Just a few weeks ago, BetConstruct extended its portfolio of branded FashionTV slots with the support of igaming design agency Vegas Kings.

CasinoBeats spoke to all three parties for more on how the deal works, stand-out features of the new slot games and the period of opportunity for online casino.

We put the questions to FashionTV Gaming Group COO Shai Kaplun, Vegas Kings managing director Stuart Allen and Karen Gulkanyan, director of engineering at BetConstruct.

CasinoBeats: The latest slot games for FTVGG extended a partnership first brought to the industry’s attention in late 2018. Is this an agreement you pick up as and when their need for new slot content arises, or is there a pre-agreed number of slots you aim to release?

Karen Gulkanyan: We started our partnership with FashionTV Gaming Group on terms of slot development and dedicated live casino hall construction. After those were well received among FTVGG players and the players of our partners (FTVGG games are activated on our platform too), we agreed to freshen up the portfolio from time to time. Currently, BetConstruct has 10 games of its own developed for FashionTV Gaming Group and two more thematic slots developed by Vegas Kings.

CB: What would you like to highlight about the new slot games? Are there any key concepts or functionality to look out for?

KG: Cooperating with FashionTV Gaming we follow two main goals – to reflect the brand’s identity in the igaming field and to create the product that will be loved by its followers. New slots, both the one of our production and the two from Vegas Kings, successfully display the brand identity of FTVGG. 

“…We’re looking forward to seeing what our powerful partnership will create next”

As far as graphics and design go for our game Hot Stuff (pictured), we present fresh summer themes. Hand-drawn symbols like ice pops, oysters, disco balls, flamingo inflatables, diamonds and cocktails are joined by three main characters of the game. 

We made sure to include rich functionalities to make every spin packed with action. So, scatters, multipliers and free spins are central to our slot game. 

CB: What is it FTVGG likes about this latest range of slot games?

Shai Kaplun: These stylish new slots are a perfect fit for the glamorous FashionTV Gaming World – home to all of our partners’ FashionTV-branded products, across verticals, creating a truly immersive experience. They really resonate with the real-world luxury that’s made FashionTV such a big hit, bringing this megabrand to life for the online gaming industry in a thrilling new way.

Players can enter the exotic tropics of FTV Hot Stuff, embark on a jewel-encrusted adventure around the globe in World of Diamonds, or grab a taste of the highlife in Fashion Secrets. 

Encompassing a range of distinctive themes that draw on the FashionTV brand, all executed with exquisite graphics and flawless animation, these new games offer the glamorous gameplay and first-class experience you’d expect from a brand that’s synonymous with the utmost luxury and style.

We’re delighted with the initial results and would like to thank BetConstruct, as well as Vegas Kings, for all their great work. With more exciting launches in the pipeline, we’re looking forward to seeing what our powerful partnership will create next.

As a global megabrand, FashionTV is followed by billions around the world”

CB: Just explain the Vegas Kings part in this; how extensive is your creative input to these games? Or are you working off plans agreed by all parties?

Stuart Allen: We were fortunate enough to be approached by BetConstruct to partner with them and FTVGG to develop both slot games. Vegas Kings was involved right from the initial conception of the games all the way through to the logos, graphics, character builds, animations, and sound, along with the full integration into BetContruct’s SlotBuilder platform.

CB: Back to you, Shai. From your side, how did this come about? Who made the initial approach? Which other gambling software providers are you working with in this way?

SK: As a global megabrand, FashionTV is followed by billions around the world. It also has especially strong presence in Eastern Europe and the CIS region, so a partnership with BetConstruct made perfect sense. We first met at ICE 2018, and from that moment our work together immediately took off. 

We’ve already launched a series of games across two key verticals – with their slick graphics and unmistakable FashionTV flavour, they’re proving incredibly popular with new and existing audiences around the world.

The FashionTV Gaming World is expanding rapidly, as more global online gaming industry leaders join this incredible phenomenon, and we’re really excited to continue the journey with such powerful partners by our side. 

“It is unique to them with regards to the design and customisation”

We have more international launches lined up with BetConstruct, as well as with a number of other industry leaders such as NetEnt and other gaming giants, still to be announced this year.

CB: We understand FashionTV Gaming also has branded halls and games as part of your live casino solution; is this unique to them? Are there any boundaries to the sort of company you would offer such a deal to?

KG: It is unique to them with regards to the design and customisation. Each detail and aspect of FTVGG’s dedicated hall was agreed upon with the brand and constructed according to their requirements. That’s how we have the colours of FashionTV Gaming, a runway in the middle of our hall, diamond symbols and displays in the background with fashion shows.

We don’t limit this service to any particular sort of company or type of their operations. Even if they want to enter the industry with close to none experience in igaming, we will be there for the potential partner to find the solution that can work the best for them. 

We offer the ultimate software, a space in our live studio and assistance in any type of venture. It all boils down to the creative use of all the aforementioned. FTVGG actively takes advantage of the opportunities we offer alongside other brands.

The ability to introduce new games responsibly and sensitively is always important”

CB: Shai, how important is the branding and marketing of these slot games amid the current pandemic? In relative terms, has the gaming component been less affected than other areas of your business?

SK: Given the FashionTV brand has billions of viewers and millions of followers worldwide, across all the FashionTV channels, players are already familiar with the offering and eagerly seek out new products. That gives our partners a unique advantage, as they are launching concepts that already have traction in the market.

The ability to introduce new games responsibly and sensitively is always important, but in the current climate, it’s absolutely essential. Our partners do gain access to the support and reach of the FashionTV media network, but more importantly, they gain the power of a megabrand – and the huge admiration it already attracts, across segments.

CB: Without wanting to be perceived as opportunist, is this a big period for Vegas Kings? Have you had more approaches from companies needing quick design and development support to bring their website up to speed?

SA: Although a lot of our work comes from sports betting which we have unfortunately seen a sharp drop, we have indeed seen an increase in requests for casino, lottery, poker, and esports creative and web development of late. 

There is still a fair amount of new and existing work that has continued to push us forward which we are fortunate enough to be able to manage and deliver the same as we always have. 

The initial goal of online casinos was making real-life experience more accessible”

Let’s just say that our clients are keeping us very busy whilst working remotely during this crazy time and it is business as usual for us.

CB: Just finally Karen, what is the short to medium term outlook for online gaming? Will the surge in demand plateau or drop off when more sports return? Or has this period just accelerated an inevitable rise? 

KG: There are many factors that talk in favour of online gaming. The initial goal of online casinos was making real-life experience more accessible. With the rise of mobile, almost every adult has a device in their hands, so online gaming is literally within a reach and a 24/7 available entertainment.

It goes without saying that it will take a while before technology replaces the real feel of pulling the slot-machine handle and rolling the dice at a croupier’s table, but the progress doesn’t stop there. 

A VR casino, just like one of our own developments, can be a worthy substitute that will not require any waste of time and travelling costs to experience the real atmosphere of a gambling venue. So when the lockdowns end one can hope that online gaming will become a part of accessible leisure for the players. 

What comes to sports, we’ve witnessed a significant number of traditional bettors giving esports and virtual sports a go, while the sportsbook is short of events. Surely, these products will cease to be a go-to option for betting, but the situation has proved that both products have their own place and dedicated lovers.