Tom Galanis, First Look Games director, emphasised that its Demo Game Server is a ‘vital step’ in its effort to ‘nurture’ the ecosystem that affiliates and game studios coexist.

Last month, First Look Games teamed-up with player ID verification platform 1account to launch its Demo Games Server which enables game studios to serve their free-to-play demo games behind an advanced verification tool that meets UKGC standards.

“First Look Games was set up to bridge the divide between those making the games and those marketing them,” noted Galanis. “DGS is a vital step in our effort to nurture the ecosystem both parties exist in, whilst serving to compliment the great work operators & their affiliate partners have been doing in terms of progressing compliance & social responsibility. 

“At a time when all gambling businesses need to be doing more to comply with regulatory evolution, we’re delighted to be contributing to the equation as best we can.”

FLG game developers wishing to leverage the power of the platform need to provide the firm with their free-to-play demo game code, which runs from the studio or platform provider’s server. 

FLG embeds this code into its DGS tool which also includes age verification technology. First Look Games’ affiliate users can then embed the games to their websites in a compliant manner.

Some of the main advantages of DGS by First Look Games for game studios include:

  • Extended checking system which prevents underage gambling in regulated location
  • Free for affiliates, removing an important barrier of entry for most affiliates
  • Universal demo game system – a one-stop shop for Affiliates and Game Developers
  • Hassle-free operation

How do affiliates benefit from FLG’s DGS tool? 

Galanis confirmed they have responded to ‘affiliate user demands’ and built out demo game availability to all 500 plus affiliates on First Look Games. 

He continued: “One of the barriers we faced in providing these previously was relating to compliance. In the UK, license holders – which include game studios – hold responsibility for ensuring that free-to-play games can only be accessed by people aged 18+. This meant that game studios were previously reticent to offer affiliates access.

“Many affiliates who focus on the UK market have already explored the idea of age verification tools. Depending on the volume of traffic their site(s) have, this has become both an expensive exercise and poses a risk to the user experience for their visitors, damaging conversion.”

The First Look DGS offers affiliates free, industry-standard age verification for UK visitors, designed to fit the UX of any affiliate portal.

“Our tool identifies a visitor by their geo and takes UK users through a slick age verification process.” added Galanis. “If they pass, they can access and play the demo game immediately – and what’s more – they will be able to access demo games across your site, other portals you run and indeed all other sites utilising the First Look Games DGS without need for renewed age verification for 90 days – a great shared benefit to using First Look Games.

“Non-UK visitors will seamlessly see the demo game load without any age verification, although we have the scope to add this to other markets as required by law.”

Thoughts went back to 2018 where Galanis stated that game studio and affiliate relationships were built in an ‘ad-hoc manner’ and claimed to not have been given the attention either party ‘deserved’.

“We set out to formally establish that connection with First Look Games. I believe we have achieved that goal and we are now hell bent on ironing out the consumer friction points those new relationships have brought to the fore.”

“To that end, we have placed the player at the core of the First Look Games business, both in terms of positive user experiences of viewing & enjoying accurate marketing communications provisioned in part by game studios and executed by affiliates and now with a focus on protecting that end user by making sure casino content is less easily accessed by under 18s in the UK. 

“This is not just required of the licensed game developers by law in the UK, it’s the socially responsible thing to do and we are on hand to add age verification gateway to players in other markets as required by law or as requested by our licensed game studio partners.”

Galanis then turned his attention to the importance of the support received by 1account during the development of DGS stating that offering the tool for free is ‘vital’ to build critical mass adoption. 

He continued: “1account is an important part of our Demo Game Server product. We selected their technology based in part on their pricing model (or lack of) as cost has been a huge barrier of entry for affiliates seeking to build their compliance standards. 

“Offering the tool for free is vital to build critical mass adoption. We have also been impressed by their tech which lends itself to strong AV pass rates amongst our members as well. This will serve to minimise – or maybe even – improve customer conversion from affiliate portals. 1account delivers scope to branch into international markets too, which is a huge plus.”

Moving forward Galanis stressed that DGS is set to add verification gateways in any market with ease. Galanis concluded: “The 1account product presently enables us to service a variety of international markets, including Sweden, but First Look Games will move as regulation and the industry requires. 

“Alongside age verification, we are also placed to add geolocation compliance technology as required.”