Live casino specialists Evolution Gaming has lauded sustained growth throughout 2019, focused on “extending the gap” to its nearest competitors as well ensuring a number of agreement enlarge its footprint on a global basis.
Closing the year by scooping the ‘Innovation in Casino Entertainment’ gong at the SBC Awards 2019, it followed the firm triumphing in the ‘Innovation in Live Casino’ category a year earlier.
Following a year of multiple successes Amy Riches, Evolution’s head of marketing, spoke to CasinoBeats regarding the need to innovate and expansion plans for 2020.
CasinoBeats: How would you sum up the success of Evolution Gaming in 2019
Amy Riches: 2019 has been an incredibly busy year for Evolution with the release of 10 new titles and a whole new games category, live games shows. New releases in that all-new category included Monopoly Live and Deal or No Deal Live, and also Lightning Dice, an exciting extension to our electrifying Lightning range. A key focus for Evolution over the past two years has been entertainment. It’s an innovative approach that has proved to be very fruitful for us and our licensees.
The reaction to these games has been extremely positive. A prime example is Monopoly Live, a special edition of our Dream Catcher money wheel created via a sub-licence from Scientific Games in partnership with Hasbro, Inc.
A game like this has never been created before and it leverages some of the most advanced technology available. Monopoly Live is a unique live online variant of the hugely popular Monopoly board game, complete with a live TV-style host, augmented reality and 3D bonus rounds built around the adventures of Mr. Monopoly.
“In 2020 we will continue to focus on the newest technological innovations”
It has been yet another strong year financially for Evolution, where we saw investments in new games and studios having an increasingly strong impact, which was reflected in both the high growth as well as strong margins.
In addition, we announced key signings with many new partners, such as Flutter Entertainment brands Paddy Power and Betfair, Stoiximan/Betano and DraftKings in the US. These landmark agreements signify continued growth as we extend our world-leading live casino offering to be available to more players worldwide.
CB: We understand that you will be expanding your live game show offering in 2020; why do you think the concept has proved so popular?
AR: Primarily players are drawn to Evolution’s live game shows because they are thoroughly authentic and full of suspense, excitement and entertainment. Furthermore, these games are exclusive to Evolution, and no other provider offers such a wide variety of games and experiences.
Our game launches during 2019 included games in conjunction with other powerhouse brands as well as homegrown games, none of which can be found anywhere else. We have carved out this live game shows segment as we saw a need to deliver something extra to players that they couldn’t get from traditional table games.
In 2020 we will continue to focus on the newest technological innovations to ensure that players are able to enjoy even more entertaining gaming experiences, with entertainment at the heart of the new games. Additionally, we will be creating even more immersive games to appeal to a wide range of players, not just experienced live casino enthusiasts.
“We set the bar high and we don’t rest on past achievements and successes”
CB: Is there a core player demographic for Evolution’s games and can you tell us about the lifecycle of players onboarded because of these new games; do they retain a preference for the live game show concept or spread their activity across different games?
AR: In the case of first-time live casino players drawn to play the new game show games, this number is exceptionally high, appealing to a wider sector of players who had never played live casino before.
Evolution has seen that a very good proportion of these players go on to explore and play other Evolution live casino games, and not only games in the game shows category. These new players go on to play other traditional live casino games such as live roulette and live blackjack, even though they had not been attracted to live casino prior to this.
CB: How important is it to preserve traditional games in live casino and do the ‘classics’ now need innovation to compete, or are they best left how they are?
AR: Innovation is at the core of everything we do. We set the bar high and we don’t rest on past achievements and successes. We are constantly looking to push the boundaries and provide players with the absolute best gaming experience possible.
In 2018, the runaway success of Lightning Roulette started the process of innovating on classic table games within Evolution. The game is an extended roulette game which integrates advanced RNG technology to offer players a unique experience. This game saw significant success both commercially and in player numbers.
“Evolution will honour traditional casino games as well as launching all new innovations”
At ICE 2020, in addition to the new games in the game show category, Evolution will be showcasing its ever-growing portfolio of classic games. Traditional live casino games remain popular player favourites and therefore we will be honouring those games that players know and love, but with unique twists.
CB: What can you tell us about Evolution’s product roadmap for 2020?
AR: Evolution is keeping the precise details of new games under wraps until ICE 2020. However, Evolution has confirmed that its stand at ICE will offer an enticing insight into Evolution’s world and its state-of-the-art studios.
It is here where countless uniquely entertaining worlds are created and delivered for Evolution licensees and their players across Europe and North America, supported 24/7 by Evolution’s world-leading infrastructure, experience and expertise, and a total commitment to operational excellence.
As explained above, Evolution will honour traditional casino games as well as launching all new innovations in the game show games category. In addition, Lightning will strike for the third time with the release of Lightning Baccarat, an extended baccarat game and further addition to the Lightning family of games. Confirmed as one of the new games to be revealed at ICE, Lightning Baccarat is a super-charged, flash of innovation from Evolution in the Live Casino space.