Yury Ermantraut, CEO of live game developer ATMOSFERA, in a brief chat with CasinoBeats, discusses the company’s approach to the live gaming genre as well as its ‘people matter’ approach to creating a vibrant ethos.  

CasinoBeats: Can you give us a brief introduction to ATMOSFERA and what it does, i.e. its live gaming products such as live roulette, bingo, keno and bet on poker? 

Yuri Ermantraut: ATMOSFERA is all about taking the live gaming experience to the next level! We’re a company that specializes in creating top-notch live gaming products that players love. Our line-up includes live roulette, keno, music wheel, blackjack, and each of these games is designed to deliver excitement and fun. We’re passionate about what we do, and we’re committed to providing the best gaming experiences out there.

CB: You have talked before about ‘personal branding’ within your team. Why have you taken this approach? How does it work and how does it make ATMOSFERA better at what it does?

YE: From the very beginning of ATMOSFERA, we’ve been all about the “people matter” principle. Giving them the freedom to express themselves professionally and removing any fears gave us some awesome team members. And guess what? It led to having vibrant ambassadors for our company in different branches. Because, people are one of our core values.

We live and breathe those values. It’s not some soulless instruction or process. It’s an extension of self-expression within the team, happening naturally, helping professionals in the industry shine. We love sharing experiences within the team, and we love spreading the word outside too. It keeps you pumped up, growing, and with a fantastic vibe!

CB: Clearly, this type of corporate culture brings a great deal of flexibility and is based on having a lot of trust in your team. But how do you balance that free-thinking approach while maintaining a consistent, corporate structure to your business?

YE: We employ various approaches and experiments in our team collaboration. It all depends on the current context of a particular decision or project. But let’s be real, total freedom of expression doesn’t always lead to the perfect outcome or an easy compromise.

We strive to get to the heart of each situation, and sometimes decisions fall on me personally, but I always explain the cause-and-effect relationship and readily acknowledge mistakes if my decision turned out to be wrong. The most crucial thing is to maintain honesty among colleagues.

CB: The live gaming sector is currently bristling with activity and, as such, is becoming increasingly competitive. What is ATMOSFERA doing to set itself apart from the competition? What’s its unique selling point?

YE: Right now, we’re working on a show product that’s going to bring a brand-new tool for dealing with bonuses to the market. We’ve poured our hearts and souls into the classic game lineup, giving it that extra touch of meaning. This approach doesn’t always yield instant results, but in the long run, we’re seeing growth and attention towards our product.

CB: AI, machine learning and ChatGPT are becoming increasingly influential within the gaming sector. How does ATMOSFERA harness this incredibly powerful technology when it comes to designing new products? And how important is it to retain a ‘human touch’ in the realm of game design?

YE: To really nail these tools, you got to put in some serious time to figure out how to get the most out of them. We’re in the process of exploring everything available in this market, but we’re already experimenting.

For instance, one of the design options for our new show product was AI-generated. I went with the one the design team came up with. It doesn’t mean AI can’t do better, it just means we got to put in some serious effort to teach users to work with this tool just like they would with their own noggin.

CB: You’ve had your major blackjack launch this year. How was that received by the market and what other ATMOSFERA innovations can we look forward to in the near future?

YE: We spent one and a half times more time and effort on blackjack than we initially planned, so it’s still early to talk about its success. But for this product, it’s just the beginning, and it feels great to get positive feedback from our partners and see their interest in adding this game to their portfolio.

We’re already working on a feature for Blackjack that no one else in the market has right now. Stay tuned for some blackjack awesomeness!