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“We’re moving and scaling our market presence worldwide”: Exclusive interview with Evoplay CCO

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“We’re moving and scaling our market presence worldwide”: Exclusive interview with Evoplay CCO
“We’re moving and scaling our market presence worldwide”: Exclusive interview with Evoplay CCOReading Time: 4 minutes

 

As the famous tech-first studio prepares to take the Baltic region by storm following its debut in Estonia, and soon Lithuania, we caught up with Evoplay’s CCO, Vladimir Malakchi to talk about the supplier’s expert insight into the CEE market and player profiles.

Congratulations on Evoplay’s latest market debut! How long have you had your eye on the Baltics?

Thank you, it’s a real milestone for us and we’re very pleased to be expanding and building a first-class network. The Baltics is an important market and we’ve been planning entry for some time.

The growth there has been astounding – in Latvia, for example, Euro 11.5 million was generated by the online casino sector just a few years ago. And in Estonia, a recent survey showed that 80% of adults said they had, at least once, placed bets on games of chance, which shows what a tech-savvy audience we’re dealing with.

Our games have proven to resonate really well with CEE players, and we first entered Romania with WinBet, as well as expanding into Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia. Alongside that, we have already certified our games with local certificates and we’re about to enter Lithuania with one of its most credible casino operators to continue building our Baltic presence

Tell us about your latest deals – what do they encompass and what are you set to deliver?

We’re moving and scaling our market presence worldwide. The CEE region, Estonia and Lithuania are three markets we’ve been looking at this year, and I’m sure we’ll have plenty more exciting news to announce soon enough.

In 2021, we entered Estonia with Slots.io, and with our Lithuanian regulatory approval added to the mix, one can certainly say that our approach is globally local.

When it comes to our offering, we’ve hand-picked our very best to please not only the regulator but also our new players, including Ice Mania, Fluffy Rangers and Forest Dreams. Having really made a name for ourselves as one of the most tech-first suppliers around, we’re very confident that we’ll be able to bring a truly exciting gaming experience to the table that will showcase just how much we stand out as a unique supplier.

What’s your overall view of the three markets available? How do they compare to other CEE markets where Evoplay is live?

The preferences are similar to the typical CEE player, and accordingly relate to the European player profile. We find that CEE countries have similar tastes with regards to games, but with slightly differing needs from country to country.

What we need to remember here is that mobile is the key channel. This means each of our games need to be designed for a highly discerning audience that knows exactly what they should expect when it comes to next-gen gaming. This means flawless graphics, pitch-perfect sounds and an immersive atmosphere that can compete on a par with other types of mobile-based games that they’re accustomed to outside of gambling.

When it comes to the tech – what’s the primary channel of choice for Estonia and Lithuania, and how do you aim to tailor your offering?

As already mentioned, mobile is king – and this is where we really excel. Of course, we go far deeper than that when it comes to evaluating what we have to offer and tailoring our games accordingly. Now it’s too early to say, as we’re still testing and analysing the feedback from players from these markets and adjusting our offering based on the incoming data and each game’s performance.

This, is of course, means that we plan to bring plenty more of our games to the table as we continue to hone our offering, and we will share more specific data and feedback after six months in these markets, but the initial findings are interesting and positive. As everywhere, players choose quality, interesting games that they find familiar to the ones that they are used to seeing on the market.

So, this fits very well with Evoplay’s approach of giving the games you feel you know, but with a new spin based on stunning graphics, great mechanics, and incredible technological implementations.

Taking a look at the games you have prepared for your partners – what have you selected as the best in your catalogue? What can players look forward to?

For the Estonian and Lithuanian markets, we’ve certified a selection of 40 slot titles and we’re pleased to see that all of them have good performance rates in Estonia already, and in some cases – have knocked even our most optimistic expectations right out of the park. Players really like what we have to offer, and we’re delighted to be making a real difference when it comes to entertainment.

Delving into our titles, we think, for example, that Ice Mania, Forest Dreams and Fluffy Rangers are going to be big hits in Estonia, and we’re confident that this will carry over to Lithuania, too – especially, of course, our worldwide evergreen hits such as Hot Triple Sevens, Elven Princesses and Fruit Nova.

