Time, effort and love underpinned by three core values of quality, trust and energy are highly praised by Johan Törnqvist, CEO of of Play’n Go, as the organisation gets set to end a “very successful year”.
A number of new releases have been complimented by a variety of new and expanded partnerships, across a year that ended by claiming the Game Developer of the Year gong at December’s SBC Awards, held at London’s HAC Artillery Garden.
Following a successful evening CasinoBeats spoke to Törnqvist to address 2018’s milestones, staying ahead amongst the hustle and bustle of a busy environment and how Play’n Go is to build upon this foundation in the twelve months ahead.
CasinoBeats: 2018 has been a big year for Play’n Go, culminating in being triumphant at the SBC Awards, could you offer a review of your year?
Johan Törnqvist: 2018 has been a very successful year for us on many fronts. Our games continue to perform strongly for our operators, with many of our new titles such as Legacy of Egypt, Sweet Alchemy and Rise of Olympus being released and finding immediate success.
“Receiving the SBC Award was a great honour“
We have expanded our partnerships both for our games, in the form of deals with the likes of PokerStars and ATG Sweden, and also with our platform services which are performing very strongly in the Nordic region.
Receiving the SBC Award was a great honour and we have been honoured like this several times this year, which we appreciate greatly as it is a sign that we are moving in a positive direction, and what we are doing is working.
CB: You faced some big competition in the Game Developer of the Year category, why do you believe Play’n Go was chosen as the winner? What stands you out from the competition?
JT: I think the time, the effort and the love that we put into our games gave us the edge over the competition. We always strive to make sure any title we release is adding something to the market, be it an innovative concept, a new twist on an old theme or just purely a great source of entertainment. Our selection and creation processes are quite rigorous and, as this award can attest to, we only put out the best.
“We have people that love producing and experiencing these games”
CB: In an increasingly saturated environment, how big is the challenge in developing new and engaging titles? How do you ensure that customers will be attracted by, and go back to, Play’n Go offerings?
JT: Creating new and engaging titles is always a challenge when you take it as seriously as we do. There are a lot of games being released into the market these days and competition is fierce. But we welcome it as it forces us to raise our game and become even more creative, even more innovative.
The heart of Play’n Go is its people, and we have people that love producing and experiencing these games. We put ourselves in the shoes of the players, we don’t ask what we want to put out but, what are the players wanting to play and, so far, our experience and dynamism has won out in the market.
CB: Further to this point, agreements with operators are crucial in expanding to regulated markets, emphasised by the PokerStars deal deepened in October, how important was this? And which regions are falling under the Play’n Go radar for expansions?
“As long as we keep our values at the core of what we do, we will have no problem continuing to thrive”
JT: Of course, the PokerStars deal was very important to us and we’re proud that we could make it happen, but every deal is an expansion into the market and a new avenue to put our games out into the world.
We are keeping our eye on all regions, both new and old, for any opportunities where we feel Play’n GO would benefit having a presence. It’s not about getting into every corner of the world, but being in the right places with the right people to keep our brand strong.
Next year we’ll look to increase our presence in Latin America; the re-regulation of Sweden has allowed us to turn our focus into that region also, and we’re obviously keeping an eye on the situation in North America to see how that develops. Aside from that, we’ll see what happens as the market continues to evolve and change.
CB: Looking ahead to 2019, what is Play’n Go striving to achieve? How will you attempt to stay ahead of the competition?
JT: By continuing to do what we do best, producing entertaining and engaging games. Our values are quality, trust and energy and as long as we keep our values at the core of what we do, we will have no problem continuing to thrive in a busy market.
We already have our plans in place, but we will always adapt to the changing face of the industry around us, you’ll just have to wait and see exactly what we do!