As the company raises its aim even higher, iSoftBet‘s chief commercial officer Michael Probert talks to CasinoBeats about the successes to date – and what the future holds
What has made 2018 so successful for iSoftBet?
MP: “This has genuinely been a landmark year for iSoftBet. We have created some of the best-performing games in the market, such as Hot Spin and Million Coins Respins, and as a result, agreed a record number of exclusive game releases with some of the biggest brands in the market including GVC, LeoVegas and BetVictor.
“We have signed a record number of commercial agreements and more than doubled the size of our Aggregation Platform. With more than 45 suppliers being available via GAP we have added suppliers and operators at an unprecedented rate.
“It really has been an extremely busy but transformational year“
“We also continue to expand our presence in regulated and soon-to-be regulated markets
signing a diverse range of deals stretching from Latin America to Georgia as well as
finalising certification in, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Colombia.
“It really has been an extremely busy but transformational year.”
Do you differentiate your offering in new markets, or have you found your core offering is well received?
“To some extent our core offering is already a differentiated product. Yes, we can develop games that will have a more global appeal in terms of theme and features and maths, but in line with our regulated markets strategy we need to be able to look at the nuances of certain markets and tailor our content accordingly.
“We can’t be the experts in all markets however and there will always be local players that have years of experience delivering content to their home markets. As we continue to enter
these new markets our Game Aggregation Platform will continue to be a key product for the growth of our business.
“This enables our 150 operator brands to access thousands of games including our own titles and those from more than 45 major third-party suppliers, using a one-time integration process.
“These might include suppliers like Wazdan or Fazi for certain European markets or R Franco for Spain or the likes of Airdice, who deliver dice content for the Belgian class B licence holder.
“Whatever the market, we aim to cover it with our content or that of a supplier partner.”
Some companies produce games on a regular basis, with a punishing release schedule, while others take time to develop high-definition games. What approach works best for iSoftBet?
“I don’t believe quality and quantity need be mutually exclusive, but you need a strong team and to find the right balance.
“We have significantly increased our output with approximately 24 games planned for 2019 and are already building games that will be released in November, 2019. The volume will
allow us to make some games that are more market specific with roughly around eight to 10 market-specific slots with extensive opportunities in the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, and a widening number in Eastern Europe.”
“…in the case of successful slots, don’t be fooled that innovation can only be achieved through revolution“
Emerging competitors are making inroads into the market with innovative mechanics. How is iSoftbet responding to these new challenges?
“Innovation and competition are good for the market and keep all suppliers on their toes. Our industry often cites innovation as the solution to unlocking new growth, and although it
is often the key to successful products, in the case of successful slots, don’t be fooled that
innovation can only be achieved through revolution.
“Innovation in slots often materialises in more subtle forms and if you look at the top 20 best-performing games of the last 10 years, just because they appear different doesn’t mean they haven’t appropriated maths and features from past successes. The reason they have held their positions in the charts for so long is that the maths models, features, and gameplay give players exactly what they want.
“That’s not to say that every game has to be a clone, though we all know that some of the
best-performing online slots are exactly that; the skill is in finding what works and what you think can be improved. Quite often the wrong feature can be in the wrong game and could work better elsewhere.
“We can immediately identify that and firmly believe that slot design and delivery is about adopting a balanced mix of both evolution and innovation.”
What does 2019 hold for iSoftBet?
“We will look to build on our 2018 achievements with an even more comprehensive games portfolio, ensuring we have smooth, easy-to-play games with great audio and visuals, production values we’re happy with it, and maths models that suit a wider range of players
and markets. We will develop and deliver a good balance of classic themes the market wants to play and is excited by, several games that contain a twist on classic models as well innovate where relevant and per market.
“Our Aggregation Platform will continue to grow, and I think it will be market leader by the
end of 2019. We will be rolling out a new jackpot server, we have a new data platform to help deliver optimisation and growth and we will push our in-game marketing tool to the limits. Another busy year lies ahead!”