Reaching a new phase of expansion was targeted by Lee Moore, co-founder of Games Inc, in the latter stages of 2019, as the online slots developer and aggregator drafted Jason O’Shea as commercial director.
Gaining responsibility for the recruitment of new game studios and the distribution of proprietary and studio partner content, O’Shea is seeking new strategic link-ups during a planned period of expansion as the company looks to its increase its footprint and distribution.
Now a little over two months into the role, CasinoBeats caught up with O’Shea to discuss the direction of Games Inc through 2020, advantages of bespoke content and thoughts on the wider online casino sector.
CasinoBeats: Jason, congratulations on your appointment to commercial director of Games Inc. What attracted you to the role?
O’Shea: Prior to joining Games Inc, I had been working with Lee Moore on another project and we just clicked. We had a great rapport and worked well together so stayed in touch. Lee then asked if I would be interested in joining Games Inc as commercial director and I jumped at the opportunity.
Games Inc is a very humble business that has achieved extraordinary things but has been very much under the radar. Now is the time to start making more noise about Games Inc and I believe the business is incredibly well positioned for growth.
CB: What direction is Games Inc taking and how will you use your experience to grow the business?
OS: For the past few years we have been making bespoke slots for tier 1, launching around 60 titles. We plan to continue developing custom slots but will also take what we have learned from this process to launch our own IP games to the wider market. We are also in the process of partnering with some of the largest distributors so that we can quickly launch our games to operators in markets all around the world.
We will be announcing more details around these partnerships in the coming weeks and months. Finally, we will continue to add exciting new game studios to our platform joining the likes of Plank Gaming and Jade Rabbit. Of course, I will also be using my experience and contacts to make sure our games are landing in more operator portfolios than ever before.
CB: What is the biggest challenge for Games Inc and how is the team working to overcome it? What is the biggest opportunity?
OS: The challenge for Games Inc is the same as for most companies in the sector and that is to deliver a top-quality product and service with the resources available while still driving growth. It comes down to not over promising and making sure we deliver.
We have a great foundation to work from but want to make sure we grow sustainably to ensure success in the long term. To do that, we see a huge opportunity when it comes to monetising the proven games we have already created.
We have also developed a simple integration layer that can be used for other RGS providers to plug in their platform, allowing the developer to take advantage of our Reach platforms distribution further building our portfolio of games for operators.
CB: You focus on creating bespoke games for operators. What is the advantage of bespoke games and why should operators offer them?
OS: Bespoke games allow operators to stand out from the crowd and offer their players something unique and tailored to their likes and dislikes. They also provide an opportunity for operators to own games and perhaps pay lower royalty fees over time.
Players are savvy and discerning and today consider more than just bonuses when it comes to choosing where to play and whether to continue playing at that brand. Content is a key factor in this, and offering bespoke slots and table games gives operators a competitive edge.
CB: What do operators need to consider when creating bespoke games? Can they be tailored to meet the needs of their players? How?
OS: Operators have huge volumes of player data which they need to use when creating a bespoke game as this helps determine things like theme, design, volatility, features and so on. They also need to think about budget and working with the right developer partner.
If they get the latter wrong, then they run the risk of not being able to turn their vision and brief for the game into a reality. By working with the right partner, they can avoid technology issues, unexpected costs, delays to delivery and so on.
CB: What are your thoughts on the wider online casino sector? The market seems to be slowing down, certainly in the UK – why is this?
OS: I think the wider industry is going through a period of change due to more stringent regulation and this, in turn, is requiring all stakeholders to change their mindset about which markets to operate in.
Moving forwards, operators and suppliers would be wise to anticipate regulation and run their businesses accordingly. I think regulation also brings opportunities for operators and suppliers to focus on niche markets, delivering a truly localised product and experience to players.
CB: What can operators, and game developers, do to ensure players continue to play online casino and not other entertainment options?
OS: I think online casino will always appeal to certain people as no other entertainment option provides the thrill and excitement of potentially winning big. That said, games need to be more engaging and the use of gamification is certainly a step in the right direction.
So long as developers continue to create compelling games – within the parameters of regulatory frameworks – then consumers will continue to play casino and slots games at scale.