Spribe is an innovative iGaming developer with a global pull. The company’s product director, Shalva Bukia, sat with us and talked about the challenges operators in Africa currently face. A lack of infrastructure has pushed Spribe to innovate to provide players and operators with the sort of product that exceeds industry standards and addresses the local market specifics. Here is how Spribe managed to create games that can overcome technical obstacles while improving the entire industry in doing so.
What are some of the key challenges Africa presents when it comes to infrastructure (internet, mobile data, devices, etc)?
There are the often-mentioned challenges such as the lack of technical infrastructure, high cost of mobile data, and limited device access (although smartphone penetration is on the rise) that are associated with operating in Africa. But for us, one of the biggest challenges that we are working to overcome is that our Amazon servers are based in Europe and not Africa.
This increases the “ping” time for our games which ultimately impacts the player experience. The market creates a huge demand to have servers there. This is something that we’ve put a lot of effort and resources into resolving. Currently, we are moving to the Edge AWS in Cape Town.
What impact does this have on operators looking to offer players an engaging and entertaining experience?
The technical challenges that operators face, and in particular the high cost of data and the prevalence of legacy mobile devices, meaning that sportsbooks and casinos must be lightweight. This ensures they do not consume large amounts of data, and that bets can be placed, and games played from older devices. Our games are super lightweight and can run on any device without the performance dropping. This means that operators can launch them to players and deliver the same engaging and entertaining experience provided in more technologically advanced markets.
As a developer, how do you create games that deliver these experiences despite the infrastructure challenges faced?
Take our crash game, Aviator, as an example. It is so lightweight that it can be played by thousands of players simultaneously. At peak times, the game is accepting more than 2,000 bets and can easily cope with this traffic. To our knowledge, there is no other crash game in the market that provides such stability and performance, especially for those playing from developing markets such as Africa. Of course, we put a lot of investment and resources into developing this capability, which we are incredibly proud of.
What games are proving popular in Africa? What is it about these crash games that strike a chord with players?
Aviator is a new kind of social, multiplayer casino game that features an increasing curve that can crash at any time. When the game round starts, a plane takes off and the multiplier grows. Players must cash out before the plane flies away. If they do, they win. If they don’t and the plane flies away, they forfeit any accumulated winnings and their original bet. Unlike most other gambling and casino games, this puts players in control of the outcome, and this has made it tremendously popular with all player types in Africa and beyond.
How should operators market these games to players? What else can they do to leverage the huge potential that crash games provide in Africa?
The innovation built into Aviator has been extended to the in-game bonuses offered to players, and operators can use these to market the game to players and to also run promotions that drive engagement.
There are two features available, Free Spins and Rain Promo. Free Spins can be used by operators to introduce players to Aviator and to allow them to become familiar with the increasing curve format. The Rain Promo feature then adds Free Bets into the chat feature at random times. Players within the chat can then take the Free Bets by clicking “Claim”. Players can also make it “Rain” Free Bets within the chat, adding to the shared experience and social interaction.
This is the future of online casinos and especially for operators looking to compete with the other entertainment options going after millennials and generation z.
Anything else to add?
Aviator is already live with a number of operators in Africa including Hollywoodbets (South Africa), mSport and bet9ja (Nigeria), Sportsbet (Ghana), Bolabet and Lottostar (Zambia), and Odibets (Kenya). It is smashing all records and generating unrivaled GGR. Operators looking to deliver new and exciting player experiences to their players in Africa must board the Aviator revolution and strap in ready for take-off.