Last but not least, how do you see further CEE expansion fitting into Evoplay’s strategy? Should we expect plenty more news soon enough?

We’re exploring all opportunities with regards to our CEE market expansion – it’s a strong marketing that’s ripe for our gaming experience. In many ways, we’re only just getting started – with the Balkan markets proving especially exciting as player interest continues to surge there.

Moving southwards, of special interest to us is Greece – and we’re working hard to assemble a catalogue of regulation-friendly products as we undergo the suppliers’ licencing process, adapted this year. This changing nature of regulation is something I predict to continue to be a hot topic throughout 2021 on the continent, and it’s all about being innovative and agile to adapt to both the regulator and our partners’ needs.

Further afield, we’re open and looking to new markets to reach in Central Western Europe, LatAm and emerging markets. Having a global reach, but with locally relevant games, is a core driver for us, and we’re very much looking forward to keeping our momentum going from last year, which was a record-breaking time for us, across markets, launches and new games. Do stay tuned for plenty more exciting announcements soon enough!

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Everything you need to know about VCT Game Changers EMEA #2

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58 teams of fierce competitors are set to battle it out in the next iteration of the groundbreaking VCT Game Changers EMEA tournament series next week – and we’ve got something very exciting to share with you all before then!

Review VCT Game Changers EMEA Series #1

With the first VCT Game Changers EMEA tournament concluded, our teams have proven they are #HERETOSLAY, – and now it’s time to show that VCT Game Changers EMEA is here to stay!

True to VCT Game Changers EMEAs goal of fostering an inclusive environment for competition and creating new opportunities for women to shine in the VALORANT esports ecosystem, an astonishing total of 49 Teams registered for the first VCT Game Changers EMEA tournament, which took place between September 27 – October 3 this year The top spot was taken by TENSTAR Nova  following a valiant fight against Rix.GG after a week long competition, with the final score standing 3:1 in favor of TENSTAR Nova

This translates to 272 players (including subs) from 36 countries in the EMEA region, with the largest number of players coming from Turkey, followed by Russia and France.

VCT Game Changers EMEA Series #1 boasted 21,933  peak viewers with over 189,000 hours watched across platforms and simultaneous co-streams presented by our 12 Watch Party Hosts. The hosts have also committed to host the upcoming tournaments as well, making Game Changers EMEA accessible in 7 languages

Vera Wienken, Brand Manager DACH at Riot Games said: “We couldn’t be more proud about our first achievements. It’s awesome seeing these women competing on such a high level and vocalizing their dedication and positive feedback publicly. We see more and more esports organizations signing talents, which is a huge success and will allow us as a region to thrive together towards a more diverse VALORANT esports ecosystem. This is only the beginning, we are here to slay.”

And following the roaring success of our first series, we’re happy to announce that Series #2 and beyond will be backed by an incredible new partner ready to join the fray!

HyperX partners with VCT Game Changers EMEA!

We’re delighted to reveal HyperX as our Main Partner for VCT Game Changers for the remainder of our first season! HyperX is integral to the VALORANT esports community and we’re excited to have them on board to help us push VCT Game Changers EMEA to the next level.

“At HyperX we celebrate and empower all gamers to be their best. The VALORANT Game Changers tournament is an incredible initiative that lifts all women to the forefront of competitive gaming, an area which needs to be improved to ensure inclusivity in gaming and esports. We’re proud to support the VALORANT Game Changers series in EMEA and look forward to witnessing the next generation of a more gender equal esport.”  Said Jessany Van’t Hoff, Head of Global Gaming Partnerships for HyperX.

What’s next? Looking ahead to VCT Game Changers EMEA Series #2

We’re immensely proud of VCT Game Changers Series #1 – so much so that we’re excited to do it all again!

VCT Game Changers EMEA Series #2 will kick off later next Monday as up to 64 all-women teams will battle it out for the lion’s share of the €20,000 prize pool. Series #2 will begin on October 25, with the final game closing out on October 31 in an action-packed week showcasing the best of the best female VALORANT talent EMEA has to offer.

