Aggregation has found itself at the front and centre of CasinoBeats’ mind for quite a number of weeks, and courtesy of our latest CB100 special that is showing no sign of changing any time soon.

A significant uptick in the number of these offerings has undoubtedly been witnessed in recent times, with certain quarters thinking aggregation is treading dangerously close to venturing down a path well trodden by slots-based debates.

This primarily concerns the age-old quantity versus quality conversations that have become commonplace (stagnant?) within the online gaming realm, although that is an issue for another day. 

This latest delve into the world of the aggregator does indeed concern a close look at studios, but most importantly if they can survive without such alliances.

Jaana Repo, Senior Account Manager at Realistic Games, was the first to step up to the plate, noting that a “discernible shift toward aggregation” is particularly beneficial for studios. 

This, she said, is due to the ability to cost effectively tap into pre-existing distribution networks and customer bases, which, in turn, enables a focus to be placed on primary operations. 

“In the constantly evolving landscape of online gaming, aggregators have assumed a pivotal role, transforming the industry by seamlessly amalgamating game content from diverse partners into a unified and integrated module,” she continued.

“The concept of aggregation isn’t exclusive to igaming; it echoes across various industries. Just as aggregation facilitates suppliers in accessing multiple markets and hundreds of operators through a single integration, it mirrors the convenience sought by consumers in entertainment and e-commerce services like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon. 

“…studios can benefit from simplified regulatory compliance, expansive network resources and greater market penetration”

Daniel Heywood, CEO of NuxGame

“Consumers crave rapid access to content, and this entails having it all at their fingertips in one place.”

Echoing these earlier sentiments was Daniel Heywood, CEO of NuxGame, who suggested that survival for developers could be challenging without content aggregation. This is due to an ability to gain wider exposure and quicker distribution in arguably a much smoother manner.

“There are significantly higher costs associated with direct partnerships with operators as studios require greater investment into their commercial team to forge new agreements,” Heywood noted. 

“In addition, comprehensive regulatory knowledge is needed to ensure its games meet legal requirements for new markets.

“By partnering with an aggregator, studios can benefit from simplified regulatory compliance, expansive network resources and greater market penetration. 

“Aggregators often streamline processes and deliver efficient integration processes, accelerating market entry and setting the stage for growth.” 

However, Repo voiced a slight disagreement with the above; taking a slightly different focus to confidently suggest that there are still merits to direct distribution, specifically in cost efficiency.

“By distributing content directly, suppliers can sidestep platform fees or revenue-sharing arrangements associated with aggregators, potentially leading to higher profit margins,” she stated.

“Direct distribution also empowers suppliers with complete control over the integration process. They can introduce upgrades or new features to their distribution platforms without the integration constraints occasionally imposed by aggregators. This flexibility allows suppliers to tailor their distribution channels according to their unique needs and preferences.”

“…we gain access to an expansive network of operators, opening doors to fresh opportunities and broadening our reach

Jaana Repo, Senior Account Manager at Realistic Games

Uniting our latest CB100 special back under the overarching topic at hand, Heywood points to a belief that a studio’s survival could simply hinge on strategy and long-term vision.

Borrowing another key phrase closely associated with the slots ecosystem,  it is pointed out that “it is not a one-size-fits-all scenario” and that options must be carefully considered.

“While some may prefer to retain the creative freedom offered by the lone path, ultimately, aggregators give studios access to a broad reach and convenience, allowing them to scale up quickly and more efficiently,” he concluded.

Taking a different approach, Repo looked to within Realistic Games’ own operations to note that favourable positions have been gained from going direct, while acknowledging that aggregation could well be key to achieving wider worldwide expansion targets.

“By collaborating with aggregators, we gain access to an expansive network of operators, opening doors to fresh opportunities and broadening our reach,” she ended. 

“This then frees up our integration teams to redirect their focus to platform enhancements and more game innovation. For some, I’m sure it’s a subjective matter but for Realistic Games, our future is in aggregation.”