Interview: Director of Business Development, Darren Stephenson, speaks with European Gaming on our games and the Nordic market
The Nordic market has successfully established itself as one of the key gaming regions in Europe, and is a highly important market for Push Gaming.
Our Director of Business Development, Darren Stephenson, recently spoke with European Gaming about this. They discuss the initial reasons for Push Gaming entering the Nordics, along with some interesting insights on the typical player there, as well as how our games have been received so far.
Can you give us a quick snapshot of Push Gaming’s operations in the Nordics?
The decision to enter the Nordics was a strong option for us for a couple of reasons. Primarily, this was due to the fact that the Nordics is one of Europe’s most established gaming regions. Online gambling, and in particular slots are very popular there, so becoming a part of this was an obvious choice.
Also, at that point in time, we had chosen the Relax Gaming platform for our distribution channel. This channel provided us with a fantastic opportunity to reach a number of respected Nordic operators that were already integrated onto the platform and therefore allow us to establish a foothold in the region quite rapidly.
Naturally our CEO James Marshall started spending more time in Malta working with our partners to promote the games and ensure everything ran smoothly for them, and over time, with many key Scandinavian operators having their base in Malta, it was a natural progression into a really key region for us.
Why do you think your games have proven so popular in the region?
Scandinavia is one of the most mature markets when it comes to slots, and our slots are designed to be different and challenge the status quo.
Our design team utilises cutting-edge technology to deliver an immersive experience. The attention to detail, which is so important to us, fits perfectly in a market where players notice the smallest of differences, and our quality versus quantity approach resonates well with such a demanding group of players.
How would you profile the typical Scandinavian player? Are there typical demographics?
We try to avoid getting drawn into focusing too much attention on specific demographics. We simply aim to create a highly entertaining product that is set to resonate with all types of players.
We want to innovate and ensure that no two releases are ever quite the same.
Of course there are certain themes which you might expect to resonate with one region or market more than others and that might become part of our launch planning discussions with our partners. A good example of this might be that we have very high hopes for Joker Troupe, as the Joker theme has always proven so popular in the region.
The key takeaway for us here has very much resonated with our approach. After all, we’re an entertainment company at heart – and evidently with the right combination of maths, graphics and immersion – we’ve learned that you can engage and entertain multiple types of players with the same game.
Are there certain design elements of game mechanics that you look to incorporate to meet regional preferences?
When it comes to mechanics, HypermodeTM, the in-game feature for Joker Troupe, has also been very well-received. It gives the player a timer instead of a set amount of spins, and when landing enough of the joker symbol, players can reset the timer and continue spinning.
The game is a fusion of a popular theme combined with exciting mechanics, and was heavily influenced by the Scandinavian markets and the demand we’re seeing from Nordic players. The product owner that ran this project was also Swedish so his own experiences and preferences would of course have had an influence on the end result also.
That’s not to say we launched Joker Troupe with plans to make it all about that region, but rather – if it’s good enough for players renowned for their discerning nature, then we’re likely on to a winner.
How do you view the development of the Swedish market since regulation at the beginning of 2019?
It’s certainly evolving. It may have been a somewhat rocky start but being suppliers, we’re lucky that it’s been less of an issue for us. Sweden's licensed gambling operators still reported strong numbers in revenue for the first half of 2020 so the market remains extremely important and will continue to be a key market for us and is certainly a big part of our future plans.
What can you tell us about your plans for 2021 and beyond for these markets?
In general, I see no reason why Scandinavia can’t continue its successful upward trend. Regulation will of course have an impact and something that will need to be monitored.
When it comes to potential expansion, we are very close to launching with one of - if not the biggest operator in the region - so we are super excited to see our games going live and sharing more news on that partnership.
We’ll also be steadily innovating and tailoring our platform in line with our planned expansion, which we hope will be of great benefit to our partners. And of course, we wouldn’t be Push Gaming if we didn’t have a line-up of new immersive games with great features in development so stay tuned for those!