And after watching Series #1, we know that some of these squads are ready to turn up all guns blazing! With that in mind, here are some of teams you should definitely keep an eye out for:

  • Rix.GG Lightning

    • The Rix.gg Lightning squad showed they are a force to be reckoned with in the last Series, securing second place after a strong showing against rival squad, TENSTAR Nova. Rix.GG has already established itself as an impressive org within the UK and are known for their fighting spirit during heavy competitions. On their return to Series #2, expect them to come back with a vengeance!

  • TENSTAR NOVA

    • TENSTAR Nova are our reigning champs after taking down Rix.GG in VCT Game Changers Series #1, and snagging the biggest slice of the prize pool on offer. The teams return to Series #2 will surely put the other teams on red-alert.

  • Oxygen Esports

    • Oxygen Esports were our third place winners of VCT Game Changers Series #1 and showed tremendous determination throughout the competition. With a roster of fantastic players and the hunger to fight for the crown, this Turkish side is definitely one to keep an eye on in Series #2.

  • The Originals

    • After securing fourth place in Series #1, The Originals will be aiming for numerous successful rematches this time around. We’re expecting big things from this new team, and we can know their squad are thinking the same thing.

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Snax Launches New App that Turns Players into Movie Makers with Interactive Gameplay

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The future of interactive movies has arrived. Paris-based startup Marmelapp has released Snax, an app that combines movies with interactive gameplay to give the player control over how the story progresses. Players become movie makers by making choices with bitesize content and solving fun puzzles.

Snax combines movies with interactive gameplay to give the viewer control over how the story progresses. Choose which direction to go, where to hide, how to react and more as the story unfolds. Use the 360 mode to look around before making decisions. Viewers will also encounter puzzles during gameplay, and hits are available for those who get stuck.

Reviewer dxlyen gave Snax five stars and said, “Perfect for the spooky season! It really makes you think, there are cool features like 360 mode, and it’s really like you’re actually there. But get this, you don’t need any account or anything! And btw the effect it makes when you open the app is so satisfying. Really needs more recognition.”
Nasia2006 said, “Just from the first episode, I am hooked on this app! It really makes you think, and it’s a very interesting app!! Best thing I could have ever downloaded, honestly!”

Snax is free to download on the Apple App store and offers free gameplay options. Subscription options are available within the app for premium features and unlimited content. Subscriptions are available for one week, one month, and one year.

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Kindred Reports Decline in Revenue from Harmful Gambling in Q3

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Kindred Group has reported that the share of revenue from harmful gambling decreased to 3.3% in the third quarter of 2021.

Kindred is committed to transform gambling by being a trusted source of entertainment that contributes positively to society. Therefore, Kindred has set an ambition to reach zero per cent of revenue from harmful gambling by the end of 2023 and to report this on a quarterly basis. The purpose is to be transparent, contribute to a fact-based dialogue about harmful gambling, and raise awareness of the Group’s sustainability work. For the third quarter of 2021, the share of revenue from harmful gambling decreased to 3.3% from 4.3% in Q2 2021.

“We are pleased to see that the percentage of revenue coming from harmful gambling has decreased. Whilst we welcome this decrease, we do understand that we still have to work hard to further decrease this number. In line with our roadmap, our operational teams have worked to implement more proactive customer interactions, and this has resulted in an increase in the use of control tools to help customers stay in control,” Henrik Tjärnström, CEO of Kindred Group, said.

“We have also taken a more cautious approach towards the younger demographic, since this group is at a higher risk financially and is more prone to addiction. Therefore, we have set up tailored approaches to de-risk customers that are between 18-24 and we can already see the benefits from this action,” Tjärnström added.

On October 11, Kindred’s Head of Responsible Gambling and Research, Maris Catania, together with her PhD tutor, Professor Mark Griffiths, published a peer-reviewed research paper that examines the application of DSM-5 criteria for gambling disorder to actual online gambling behaviour. This notion and approach are the basis for the ideology behind Kindred’s behavioural monitoring system.

Kindred announced it will continue to work on publishing more research to increase the transparency of information through empirical studies.

“To limit harmful gambling, the behaviour has to be identified in the first place. Our research provides Kindred with actual examples of the types of behaviour engaged in by problem gamblers, which could be used by the player protection team to identify potential markers of harm,” said Professor Mark D Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University.

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