Push Gaming lauded “a real game changer” last month, as the firm unveiled an agreement to acquire GSI as it aims to scale up its delivery of products directly to operator partners.
Stressing confidence that the acquisition will enable the firm to become “a key player within the industry,” it comes as Push Gaming rolls-out a transformation from games studio to full-service B2B gaming supplier.
Hinting at ambitious plans throughout 2020, CasinoBeats caught up with James Marshall, CEO of Push Gaming, to discuss the recent purchase and the changing needs of operators.
CasinoBeats: Talk us through the deal: what do you see as the business case behind it?
James Marshall: We have always been a creative business and a front-end development studio, but in order to directly compete with major suppliers we needed full control in order to prioritise our product development from start to finish.
We initially set up and launched our own platform over a year ago, with licenced a copy of GSI’s RGS called Hive and their building integration layers called HIVE and MESH (which is an open platform) over a year ago. Whilst working together we quickly realised we had complimenting teams and synergies.
GSI were as keen on merging businesses and it made perfect sense to combine both
skill-sets in order to become a much more competitive outlet and in turn putting us in a stronger position. The timing was perfect, and we are now ready to begin distributing our technologies.
Unsurprisingly, this is especially exciting for us given our humble beginnings as a bootstrap start-up, and we’re now at the point where we’re ready to compete with some of the industry’s best in terms of technology supply. It’s also going to be our first year at ICE that we’ll be attending as a fully licenced gaming technology supplier by both the UKGC and MGA, and we can’t wait to show off what we have to offer.
CB: We’re seeing a few of the larger studios becoming aggregators themselves, where do you see aggregators fitting into the market going forward and how did that influence your decision to acquire your own platform?
JM: Aggregators will always have a place in the market, however, for us, it was a case of evaluating how we would reach our target to become one of the industry’s leading B2B content and platform suppliers, and we felt having a reliance on aggregators was hindering our potential.
Our aim was to take a more hands-on approach and manage the delivery of our games from start to finish. We felt that to compete at the highest level and create truly immersive games, we needed full control of our cycle – which acquiring our own RGS has given us the keys to do.
As part of our acquisition of GSI we acquired their integration layer (Mesh) and we’ll be evaluating over the next 12 months how best to use this technology.
CB: How do you see the needs of operators developing through 2020 and beyond? Are suppliers going to have to up their game?
JM: With more and more markets bringing in legislation, suppliers are going to be under more pressure to further support operators in their pursuit of meeting regulations in a time and cost-effective way.
Suppliers are going to need to ensure their offerings are not only exciting and engaging, but also tailorable in some way to meet these regulations, whether it’s RTP or another measurable. It won’t be easy, but if suppliers and operators have a close enough relationship, I see no reason why they can’t continue to make gambling a safer place while retaining that excitement and entertainment factor that we all love.
From our point of view, it’s also a chance for suppliers to get away from the ‘pump and dump’ approach which many, especially those using aggregators, often have when it comes to releases. We want to create smash-hit games that punch above their weight and generate a loyal following, rather than large quantities of mediocre products.
The future of igaming is all about immersive entertainment, and to be frank, the market is already awash with enough sub-par games. Operators have no shortage of games, so it’s quality entertaining games that they now need. need quality, not quantity.
CB And lastly, with the merger now complete, what are your plans for the year ahead?
JM: We have plenty of ambitious plans for rolling out our new platform – and we’re now operating and certified across multiple six core regulated European jurisdictions with full regulatory approval, including Sweden, Denmark, Scandinavia, Malta and the UK. We also see fantastic growth potential in Spain and LatAm, and we’ll be targeting these markets in 2020 given their passion for action-packed entertainment, with Italy is also on our radar for the same reason.
On the gaming front, we’ll be doing what we do best – with a target of up to 10 new games released over 2020. Not that I can get into too much detail just yet, but our development team are working on some gaming tech that I’m absolutely blown away by, and we can’t wait to start bringing our latest catalogue to market.