Pragmatic Play chief business development officer Yossi Barzely explains how slot development is progressing as studios put in effort to guarantee their games can stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
1.How has the slot development sector changed in recent years – have you had to make changes to your product strategy as a result of increased competition?
It goes without saying that the evolution of video slots is in a state of constant growth, and it’s precisely accurate that a provider must keep to its finger on the pulse and constantly analyse new market trends in order to stay ahead of the competition. One of the most vital factors in ensuring that consumer demand is always met is a unified vision and a technical and design team committed to meeting it. If a development team is not attached in the services they are producing, then the standards will suffer. Trends come and go, but throughout the years the popularity of expertly-modelled games with engaging bonus features and rewarding mechanics has never waned.
Developing slots means being dedicated in regards to market movements, controlling jurisdictions and the presence of growing competition. However, commitment to a unified vision for crafting original video slots with great gameplay as a central tenet remains the core contributing factor to a successful product strategy in this business.
2. Is it enough for developers to simply create high quality content? Do your clients now expect additional features such as tournaments and promotional tools?
Understandably, in the face of increasing competition and an increasingly condensed market environment, numerous providers to the igaming industry are changing to a range of new instruments to convey an experience capable of both attracting and retaining players. The significance of social media in how many handling their day-to-day lives is illustrating no signs of declining, and numerous slot developers are turning to social sharing features, as well as gamified, competitive elements like leader-boards that enable a degree of communication between a player base.
While it is great to see unique spins being implemented on the traditional slot formula, it remains vital that these don’t distract from the largely game play experience. Fans of video slots may enjoy gamified and social features for a while, but what motivates stickiness and ultimately keeps them coming back is well-modelled gameplay and excellent underlying maths. Ultimately, the basics tenets of slot play must not be reduced, because reducing a game to the sum of its distractions results in the risk of turning core slot players off.
3. Considering the enduring popularity of titles such as Wolf Gold, do you feel it is still possible to create a blockbuster slot in today’s market?
Creating games with abundant graphical capability and hypnotic sound design can go a long way to attracting in players initially, and a few studios have looked to accomplish this through branded game deals, under taking meaningful costs to retain the look and feel of the latest Hollywood blockbuster or hit TV show.Wolf Gold has underlined that establishing a product with a recognisable, inviting theme and strong central mechanics can create long-term success, and those great chances still exist for providers with the technical and commercial potential to take advantage of them. It has illustrated a level of ‘stickiness’ on the landing pages of our tier one operating partners that few games can match, and we will go on to iterate and develop on its success as we develop iGaming’s next big hit!
4. Have content aggregator platforms hindered studios’ growth, by making them compete against a larger group, or have they helped ‘democratise’ the industry by making everyone’s games available from a single source?
At Pragmatic Play, we are enjoyable chasing both direct integrations and platform deals, and have gone live on a variety of major platforms, while also penning direct deals with operators including PokerStars and Kindred Group.In summary, if your products entertain and charm to players, then that standards will speak for itself regardless of whether they are integrated directly or via a platform. We provide our developers the choice to challenge the boundaries of what is possible in slot gameplay, and they repay this trust time and again by producing video slots that consistently out-perform our competition.
Article all credits to
Pragmatic Play chief business development officer Yossi Barzely and iGaming Business