CASINOBEATS caught up with industry veteran Jonas Alm, CEO of QTech Games, which is making a big noise in Asia with its leading distribution platform.
Alm talks about QTech’s latest innovative products, alongside some of the unique challenges and opportunities specific to Asia’s nuanced marketplace
The QT Play app has been described as “Spotify for mobile casino games”. A few potentially disruptive app/marketplace models have fallen by the wayside in recent years – Odobo and Betcade spring to mind – how will this be different?
JA: “Without speculating as to the whys and wherefores of other companies’ barriers to success, all I can say is there were happily no such obstacles for QT Play. The demand for a game-recommendation app was already there from both providers and players, and equally importantly so was the supply on the QTech Games platform.
“…we didn’t anticipate a future need, we simply fulfilled an existing one.”
“In short, we didn’t anticipate a future need, we simply fulfilled an existing one. Albeit with the aid of some breakthrough machine-learning software, which always helps establish any new product.
“Essentially, choice can be a bit like information: we always feel we want more of it, but if we can’t process it efficiently it can do more harm than good. This paradox of choice certainly exists in gaming where players can feel overwhelmed by the myriad options available in an overcrowded market. QT Play’s unique auto-curation algorithms cut through the hubbub of competing releases and match the right game to the right audience.
“Better yet, the more data QT Play collates, the more insightful its recommendations become, so the better it caters for individual user taste. QT Play’s scalability and
effectiveness accordingly advance in lock-step.”
So which are the fastest-growing markets for Asia Gaming?
“We’re seeing the largest growth in India’s emerging market, where slots are certainly proving popular, but the main revenue is arriving from table games. So on the subcontinent, it’s even more important to supply a precise gaming portfolio. Elsewhere, South Korea and Japan are two other contenders who have pulled up a chair at Asian gaming’s high table in recent years.
“However, the fragmentation of Asia for game design and regional specificities (be they the result of player preference or regulatory requirements) continues to astound more casual observers. Again, QT Play’s ability to distil this pan-Asian variety and partition it according to user choice or respective market conditions keeps QT Games’ leading distribution model in the vanguard, no matter which territory providers are targeting.”
Why is it important to gear the online experience specifically to Asian players?
“As I say, quite why some people are so surprised by the level of diversity on show in a continent of 4.5 billion people continues to astound me! So let me belabour the point that, trite as it may sound, all countries in Asia are different culturally and legislatively.
“You can dream internationally in Asia but you have to act locally”
“Consequently, you have to customise the experience in order that you may earn the trust of both players and authorities. If you can achieve that flexibility of approach, though, the rewards are palpable. Indeed, I would venture that if one tie does unite the whole Asian gaming community, it is its players’ loyalty, once you’ve defined a familiar product line that they recognise as a natural habitat. You can dream internationally in Asia, but you have to act locally.”
Which games are particularly popular with Asian players?
“Naturally, the relentless rise of RNG games in Asia, such as slot games, has been impossible to ignore – particularly on mobile. Indeed, at QTech Games, our mission is simply dedicated to corralling the finest RNG games and distributing them to operators in Asia. With smartphone-adoption rates escalating across the continent, this trend is only running one way. So it’s been a priority for our technical platform to deliver the most effortless integration around for all clients.
“It’s also important to combine the very best of the RNG and live casino worlds (where baccarat remains the perennial Asian favourite), so watch out for more game innovation in that space.”
What does QTech Games have planned over the coming months?
“It’s pleasing to see that we continue to go through the gears with many more integrations to consolidate our position as Asia’s fastest-growing games distributor. However, QTech Games remains a recruitment-habitat for quality mobile product, and we’ll always go the extra mile to enlist the finest new signings, whether that means dealing with the industry’s biggest names or unearthing the stars of tomorrow. Even if that facilitates an integration which only yields a handful of fresh games.
“It’s all about housing truly engaging content on one easy-to-integrate platform for both
operators and providers. And then, of course, spreading the word! Which is why I’m running a full schedule at the top gaming shows this year. Having attended ICE and Goa last month, I’m off to Macau and Manilla over the next few months for the iGaming Asia, ASEAN Gaming and G2E summits.
“It’s a hectic pace, but it’s worth it when you’re dealing with the most progressive portfolio on the RNG stage.”