Fresh off the back of launching in New Jersey to gain its maiden entry into the US, as well as securing the debut of its Infinity Reels mechanic outside of European markets, ReelPlay promises “plenty to be excited about” moving forward. 

The mechanic, devised by ReelPlay, sees each Infinity Reels spin provide the chance for a respin and to add multiple expanding reels with a progressive multiplier, and will enter the Garden State courtesy of a link-up with Scientific Games and Golden Nugget Online Casino.

“Founded in 2014 as Chance Interactive, we re-branded in 2019 to become ReelPlay with a remit to create the highest quality digital gaming content for license to the world’s leading regulated casino operators,” David Johnson, COO of ReelPlay, commented when addressing the firm’s strategies to achieve targets in 2020 and beyond.

“The goal then remains the same today: create kick-ass games as well as incubating competitive collaborators, aiming for a collective of established and independent B2B satellite software studios.

“First to market with Infinity Reels, we have a number of extensions of the brand in the pipeline. We’ve seen players really take to the genre and plenty of requests for an Infinity Reels game that does this and/or that. It’s always great to get the feedback in, especially in cases where it’s volunteered from excited players. 

“We’re also busy working with competitive collaborators to help them bring their interpretations of Infinity Reels to market, whilst our partner studios continue to create concepts for us to turn their visions into playable reality.”

Its most recent agreement followed a partnership entered alongside casino content developer NetEnt “in light of both companies independently following similar ideas”.

Under the terms of the agreement the two will work together to extend and protect their respective franchises of InfiniReels and Infinity Reels, as both igaming entities also aim to strengthen their respective slot mechanics.

I expect there will always be player appetite for quality bread and butter slots”

“ReelPlay launched El Dorado Infinity Reels in November last year; Giza Infinity Reels followed whilst our third in the genre will release early July,” Johnson continued. 

“Unbeknownst to each other, ReelPlay and NetEnt had been creating a similar mechanic. Mutually we wanted to ensure that the industry – whether that’s players, operators, investors, or anyone else – understood that each company received the credit it deserved and that we have formally agreed to work together in preventing unlicensed use of our respective brands and IP. 

“Both parties felt an agreement was needed to achieve this and respectively we have the freedom to develop our brands, IP and game mechanics creatively and commercially, so you can expect ReelPlay extending the Infinity Reels series.”

With player habits in a constant state of flux, and changing behaviours gaining much airtime in recent weeks given the current climate, Johnson moved on to examine how consumer behaviour has evolved: “There’s plenty of publicly available evidence showing players have modified their gambling behaviour to RNG games, particularly given the lack of sporting action to bet on. Likewise poker and bingo, activities that go some way to replicate the physical community aspect folk may be missing in their day to day lives. 

“From a purely slots perspective, over the last few years we’ve seen the runaway success of Megaways completely change the way people think creatively. Indeed, Megaways has modified player expectations in terms of how their games play and what they’re getting out of a game.

“Whilst I expect there will always be player appetite for quality bread and butter slots, those more aggressive styles favoured by a younger demographic has in many ways opened the door for different thinking and we’re beginning to see different game types come to the fore as studios compete for the next big thing.”

“There’s going to be a shift towards pre-covid style gambling participation”

Adding on the long-term igaming impacts to player behaviour envisaged as a result of the pandemic: “All at ReelPlay naturally hope for a safe return to normal for everyone soon. 

“No doubt igaming offers some escapism for people seeking a replacement of all manner of recreational activities with a few spins online or a hand of poker or two. 

“Exiting covid, igaming will have a new player base that may not have been participating prior to the lockdown where we’ve seen virtual visits replacing the physical, and sports bets replaced with other gambling opportunities.”

With many documenting a spike in online casino participation during recent times, as well as poker and niche sports betting, what does the landscape look like when the inevitable relaunch commences – something that gathered pace the past weekend with the Bundesliga.

Alongside a regular programme of events next year will also see the inclusion of Euro 2021, the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Rugby League World Cup and the ICC World T20, among much more.

Johnson concludes by addressing if a spike has been felt in online casino participation this year, as well as what role operators and suppliers can, or will, play in addressing an almost inevitable drop-off when sports resume: “Absolutely, though interestingly I know some operators that have adopted a policy of not cross-selling players to RNG games, whilst others will have extended their RNG efforts to replace losses in other verticals. Those operators with a less exposed portfolio appear favourably set whilst any lockdown remains.

“With a stacked live sports calendar anticipated for 2021 there’s going to be a shift towards pre-covid style gambling participation as players return to their pre-covid favourites, but recent new igaming participation won’t disappear overnight. Much like a slot player might try new games, but many will return to those they’re familiar with or have had the positive experience from. 

“I wouldn’t expect land-grab style player offers from most operators, moreover a sensible and responsible approach whereby management recognise a shift in revenues towards pre-covid times.”