1X2 Network is a company that is at the forefront of cutting-edge game development in the iGaming sector, bringing a variety of top-notch products that tempt consumers by virtue of their unique features, captivating visuals and innovative core mechanics. Aggregating content from select third parties has been a part of the company’s offering for some time and today 1X2 Network works with a variety of third-party vendors.
1X2 Network has adapted a philosophy were driving the best market conditions for customers is always a priority, whether that is via their own content or by acting as a conduit for other studios.
Today, we talk with 1X2 Network’s Head of Content Partnerships Chris Loftus, who believes that aggregators can work hand in hand with third-party providers to drive a stronger value for the end-customer, but also bring some of that value home.
Q: It seems no studio is looking to distribute its content on its own these days. Have aggregators become the norm or have they been the norm for a while now?
A: The aggregation market’s been evolving for over a decade now and there are no apparent signs of it slowing down. From the content suppliers/game studio perspective, it’s a vital method for them to rapidly expand their reach and speed to market without being paralyzed by expensive and time-consuming direct integrations.
Similarly, the operators enjoy the benefits of a single integration, whilst having a diverse content offering from innovative and trusted content suppliers and a ‘one-stop-shop for all of their content and regulatory needs.
At 1X2 Network we have some extremely strong and long-standing partnerships with some household names such as Oryx, Leap, and Playson, but we continue to scour the market for game studios with content that complements and diversifies our overall offering.
Q: There seem to be many aggregators now. Is this a feasible model of distributing games and do different aggregators bring different features to the table?
A: The drive for content aggregation is a reflection of the changing market in the iGaming industry. With so many burgeoning new markets, increasing regulation and a drive for more and more content localization, operators are increasingly looking to aggregators as a way to broaden their content offering, whilst minimizing the development challenges that numerous integrations and compliance requirements can bring.
We believe that our aggregation (3PI) allows studios to achieve both fantastic saturation through our extremely wide network of clients, but also to target specific markets where a more niche/localized approach is required. We pride ourselves on being flexible and nimble at 1X2 with our approach to aggregation. Our goal is not to sign up for every studio we come across and pack our portfolio to bursting with similar content, it’s to build a disparate offering that enables us to better cater to our client’s wants and needs.
Q: Can aggregators come together to boost the profile of iGaming and is this focused solely on distribution or are there other aspects that they can explore?
A: I think the sheer breadth of the client base that an aggregator serves puts them in a unique position within the industry. We have customers from every area of the market, from large ‘Tier 1’ operators to new start-up casinos looking to grow across multiple continents.
That interaction with such a broad spectrum of the industry should allow aggregators to be able to broaden their respective content suites and introduce new concepts to different markets. In terms of aggregators coming together, they could certainly help boost the profile of iGaming in emerging markets, and a united ‘aggregation community’ could work closely with regulators to get effective (but not overbearing) regulation in place in a timely manner.
Q: Are there downsides to aggregating content? Do studios lose their individuality or just to the opposite, they get the best net benefit they can out of a distribution deal?
A: From a small independent studio perspective, aggregation’s a vital tool to get quick and affordable access to the market. The explosion in numbers of content providers over the last few years has made it extremely difficult to get your content noticed, especially to the ‘Tier 1’ operators.
Using an aggregation platform such as ours allows a studio to rapidly expand their product reach and utilize the expertise (both in terms of technology and market knowledge) that has been built up over the last two decades in the industry.
In terms of downsides, I think that is dictated by choosing the right aggregation partner to work with, one doesn’t want to become just another book on the shelf! It’s vital that both the producer and distributor in this relationship fundamentally understand the content and the target market so that the end customer gets the best representation of the product they can.