CasinoBeats Award winner Yggdrasil Gaming lifts the lid on its YGS Masters program

HOW do you inject killer content into the fragmented and congested igaming ecosystem?

Industry trailblazer Yggdrasil has located the secret formula. Their vibrant partnership
program, YGS Masters, is currently picking up pace and is expected to boom in 2019.

YGS Masters, a fresh and entrepreneurial initiative, where Yggdrasil partners up with the
best independent games studios in the market to create amazing game content, has already shown great progress in signing three deals with Northern Lights, Rabcat and Fantasma Games (see below for more) with many more deals in the pipeline to be communicated soon.

The program began to crystalise at ICE 2018 when Yggdrasil CEO Fredrik Elmqvist
approached Stuart McCarthy, today head of studio partnerships at Yggdrasil, to discuss an idea. The plan presented was to open up Yggdrasil’s powerful proprietary platform to
independent studios and distribute their games to Yggdrasil’s impressive customer base.
“I had just left NYX (now SG Digital) where I had been deeply involved in their game
aggregation business, so I knew full well that with the right steer this idea was going to be a winner,” says McCarthy.

“YGS Masters is a strategic initiative in response to gaming’s increasingly fragmented value chain.”

Fast forward to ICE 2019 and the concept of an invite-only, semi-open platform where
Yggdrasil curate the highest quality content from the world’s leading independent games
studios will become a commercial reality, with the launch of its first partner games.

YGS Masters is a strategic initiative in response to gaming’s increasingly fragmented value
chain. With direct integrations scarce, independent suppliers benefit from the support of an
established partner with pioneering technology. Yggdrasil’s collection of cutting-edge in-
game promotional tools, Boost, provides studios with a valuable springboard to launch
their games with maximum impact.

“Standing still is simply not part of our DNA, and we know there are many more talented
studios and individuals out there who have a huge potential,” continues McCarthy.

“By working together, we can develop the most innovative products possible on our
advanced platform, broadening our product offering while delivering new and exciting
experiences to our operators’ players in one streamlined and commercially attractive
package. At the same time, we give studios and individuals the opportunity to accelerate the process of making their concept a money-making success.

“We truly believe there is some stellar talent out there waiting to be unleashed. Therefore, at ICE 2019 we are planning an industry-first: a live on-stand event where we will offer a window for that talent to become part of this great Yggdrasil success story.”

Over the course of the three-day event, Yggdrasil will invite a wide range of independent
studios to showcase their content and innovative concept live in front of their very own
‘dream maker’ and CEO Elmqvist. The Swede, who started Yggdrasil just seven years ago, has taken his learnings and experiences from his extensive gaming career.

From scratch, Yggdrasil has become a company with more than 270 employees and a total operating revenue of SEK195.8m (£17.1m) reported in the Q3 results, which is up 66 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Each 20-minute pitch could change someone’s future. Elmqvist and the YGS Masters
management team are looking to invest in and partner with dynamic entrepreneurial
companies willing to bring their ideas and business to the next level.

Once accepted into the programme and with terms agreed, the real collaborative work will
begin. Designing the highest quality games that can sit side-by-side with Yggdrasil’s
premium content portfolio and, once distributed to the company’s extensive partner network, give Yggdrasil’s operators and studio partners even more of a competitive edge.

YGS Masters studios in more detail
Northern Lights Gaming
Northern Lights Gaming became the first independent game studio to join YGS Masters and
develop on the Yggdrasil platform in April. The partnership will see Northern Lights’ high-quality, UK-targeted slots content made available to Yggdrasil’s operator partners.
Manchester and Stockholm-based Northern Lights was founded in 2017 by a group of industry veterans with decades of combined igaming experience. Its top-end, UK-focused
content will significantly bolster Yggdrasil’s offering.
June saw Rabcat become the second independent game studio to join YGS Masters. The partnership will see Rabcat release a series of new titles to be made available to Yggdrasil’s operator partners in regulated territories. At the time of the announcement McCarthy called Rabcat “recognised market leaders with a fantastic reputation for delivering beautifully realised, highly innovative and entertaining slot games with the highest production values” and that the studio “epitomises what the YGS Masters program is all about”.
Fantasma Games
Fantasma Games was announced as the third studio partnership to join the YGS Masters
program in October. Fantasma is a young Stockholm-based studio with great game ideas that are heavily inspired by the traditional video gaming industry and that have ambitious plans. The partnership’s first games will be launched in 2019 using Yggdrasil’s Boost tools and be made available to all Yggdrasil operators. Yggdrasil was impressed with Fantasma’s roadmap and will look to marry its strong content with Yggdrasil’s extensive market penetration.