pillar of our overall offering but there is of course a lot more to come. We have several branded games in the pipeline which are a mix of bespoke and branded games, which we continue to offer going forward.
To be the leader in your space – I believe focusing on quality over quantity is always the best route forward – and we’ll continue to assess each approach on its own merits and continue to produce content that drives value and growth for both ourselves and our partners. We’re very excited for the year ahead – and have plenty to look forward to when it comes to new announcements, so watch this space!
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.
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