Over the last few years, SYNOT Group has made a name for itself in the gaming space – with many of its products being offered across the land-based and digital space.
For SYNOT, this cross-vertical offering is helping to add “further value” to its brand and, ultimately, for its partners.
CasinoBeats sat down with SYNOT Games’ CEO Ivan Kodaj SYNOT Group Sales Directors Miroslav Valenta and Roland Andrysek to discuss how the company plans to deliver that land-based expertise into the online space.
Something to consider when cross-selling titles, the trio told CasinoBeats, is the appeal that this can have for a younger demographic – many of whom are well versed in digital gaming.
According to Valenta, capturing the attention of gen-z and millennial bettors is arguably one of the biggest challenges facing the land-based gaming industry in 2023. Without new and innovative solutions, this could become a much harder problem to ignore.
He began: “Engaging and retaining a younger generation is the biggest challenge that SYNOT faces, and one that the land-based sector as a whole must overcome.
“As we have all seen, there is a trend of younger players moving towards the online space, but this isn’t to say that they are completely abandoning land-based gaming.
“At SYNOT, we plan to overcome this challenge by blending our online operations with our land-based offering, wherever possible. In time, the land-based industry trend of older casino visitors needs to be addressed or it will become a more significant problem.”
Players aged between 21 and 25 years old form a core part of SYNOT’s target audience and engagement strategies with this demographic have a large influence on the company’s overall operational strategy.
This demographic, Kodaj explained, will be the ones that are looking for new experiences in the digital space. This is where he believes SYNOT comes in.
He said: “We believe that those players aged between 21 and 25 that are playing our games will be the ones to remember the SYNOT brand in a few years time when they are looking for new digital experiences. They will remember the games and designs that we offer.
“Engaging, and most importantly retaining, these players forms a huge part of our operational strategy. We have plans in place to identify those players that we believe will be long-term customers of ours who will, in time, play our games in both the land-based and online spaces.
“What we must remember, however, is that the market will evolve in the coming years. I personally do not know whether these players will increasingly transition onto land-based machines or continue playing on mobile devices.
“This is the great unknown for everyone currently operating in the land-based casino sector. We are doing the best that we possibly can. But who can realistically predict what the future holds in 10 or 15 years’ time? I, for one, cannot.”
As of late, we have seen many gaming companies adapt their land-based titles to the digital space in a bid to create a more cohesive experience between retail and online. But is this migration as easy as it sounds? In a word, no.
Kodaj told CasinoBeats that when adapting land-based titles to suit a digital environment, a number of alterations must be made, both in terms of content and cultural nuances.
He said: “At SYNOT, we have never taken a land-based title into the online space without making a number of alterations. No game has ever been duplicated 1:1. The games we choose to bring online are based on game data and player information – there is no point in adapting a game if the data doesn’t suggest online players will enjoy it.
“Online games also have much more requirements than land-based games. They must be fresh and engaging – whether that’s the graphics, animations, sounds, game flow – it all requires a wholesale redevelopment.
“To add to the complexity, the tweaks that we make are entirely market specific too. For instance, in Eastern and Central European markets, players appreciate the more traditional-style games. This means that mathematical models and features do not have to change as much.
“Western European markets are different. These players prefer much more complex titles that are feature-heavy. How we approach development is based on SYNOT’s vast experience of operating in these markets.”
Andrysek pointed out that the life-span of games in the online space must also be taken into consideration when either developing new titles, or adapting those originally intended for the brick-and-mortar casinos.
It goes without saying that everything online is much faster, but what must also be factored in is that the competition between providers is much more intense. So how do you stand out?
Andrysek said: “When it comes to the online space, we take a look at the life-span of each game. Everything in the online space is much faster. You can launch a game across different markets incredibly quickly, so the impact with players is also much quicker.
“What this means, however, is that competition in the online sector is also much stronger, meaning that the life-span of a game is much shorter than in the land-based space. So it’s incredibly important that your games stand out from the crowd. This is where innovation is required. At SYNOT, we listen to what players want from their games and adapt accordingly.”
Talk soon turned towards innovation and the role this plays in engaging with players. Many have dubbed ‘innovation’ to be something of a buzzword within the gaming community, but at SYNOT, new features and products are key to delivering a stand-out offering.
“The increased competition within the gaming industry impacts innovation across both verticals,” Kodaj added. “For the online space, you need to come up with new features that are both practical and engaging for players. But this isn’t as easy as it sounds.
“You can often be limited by device optimisation – for example, 90 per cent of our players are using mobile. Therefore, we must create a game which is totally different from land-based titles that have much greater graphical detail.
“What this means is that the development of online titles becomes much more complex as you need to, ultimately, produce two separate titles that still form one game – each with an incredibly different graphical interface.
“On the online side, we also have download size restrictions which need to be taken into consideration, whereas in land-based it’s a totally different story. For land-based games, games need to be visually perfect. But for online, it is much more important that titles are downloadable and optimised to different devices.
“At SYNOT, we create games that satisfy players across both channels and deliver a truly engaging player experience.”