Steven Valentine, Chief Commercial Officer at Comtrade Gaming

Earlier in the year, Comtrade Gaming pulled back the curtain on what was billed as a “significant milestone,” as the Slovenia-based gaming platform and solutions provider set it sights on global expansion following the introduction of CG Games.

The new game development division is tasked with leading a fresh global push for the company, as well as ushering in a new era of innovation and creativity.

Following this, Chief Commercial Officer Steven Valentine spoke to CasinoBeats to elaborate on this introduction, discuss the key challenges that had to be overcome, touch on what the future could have in store and much more.

CasinoBeats: Thanks for speaking to us today. To begin, could you elaborate on the decision to introduce a new games development division in CG Games? 

    Steven Valentine: After 20 years in gaming, why now, that is great question. As a gaming technology company we have been building game mechanics and the maths components of games for many years.

    We already have an RGS product that has been used by some of the largest game providers. This meant from an operational point we were already very experienced, and we only needed to add the initial game concept and design element to our existing team. 

    We are not underestimating the skill involved in those final elements though, and we will do what we always do in all areas of our business and focus on the detail.

    CB: To build on this previous question, could you touch on the challenges encountered when establishing CG Games and how these were overcome? As well the overarching ambitions that Comtrade Gaming has regarding this new division?

      SV: I think the biggest challenge for any new game provider is establishing a route to market and getting that critical mass of operators and ultimately players playing the games. There are a lot of new game providers who struggle with this first step.

      Thankfully, we have a small head start in this area because we have some very large and well known operators that already use our igaming platform. We have long established relationships with them and they have already agreed to take our content, the first of which has just gone live. 

      We also have recently hired some very experienced business development managers (Jason O’Shea and Anja Bojetu) to drive our success. They have both previously worked at several tier-1 game providers and leveraging their experience will be vital for us.

      Our ambitions have no limits and in the next 12 month we would like to see huge growth from this new venture. However, we are also in the enviable position of already being a very successful company and any success is complementary, so this gives us the luxury of more time without having to worry about costs.

      CB: You stated that this represents “a new era of innovation and creativity, setting new standards for excellence in game development”. How do you plan to achieve this? How will those games developed differ from the arguably overwhelming wave already available and consistently being introduced?

        SV: Comtrade Gaming has always been known for quality and that will be no different with our games. We want to produce games that have a high-end look and feel and are appealing to tier-1 operators. 

        When it comes to creativity we want to see if we can bring some different concepts to the market, whether that be in crash games, slots, or a whole new style of game. 

        We will be bringing out a new crash game in September, the official launch will actually be at SBC Summit Lisbon and this will look very different to anything currently out there today.

        CB: How will CG Games allow Comtrade Gaming to partner with many more operators?

          SV: We have been, and still are, very focussed on our igaming platform (iCore). It’s something we have been extremely successful at, and we don’t plan to change that. This level of focus is even more acute when you consider we don’t do any start up business and only migrate existing operators.

          The downside of this is that we are only ever talking to and targeting a much smaller audience at any one time, typically operators that might be considering changing platforms. Our brand is not as well known as perhaps it should be given we have been in business for 20 years.

          With the launch of CG games this now makes every single operator a potential customer, and gives us an opportunity to make Comtrade Gaming a much more familiar name. 

          CB: Regarding the future of the division, where do you see the roadmap and overall growth going? 

            SV: It’s an exciting time for us, we are just starting out on a journey with no set destination. Even though we have a long history in gaming we recognise we have a lot to learn when it comes to producing and marketing successful games.

            We initially plan to launch one new game a month and the focus will be on quality rather than quantity. There will also be some initial exclusive deals and tailored games for some specific operators. Bespoke development has been one of our main differentiators and we believe we can add great value to games.