Earlier this year social casino games developer KamaGames teased that a series of high profile partnerships were on the horizon as the firm aimed to secure a further foothold on a global scale.

This comes off the back of a revenue increase of 37 per cent to $29.25m for the first quarter of the year, with each month during 2020 during January-April representing a 20-30 per cent growth in unique paying users.

This past week saw KamaGames ink an advertising deal with Tony Ferguson, under the terms of which the MMA athlete will become the face Pokerist, Blackjackist and Roulettist, along with other “high-profile” titles in the company’s stable.

The deal coming hot on the heels after a prior link-up with “an iconic American brand” in Hard Rock International, which will see the development of a new Hard Rock Blackjack app.

“While the two projects have the same goal – to attract new, substantial audiences – they are entirely different in nature and as such, we don’t really associate one with the other,” explained Andrey Kuznetsov, KamaGames CEO.

“With Hard Rock, we designed a whole new app aimed at attracting a loyal audience from the company’s land-based establishments. This audience, mostly based in North America, would already have a demonstrated interest in the type of casino-style games we specialise in by their association with Hard Rock.

“We conducted research which indicated that this would be a good move for us”

“In contrast, this deal with Tony Ferguson focuses on the sports element in our apps. We know that there’s a strong crossover between those that play casino-style table games and sports enthusiasts and this is the audience we’re hoping to tap into and build upon with our Tony Ferguson deal.”

Its new sporting entrance comes after the firm is said to have witnessed a notable intersection between those who engage with casino titles and sports fans.

“Of course, we conducted research which indicated that this would be a good move for us,” Kuznetsov continued when pressed on why UFC and its fans were identified and targeted as a good fit for the group.

“Two interesting facts arose from an examination of our analytical data. Firstly, during UFC events not only are our players watching the fights while playing our games but they then go on to discuss the event at the tables. 

“Secondly, our observations show that within our social sports betting feature, there are a higher number of people betting on UFC events than on the NFL and top-ranking European football matches. In fact, our record for most bets placed on one event has been for a UFC fight and that reveals that there’s already an interest there from our players. Now, we’re going to expand upon that.”

Before adding on what appealed about partnering up with Ferguson: “Currently, MMA stands as one of the most popular sporting categories worldwide. Each year, millions of fans are drawn to the sport and with the current pandemic leaving the world of entertainment at a near standstill, as of last week MMA is the only sport which has been able to host a major event. We believe that will result in MMA attracting more viewers than ever before, raising the profile of the sport and its athletes, Tony included.

“People are now looking to the online world for entertainment more than ever”

“Currently, we’re focused on launching major in-game events that include discounts, free bonuses, customised MMA-themed content and free bets for Tony’s fights. We can’t reveal the entirety of our future plans with respect to both this deal and upcoming partnerships. 

“However, we can disclose that we’re preparing to launch several mechanics that are unique among social poker and casino apps and that we will utilise Tony’s high-profile status throughout our advertising campaigns for these releases.”

Throughout the year Kuznetsov and KamaGames have consistently maintained a target of achieving sustained growth and finishing 2020 with record revenue. An update regarding this was provided amid the current situation of global lockdowns: “The mobile games industry isn’t experiencing the negative impacts of Covid-19 in the same way that other sectors are,” it was added. 

“In fact, people are now looking to the online world for entertainment more than ever and according to leading analytical experts, April 2020 witnessed download growth of up to 30 per cent in some app categories. We can’t predict what will happen next but considering the partnerships we’ve already executed this year and looking at our roadmap for the remainder of the year, we have every reason to believe that KamaGames will be ending 2020 on a strong footing.”