March 15, 2023 5 min read


Jelly CEO David Newstead: “Only Few True Innovations Have Made a Lasting Impact”

Today we sit down with Jelly CEO David Newstead to talk about company origins, direction, and what is next for the innovative studio and iGaming content creator

Our conversation with Newstead touches on what it means to run a startup studio and how innovation is a lofty aspiration for many new companies with the pesky habit of being elusive. Yet, Newstead is confident that Jelly is on track to deliver exciting new products for the iGaming industry that help shape its future. Drawing parallels with Netflix and TikTok, Newstead is confident that online casino content will be evolving rapidly to cater to a new breed of players.

Q: Can you introduce us to Jelly and what it aims to bring to the iGaming sector? 

Jelly’s goal is to bring exceptionally executed games to the market that players love to play. This won’t be too different to many game developers. This doesn’t always mean trying to find the next big mechanic or stretching the realms of possibility; although I do think it’s important in a number of our releases (so we’ll be trying our hand with some “Rebel” titles soon!). It’s not about doing things differently for the sake of it – instead, we look to incrementally change established ‘norms’, apply the “Jelly twist” and deliver on execution better than most. 

To do this, we put value over volume and plan for between ten and twelve network releases each year. We’ve learned from our early releases and now ensure each game is thoroughly researched and conceptualised before pushing too far ahead with development. By demonstrating our approach and rationale to a game it allows us to get operator buy-in at an early stage. This gives operators and Jelly a higher level of confidence in the success of each title. We recognise and accept that we’re still a bit of a ‘wild card’ game developer, and the more success we achieve, the greater the credibility we have. 

Q: How do you see innovation at Jelly? Does it necessarily have to do with fresh mechanics in each title or is it something else?

Innovation is always a hot topic – and a subjective one – and it means different things to different game developers. Jelly’s approach is to combine innovation with games we know will give our target players what they want. Innovation can be sink or swim for developers, especially start-ups. It’s expensive and risky – only a few ‘true innovations’ have made a lasting impact on the industry, and many have fallen into oblivion along with the developers that produced them. It’s about striking the right balance and that’s what we are working hard to do. 

Q: Have there been challenges in terms of distribution capacity?

Yes, this is definitely a pinch point for us (and many other game developers). Up to now, we’ve geared much of our efforts to Yggdrasil’s YG Masters and Stakelogic’s Greenlogic partner programmes. While this’s given us fantastic distribution and opened the door to some major operators, it does mean there’s limits to the number of titles we can release each year (through these channels) because there’s only so many release slots available – and competition is pretty fierce for them, too! Ultimately, they need to keep all of their game partners happy, which is understandable. 

Q: Do you see any specific challenges to iGaming as it is today that you strongly believe you can overcome or that the industry needs to address as a whole?

There’s the age-old challenge of trying to predict the profile of future players to help get ahead of the curve so you’re ready with the ‘right’ product to win them over from day one. The difficulty here is that the casino vertical is competing for consumer attention with so many other channels – and certainly more than five or ten years ago. TikTok, Instagram and even Netflix with its games – developers need to make sure that what they take to the market captures player attention and keeps it. Some believe slots are not cutting it, and that non-traditional casino content such as crash games is the only way to engage this demographic. I don’t necessarily prescribe to this school of thought. For me, there’s still so much that can be done with slots – and the appeal they have because they tick so many boxes – that I don’t think they will be surpassed by another game type anytime soon. Market share might flux between slots and new verticals, but slots will keep their crown as the king of online casino content for many years to come. 

Q: How strongly do you feel about Jelly’s long-term success?

I’m confident. We’ve a solid business plan and product roadmap in place and so long as we deliver on that plan, we’ve a bright future. That said, plans rarely go to plan and we must be ready to adapt to any bumps in the road. Market forces and external factors are ever present in this business. But we’ve a great leadership team, talented staff, supportive partners and products that are performing well. All the ingredients are there for success, it just boils down to making sure we stay ahead of the competition. 


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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