Lauded as the biggest budget game in Evoplay’s portfolio, Star Guardians takes players to the year 2777 with a third-person shooter mode. During the game, they will emerge in the fifth year of an interplanetary war where, in order to intervene and win, they will take full control of a character and their actions.

In an interview with SBC Leaders, Vladimir Malakchi, Evoplay’s Chief Commercial Officer, explains why he believes that the decision to create a third-person shooter mode – alongside the addition of new gamification features – has helped elevate player satisfaction and create new experiences 

SBC Leaders: Star Guardians has been a big hit for Evoplay. How has the title been received by your partners so far?

So initially, we didn’t make the game available to all of our partners, only some of our larger partners. For us, the game deviates away from our usual approach and we’ve already closed several deals to roll out the title to more customers. 

We’re still receiving a lot of great feedback and high interest in different markets right now, especially as we start to expand into more markets. For example, we’re entering Italy, Malta and we’re also continuing to expand across Bulgaria and Romania. Our partners in these markets are already asking about Star Guardians; this has given us some interesting feedback on how we can best improve the content for our players in these markets.

I am really happy with the results and how it has been received by players. As a team, we were quite nervous about how this will be received – you can never quite know just how people will respond to new games. To truly find out what people thought about the product, we had to test the product – and to do that, we had to launch Star Guardians with our partners. 

We can see that the game is working, that players are happy, and so I hope it will continue to be successful in the future. 

SBC Leaders: And as time passes, how do you plan to keep players engaged with Star Guardians?

I don’t think we have reached the full potential of the game just yet – we’re just getting started.  Our campaign launch was simply showing our partners just what we can do and making different parties aware of what we can do.

But as I mentioned, we’re continuing to expand into new markets, many of which haven’t seen this game before. We have mostly been focusing on markets where we are already live – so as we expand further we will be placing more emphasis on our new marketing campaigns connected to Star Guardians.

We believe that new players will be able to receive much more information about the game, and more partners will want to add Star Guardians to their offering. We’re looking to generate more market exposure around the title. I think that in the next few years, Star Guardians will generate a lot more interest.

SBC Leaders: How does the highly personalised nature of the game help drive player retention?

Let’s say you work in a job for several years. Every day, you go into the office and you complete the same tasks – and that’s great. But there will come a time when you want to do something different, to see what else you can do. 

That’s what we’re doing at Evoplay; we’re trying to find something new, something better. We want to create more exciting experiences for our players. The main idea behind the personalisation elements in Star Guardians is that we believe it elevates the overall player experience – it adds a degree of interaction which will keep players coming back. In the future, we plan to expand the customisation features even further and  to take that player experience to new heights.

SBC Leaders: In your opinion, what influences can slots take from video games to create a more elevated player experience?

Players have always devoted a lot of attention to video games. The idea of playing games is a core part of our human nature. 

In my personal opinion, the game development industry is considerably more advanced than the gambling industry. Gambling is quite old school – it is still a fun and interesting industry, but technology is moving forward. We’re seeing new innovations such as artificial intelligence, new gameplay mechanics and much more testing on games. 

The gambling industry could take some notes from the evolution of the game development sector and draw upon that knowledge. This will enable companies to improve, adapt and meet the changing demands of players.

SBC Leaders: We’re a few months into 2022 now. What can we expect from Evoplay in 2022? 

As I mentioned, you can always expect great content from Evoplay. We will continue to grow and expand our business with new partners and enter new markets. I’m not going to spill too many secrets, but those that are working with us already will see lots of new and exciting titles. We also have a few other plans in the pipeline, but they’re under wraps for now! 

We’re also beginning the development of our next flagship product. This will take us approximately two years to prepare, so we’re currently preparing the initial concepts of the game. 

To sum up, you can expect lots of expansion, plenty of new partners, licences, certifications, titles and content. We’ll focus on the development of the gamification of our slot games and instant games. 

In Q3, we’ll begin the second iteration of our gamification features. So there will be plenty of surprises to come for the industry from here on out!