Andy Harris, UK CEO of Design Works Gaming, discusses the evolving role of exclusivity within the igaming industry, and how size need no longer be a barrier to operators having their very own piece of the pie.
The state of play
Providing operators with exclusive content is not a new concept – far from it, in fact. It can offer tangible benefits for both brands and their suppliers. The latter get extensive exposure on the website and through promotions, while their consumer-facing partners can use the exclusivity as a strong recruitment and retention tool for players coming to their casino. If those players like the game it is hoped they will return, knowing it is the only place they can get their hands on the latest title off the production line.
What we have seen recently however, is a marked increase in demand for exclusivity among operators, many of whom are looking for alternatives to the expensive and seemingly endless marketing battle to gain a slice of the market. But, for a number of reasons, satisfying this demand is not necessarily straightforward.
Firstly, the prevalence of revenue share-based commercial structures means that suppliers are incentivised to distribute their games as far and wide as possible. Secondly, it’s tough for most suppliers to be able to produce more than a small number of new titles every month, therefore licensing one of them exclusively for anything other than a very short period of time is potentially hard to justify. Consequently, it is often only the larger operators who are able to make exclusivity a viable option for a supplier.
“Being in a position to offer smaller operators exclusive content is one thing, but why would you want to?”
‘A level playing field’
If you are a regional or a smaller operator, the picture is often very different. Many only get access to titles once they are on general release, which means it is hard for them to differentiate their content offering. That can make the product proposition less appealing, particularly when they are trying to win over new customers or retain existing ones.
In a landscape where advertising rules and regulation and conditions around bonusing are getting tighter in some parts of the world, that doesn’t make things any easier. But, fortunately, help is at hand.
DWG has a portfolio of well over 200 proprietary titles, which we continue to add to on a regular basis. This has been validated in the parallel universe of land-based and social, in many territories worldwide.
Having applied for a GBGC licence, our intention is to unleash the games in online RMG very soon. What the sheer volume of good quality content and the capability to add to it frequently gives us is the very real opportunity to offer both regional and even international exclusivity to any number of casino partners, big and crucially small too.
Being in a position to offer smaller operators exclusive content is one thing, but why would you want to? Well, if you can help grow their businesses through product differentiation, of course everyone benefits.
“These smaller companies are also often more open to trying new things”
Furthermore, if these operators have a strong regional presence and focus, and you have games that are proven in the same markets, exclusive games can really fly. At DWG, we have created RMG game packages for a wide range of territories, which comprise our hit titles from land-based and social for each region. We have proven game packages that have yet to see the light of day in RMG for the UK, Germany, Asia, USA, Canada, Spain, Italy and others.
These smaller companies are also often more open to trying new things, making quick decisions and taking calculated risks – areas where they can realise a competitive advantage over their bigger corporate rivals – and these factors have the potential to drive even further value for all involved.
Before you know it, these so-called smaller players can become some of your best partners. And you never know, the world order rarely remains the same, so when small becomes big, so might you!