Ensuring complete differentiation from rivals has been pinpointed as a key component of igaming supplier Live 5’s development process, as the firm aims to drive further success following a deal with SG Digital last month.
The Staffordshire headquartered developer has been speaking to CasinoBeats, with Lloyd Butler, Live 5 CEO, anticipating further gamification developments to be a future trend in online casino as well as promising “a very big year” for the company.
CasinoBeats: Can you provide a little background on Live 5, how it came into existence and the team behind the studio?
Lloyd Butler: Live 5 came into existence because we genuinely believed we could compete with the big studios by developing unique and innovative content. The studio was formed in 2016 by a highly talented team with unrivalled industry experience in retail and online.
We have made huge progress in a short space of time due to our close working relationships with our partners, allowing us to deliver innovative content to operators that players enjoy.
Our games are omnichannel, which has helped us to further differentiate. The ability to provide retail and online content synchronised to an operator’s roadmap is only possible because of our multi-skilled team.
CB: What is the philosophy behind your games? What do they offer players that other games don’t?
LB: Innovation, player journey and potential are the driving forces behind our games. A clear vision and focused game development turn our concepts into games that players enjoy to play. We have and always will focus on quality over quantity, allowing us to deliver an enjoyable and rewarding experience to players. We also like to introduce new mechanics but via recognisable game play.
CB: How have you found the first few years of business? What have been the main challenges and how were they overcome?
LB: As an independent business, with no external investment, we have made huge steps forward. Our first few years have been a whirlwind of activity and growth. Albeit in a good way, growth has been our biggest challenge and in particular finding quality and experienced people that fit the Live 5 culture. I very much believe the key is to have quality content; from this you can then build on your successes and grow your relationships.
CB: How have you accelerated growth in the businesses? What has been key to this?
LB: In a word – relationships. Choosing the correct partners and having a highly motivated team has been the key to our growth. We take time to understand our customers’ requirements and then deliver a tailored solution.
CB: You are already live with tier one operators – how did you get your games in-front of such big names?
LB: We have had a good track record and strong performance in both online and retail since 2016 which has not gone unnoticed by the industries biggest players. Since 2016 we have gone from strength to strength. Strong online game performance has created demand for our content and this demand shows no signs of slowing down. Being an omnichannel provider has also connected us to some of the industry’s major players.
CB: How important has your relationship with SG Digital been in this regard?
LB: As I mentioned above, choosing the right partners has been and is key to our growth. SG Digital has some really exciting and innovative products that we have been able to really tap into. To deliver world class content we need a solid and innovative platform, which SG Digital has been able to provide.
CB: What future trends do you expect from the online casino industry this year and how is that impacting game development?
LB: Ultimately the content must be enjoyable with a strong player/maths profile. Players are very demanding with regards to the maths profile and the aesthetics of the game on desktop and mobile which in itself offers some unique challenges.
We expect improvements in gamification, not only the quality of graphics, animation and production but also the gaming features to make casino games more fun and competitive. This includes leaderboards, tournaments, jackpots, level meters that all tie in with recognisable video games and social gaming.
This impacts development across the board including graphical size implications, mathematic complications, engine integration and also post-production test process. Overall it can have an impact on time vs quality.
CB: How are player preferences changing? What are operators looking for in the games they stock?
LB: Operators are looking for innovative games which stand out from the crowd. Coupled with this, the content needs to have a very high production value. Having a strong content line up, full roadmap and a good variety of content also helps you differentiate from your rivals.
Players are understanding slot games more and have been educated that minimum stakes can yield high rewards. They don’t have to play daily or weekly cash pots or play on high stakes slots to win big. Providing this low stakes/big win potential, as well as an exciting player journey and a long-term goal within the game, usually proves for a successful slot.
CB: What does the year ahead have in store?
LB: 2020 promises to be a very big year for Live 5. Last year was all about building the team and our unique software platforms to enable us to compete at the highest level. The team are very excited to see the new batch of content go live and go head to head with the best. More than ever its critical for Live 5 to remain focused and choose partners wisely in order to move up to the next level.