Ewa Kazmierska took the reins at BF Games as the company’s CEO back in June and now, with almost six months under her belt in the role, she has some big plans to position the games developer as a key challenger in the industry.
In an interview with CasinoBeats, Kazmierska discussed the company’s recent expansion into the Swiss and South-East European markets, before hinting at some of the announcements that we can expect in the coming months.
CasinoBeats: Thanks for chatting with us! You’ve now been in the CEO role for six months – how has it been so far?
EK: The first six months have been extremely exciting and fulfilling but it has also been a challenge with the current geopolitical landscape to consider such as the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the global financial crisis.
These external factors make it harder to plan for the future which creates uncertainty. You also have to remember that a company is made up of people with their own worries and concerns; their overall wellbeing in challenging times can’t be disregarded.
When I joined BF Games, we were already in a good shape, but I always try to push people and challenge the status quo to evolve and to maximise our potential. I’m super proud to see that some changes we have implemented really work. We have a great team of people and, ultimately, the most important thing is that we collaborate. It seems like a cliché and so obvious but it’s not always the case.
Our company consists of several departments, and you take for granted that people speak to one another, but that isn’t always the case. We now have a culture where everyone works towards the same objectives, and I hope people feel they belong to something bigger than just a desk.
CasinoBeats: In this time, can you tell us a bit about how you have stepped away from BF Games’ more traditional output and delivered something fresh for the industry?
EK: In the last three quarters we have released a range of games for both the online and land-based sectors. Among other things we have created sequels to our most popular titles, developing our Buffalo and Cave series. We have introduced our own buy feature, which was already a proven concept in the industry, and this has been a welcomed addition to our portfolio.
We are constantly trying to deliver high-quality graphics which I believe is key to success, as well as good math.s And we are always brainstorming new features that we can add in the future.
We still have games that are more classic as there is an audience for it and we have proof of concept. But next year we will release more advanced and modern online titles.
The right balance is crucial for us as we wouldn’t want to disregard clients with a land-based presence who want to see known content from that space. At the same time, we need to step up the game and compete with the young and dynamic emerging studios, so we need to challenge ourselves to stand out from the crowd.
CasinoBeats: What would you say have been the key challenges when it comes to delivering new content that is both innovative and of high quality?
EK: Everyone wants to be a pioneer. Having a concept is one thing, executing it is more challenging. To realise a great idea is not that easy and that is why many fail. You might miss a good tech writing, your architecture might not be right, or you have legacy issues with tech stack.
Although you might think that it should be easy to think of the next big thing as we are in a digital and modern industry, it does take a lot of resources and effort. But innovation is a key word for our sector and everyone keeps trying.
CasinoBeats: BF Games recently made its entry into a number of new markets, including Croatia, Romania and Switzerland. What is it about these jurisdictions that appealed to your company?
EK: We want to expand our presence in Europe and really establish ourselves as a credible and trustworthy partner who can help propel operators’ success. The regions we have recently entered are igaming markets that are mature and performing well, making it a natural step for us.
We will make our debut in additional markets in the near future. I’m not saying the ‘more the merrier’ as we need to consider how much we can invest. There needs to be good business plans behind it and we have tried some markets in the past that didn’t work as well for us as we thought. But we will continue to expand where it makes sense.
CasinoBeats: How do player preferences in these markets differ from other markets that you operate in? Have you found that certain games are performing particularly well?
EK: With Switzerland, we don’t have enough data yet as we only recently launched our content with a local operator. In terms of Romania and Bulgaria, there is still a preference to the past with old-school casino games performing well.
This is different to the Nordics, for example, where we see that players prefer more modern titles. There are for sure local preferences, and we carefully analyse these in the markets we operate to further improve our future content.
CasinoBeats: Are there any particular markets that you have your eye on for further expansion in the coming months?
EK: Europe is still a priority for us as it’s a location close to our hearts and we know the markets, can identify the demand and know what works. We are, for sure, looking at North America – Ontario and a number of US states are on our radar – as well as Asian jurisdictions. With markets further away, we need to really do our homework to not waste time and money, so we are carefully considering it before making a move.
CasinoBeats: Europe has been the topic of much discussion in recent months, with many markets introducing more stringent regulations on the betting and gaming industry. With this in mind, will Europe still remain a high focus for BF Games, or have other emerging markets (North America, LatAm) caught your attention at all?
EK: If you have a good product it will perform well no matter what the regulation is. You just need to make sure your offering is compliant and of high-quality. The strengthening of measures has made it harder to monetise our operations, though, and the current geopolitical situation makes it even more of a challenge as well.
Regular players that have a bankroll for entertainment might now spend less on it as the cost of living increases. I think it’s natural to look at new and emerging markets and we don’t want to miss out on lucrative opportunities if we think we can gain some traction.
CasinoBeats: What can we expect from you as CEO, and from BF Games as a company, over the next six months? Do you have any exciting products / innovations in the pipeline?
EK: We have a games roadmap for 2023 in place already with some new features in the pipeline. We have a great team behind us that is very committed, involved and alert to what is going on in the industry and knows what is working where. We will be working hard to ensure that we keep up the pace with our competitors.
My dream would be to one day call ourselves a disruptor but for now I think we’re making great progress to becoming a modern, reliable, and credible games studio. Ultimately, I want all of us to be proud of the product that we build and the company that we work for.