Up-and-coming casino games developer NetGaming had an interesting Q&A session with GamblingNews.com, talking about the challenges of being a game provider, potential future deals and the company’s own approach to innovating the iGaming industry.
Q:NetGaming will have an exciting 2020. Your company has planned to deliver 2 slots per month and you have also promised to create unique features for each. How far do you think you can push that creativity? Is there a natural stopping point where slots cannot be innovated any further?
NetGaming: It’s certainly an exciting and challenging time to be a games provider, as there are plenty of software studios with great content right now. The sheer volume of competition in the marketplace forces us, as developers, to stretch our imagination and explore our own creative limits. It’s challenging to be innovative, especially with the roadmap of two games per month that we have planned, however, we don’t believe that there should be limits to innovation. There are a number of options we can explore such as smart innovations with jackpots, unique bonus games and strategic branding/partnerships. We can’t reveal too much about what we’re planning, but we look forward to providing exciting content to our customers in 2020 and beyond.
Q: One thing we noticed in your games is that the grid can change. In Guardians of Prosperity the game starts as a 5×3-grid game, but it can then transition into a 3x4x5x4x3-grid game. We think this is pretty cool. How do such shifts influence the RTP or is the end rate you publish largely what players can expect in returns, however the grid shifts?
NetGaming: That’s a particularly favorite game feature for us. When developing this game, we decided to play around with the bonus rounds. Our mission was to provide a whole new experience within the actual game itself. We found that the transition to the 3x4x5x4x3 game provided an exciting change of pace and scenery, whilst keeping the players engaged. As for the RTP, well, our games are extensively tested and certified at GLi testing labs. For those of you who don’t know, they conduct 100 million spins prior to awarding the game its RTP and certification. This includes numerous rounds of testing the bonus game. Therefore, the number published is the overall RTP, and is what our players can expect from our games.
Q: Is there any specific formula you use to drive higher engagement for your customers? Can you see your products offering a more entertaining gameplay that leads to higher player retention?
NetGaming: Maybe it’s more of a strategy than a formula, however, we started with more familiar themes for our initial set of games. The intent was to provide players with alternatives that retained their favorite themes. We then developed more unique games with some exciting themes, (due for release from the start of 2020). At the moment, as a startup, it’s not retention that concerns us and we’re highly focused on player acquisition. We want to provide a number of well-thought out and well-executed games. Time will tell how the market responds to our efforts.
Q: Can you tell us a little more about your plans to release branded games? There’s the Witcher coming on Netflix and the Watchmen on HBO or is it too early to pitch suggestions to you? In all seriousness, could you share anything regarding your branded games plans?
NetGaming: Watchmen! What a great mention. You’ve got great taste. We’re huge fans of Alan Moore and now that you mention it, a close up of the ink on Rorschach’s face might make a great three-reel slot(!). Unfortunately, there are no plans for that just yet. However, the rumors are correct in that we do have some interesting branded games coming out in the new year. These will be announced at ICE (International Casino Exhibition) in London, in February of 2020. Stay tuned for more info!
Q: You have obtained a number of licenses and in some of the most demanding jurisdictions at that. That’s certainly a great start. What other markets do you have in mind? The U.S. must certainly be of interest to you?
NetGaming: Actually, a slight correction is required here; At this very time we have a license from Curacao, and our UKGC and MGA content supplier licenses have been applied for, but are pending. We intend to be one of the most highly regulated slots studios in the world, with future applications intended for Denmark, Italy and Sweden in 2020. The U.S. is of huge interest to us, and our CEO was actually a key figure in taking New Jersey’s Borgata Casino online. With a pedigree like that, we are eager and well-prepared to go through all regulatory processes to supply content to the U.S.
Q: You have translated your interface into 26 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese as some of the more exotic ones. Do you plan on marketing in Asia any time soon and if so where do you think you can push your portfolio of casino products? Are there jurisdictions in Asia that look favorably on online casinos?
NetGaming: Asia is a hugely exciting marketplace for us, rife with opportunity and variety. As exciting as this is, we are approaching it with caution and respect due to the grey/unregulated “nature of the beast”, and our desire to remain completely accountable for our activity. We understand that the key to success in Asia, is relationships and producing the right type of content. Therefore, there is a genuine focus on building a strong network of contacts that will help us create the right games and find the right clients for that market.
Q: You also list 40 currencies, 2 of which are blockchain-based, i.e. Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Where do you see the future of iGaming and do you think the rise of cryptocurrency casinos is justified?
NetGaming: We are at the start of a revolution with currency. Cryptocurrency, and the technology behind it; Blockchain, is hard to ignore. There are real world user scenarios, and even online casinos dedicated to accepting the currency. Why fight change when you can embrace it? We took that mantra to heart when designing our games. Every one of our games is even created in HTML5, making them compatible with all devices and browsers, where a number of other more established studios still have catalogues of games that are still largely flash-based. The translation into 26 languages and provision of 40 currencies is another way of us “future-proofing” our content, (at least for the moment!). We look forward to adapting and evolving even-further, as and when our customers require it.
Q: Do you plan on scaling your production further by expanding into other countries? Where do you think would be a good idea to open a new office and use as a manufacturing hub for your upcoming games?
NetGaming: We currently develop our games between our offices in India, the UK and Europe (Malta). We do not work with self-limiting beliefs and know that we have an all-star team of highly capable individuals. Every one of us is dedicated to achieving the best that we can. Sprinkle a little dose of luck, some good timing, and the permission to trade from all jurisdictions we apply for licenses with, and hopefully global expansion is a realistic ambition. As a startup, scaling our business is an inevitable dream, but we one that we will work hard to accomplish. Thank you for giving us your time today, and watch this space!