As a buzzword across many industries, gamification is often overlooked or misunderstood by the igaming sector, sometimes dismissed as simply a game within a game. But recent years have shown that gamifying an offering is a vital ingredient in maximising the user’s experience.

Andy Sekula, head of games at Kalamba Games, Vladimir Pavlov, VP of product at Pariplay, and Ivan Piorischin, head of product owners at Soft2Bet, continue the examination.

CB: How can gamification be used to cross sell other products and verticals?   

Vladimir Pavlov, VP of product at Pariplay.

VP: If we can make sure players find our products exciting and enjoyable, that will automatically lead to them spending more time within the game and ensure they come back for more. This gives us the opportunity to market additional products to them that they will be more likely to try if we have already built that initial trust. 

For us, it is crucial that engagement methodology is driven by data and analysis to ensure we implement the right promotional tools and secure longevity. This also helps us better target players with additional products.

Across many organisations, the extraction of relevant data through multiple platforms can be problematic, involving a complex set of integrations of third-party systems.

I see a unified approach to data, with a reporting engine collating information into a single console, as being the way forward for modern-day operators needing to focus resources on marketing and player acquisition.

AS: Tools like achievements, leagues and tournaments make players feel part of a community and promote healthy competition, so it engenders a real sense of satisfaction when certain milestones are reached. Operators can then use this to their advantage by steering players toward certain new games or products by offering new trophies, badges or missions to complete them.

We can ask a player to spin X number of times in games A, B and C for a chance to win a specific reward. We can incentivise regular play in this way, but also enable players to discover new games they might not otherwise experience.

Ivan Piorischin, head of product owners at Soft2Bet.

IP: Players should be presented with a complete entertainment and gambling experience across as many vertices as possible. Given the appropriate motivations, sports bettors will enjoy a few spins of the reels at halftime, and casino players will place sports bets. So, I believe the cross-sell between casinos and sports betting can prove to be a successful tactic. 

When a player goes to a betting site, they wager on a particular match and then simply wait for the result. After analysing the sports category, it was found that in addition to betting, players are drawn to live casino and table games.

So, to make sure the customer is not bored while waiting for the outcome of the match, the site also presents casino games they can play and vice versa, with betting being offered on casino sites. The analytics are done by the brand manager before the launch of the project, showing that players take advantage of this opportunity in the majority of cases.

CB: To what extent can existing games be gamified and how challenging is it to do this successfully?

Andy Sekula, head of hames at Kalamba Games.

AS: It’s a relatively simple task thanks to the advanced toolsets we have available to us. As technology evolves, so do the options available to developers and operators. That said, such gamification mechanisms have to be balanced carefully to maximise the quality of the experience and keep ROI on the positive side at the same time. It isn’t just a case of throwing any old extra at a game and expecting immediate results, it has to be considered and tailored intelligently but with appropriate use of data, it can be achieved. 

IP: Before choosing to gamify a particular brand, experts analyse it, see where it produces a drawdown, review the competitive market and decide which position to take in it. The decision must be considered in detail because it can scare the player away, especially if they’re used to the game and its ordinary version. 

The license under which the brand operates must also be taken into consideration. In addition, there should be a systematic process of user education, as people don’t always like novelty and, at times, prefer simplicity. There should be extensive analytics and decision-making based on accurate data.

From our perspective, modern casinos are a combination of slots with casual games, and we believe that gamification is the future. It is not about the games themselves, but something outside the box that enables operators to stand out in the market.

Hero card collections, VIP levels, daily tournaments, weekly challenges, shops and trophies might engage the player for months and even years. We are focused on gamification as a powerful retention tool that with the right mathematical approach can substantially elevate a company’s profit.