Ahead of next week’s CasinoBeats Summit we caught up with RNG Foundry, a gaming accelerator launched in association with gaming investor Velo Partners.
The group asserts that its investment, expertise, distribution and technical resources offer the “most attractive package in the industry to accelerate the ambitions” of slot studios.
Furthermore, RNG Foundry also pinpoints a “significant amount of experience and traction” in increasing its attraction to those seeking funding, with more than 12 studios forming part of the firm’s network.
Here, Andrew Reader, director of RNG Foundry and Velo Partners, offers a little more information on the make-up of the gaming accelerator, what makes an ideal candidate for investment, and key lessons learned thus far.
CasinoBeats: Could you tell our readers a little bit about the operations of RNG Foundry?
Andrew Reader: RNG Foundry is a gaming accelerator which was set up to help start-up studios and aspiring studio founders. It is certainly one of the most active investors in the casino content ecosystem and we believe has the most compelling combination of distribution and technical resources on the market.
The accelerator has grown significantly in the last four years and now counts a portfolio of over 12 studios in nine countries producing world-class content.
“We think we have the most compelling offering in the market for new studios to succeed”
CB: What major benefits would a studio gain from an RNG investment and from being in the company’s portfolio?
AR: In addition to the capital, the most obvious benefit is the market-leading distribution we have through the Quickfire platform. Studios have a fixed cost to produce their games and ensuring they have the broadest possible revenue opportunity when publishing is crucial.
We also provide access to an extremely powerful proprietary BI system which offers our studios insights into game design, technical optimisation and game performance. Lastly, there is access to best practice and learnings from the other portfolio studios, our various partners and numerous technical teams through networking and specialised events which has proved to be invaluable to studios when starting out.
CB: What do you look for in an ideal investment candidate? And alternatively, what would be the major turn-offs?
AR: When selecting our investments, we focus heavily on pedigree. Top game designers working for established suppliers and looking to start their own studio are a priority. We also like studios who are struggling for distribution through some of the other smaller networks and can benefit from our offering.
We strongly believe in what we call a ‘slots nerd’ – a founder or executive who is passionate about slots design. There is also typically a strong capability on the maths side of game design and the combination of the two makes for a very compelling founding team.
Re turn-offs, the recurring one is with studios who want to produce high volume lower quality games, which in some cases I am sure has been a profitable model but it is not in our DNA, which is seeking to create premium content.
“When a game doesn’t perform it’s just as important to break down why in a structured post-mortem”
CB: What have you learned about investing in slots studios that is relevant for an aspiring studio?
AR: As we said, quality not quantity is paramount. Equally, craftsmanship and attention to detail is everything. A studio needs to understand the reasons why its content is engaging and entertaining and have a relentless focus on the data to refine and optimise future games.
When a game doesn’t perform it’s just as important to break down why in a structured post-mortem. The other key factor is ensuring a consistent game release cadence in order to build a decent size catalogue.
CB: Are there any common mistakes or things that you see not working well when starting a studio?
AR: Appreciating the time it will take – often over 12 months – and having the funding in place to carry one over that fallow period, is crucial. It’s also crucial to appreciate how long it will take to build a team and the impact of delivery of the first and second games.
Trying to rush the first game out the door too quickly is another common mistake. The market doesn’t reward you for speed but has a long memory for those who demonstrate craftsmanship and attention to detail, even if it’s a basic 5×3 slot with a simple bonus feature.
We also like a DNA of thrifty, which usually means avoiding the big trade shows as a start-up and going light on promotional materials and videos and 3D printed figurines!
CB: What does the future hold for the company?
AR: We want our RNG Foundry studios to become market leading suppliers and grow into large and attractive businesses in doing so.
We think we have the most compelling offering in the market for new studios to succeed in this journey and can’t wait to find our next founders to welcome into the portfolio.
Register for a free online pass for the event at the CasinoBeats Summit website.