Sustained investment pays off for Yggdrasil Gaming
Fredrik Elmqvist, CEO, Yggdrasil Gaming
Revenues for the second quarter in 2017 increased by 103 percent year-on-year! What caused this spectacular increase and where do you expect the company to be in the same period next year?
We are now reaping the benefits of sustained investment in product, people and infrastructure. Revenue growth has been spectacular over the past few quarters, and this is a direct result of delivering a world-class product to those operators we have signed commercial deals with over the last couple of years. We continue to develop our products with a view to maximising the potential of these agreements.
Looking forward, we don’t give forecasts other than to say we will continue to innovate and create fantastic products to serve both our current customers and new ones.
It was in June that Yggdrasil was named Slot Provider of the Year at EGR B2B Awards for the second consecutive year. What do you believe it was exactly that made Yggdrasil win this coveted award?
It was a great honour to pick up this award for consecutive years. Winning the award once is a massive achievement, but to win it twice really shows that we have made a significant impact on this industry in a relatively short space of time.
It is a vindication of our approach to online casino: producing high-quality slots with outstanding graphics, supported by the most creative in-game promotional tools on the market, and all built on our solid and mobile friendly platform. Our innovation is inspired and required, and we are not happy to follow the same tried and tested formula; by winning this award twice, it shows how highly operators appreciate and value this.
Mobile gaming in the second quarter of 2017 was responsible for 56 percent of Yggdrasil’s total gross game win. Where do you expect mobile gaming for Yggdrasil to go in the near feature?
We are ahead of the curve compared to most online casino suppliers when it comes to the share we generate on mobile. This is the result of a few factors: we were among the first to recognise that Flash’s days were numbered and that it was time to embrace HTML5; we have our own iSENSE 2.0+ platform that is fully responsive; our development process is designed to create fantastic titles for mobile devices.
As for the future, mobile-first development remains a key strategic commitment. Our games will continue to push the envelope on the channel, just as titles such as Valley of the Gods, which combines proven crowd-favourite features and new-to-market mechanics, already have.
Earlier this year, Yggdrasil Dragons was launched. What’s the idea behind this business initiative and does it live up to your expectations?
Yggdrasil Dragons invites businesses and entrepreneurs to make a proposal to Yggdrasil and potentially work alongside us on innovative new products. We believe creativity is key to the continued growth of the casino sector and that it is not enough to create more of the same. We need to drive things forward, and show everyone that Yggdrasil is open for business. So far we have had a number of interesting proposals, and continue to evaluate all options.
It seems Yggdrasil is in a market-leading position when it comes to in-game promotional tools. Can you tell us a bit more about these tools?
Our in-game promotional tools have been intrinsic to our success. It is not enough to simply develop fantastic slots titles these days; if they are not well promoted, they will not gain the attention they deserve. To this end, we have worked tirelessly on BOOST™, our collection of in-game promotional tools that include features such as Missions, a unique gamification layer. We’ve also launched an industry-first social sharing tool, BRAG™, which allows players to share spins on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Yggdrasil recently launched a revamped version of its HTML client framework, iSENSE 2.0+. In what way is iSENSE 2.0+ adding to the player’s experience?
iSENSE 2.0+ includes a number of upgrades, such as a new, minimalistic UI for both mobile and desktop. It was designed with a sleek and modern feel in step with the latest trends in mobile app development. Feedback since we began rolling it out in April has been overwhelmingly positive.
There is also added functionality. From a UX perspective, the upgraded framework facilitates in-game deposits, allowing players to go to the deposit screen with a single click without leaving the game client. It was very much designed with the player front of mind.
Any new games in the pipeline we should know about and what Yggdrasil video slot are you most proud of?
In September, Yggdrasil is preparing for a party in the jungle as we launch a completely new game mechanic, Fusion Realm, in a ground-breaking new slot, Jungle Books. The slot uses animations and 3D graphics in a spectacular fashion, and you can read more about it at: http://junglebooksslot.com/
In terms of existing games, one of my favourites is still Vikings Go Berzerk, a highly conceptual game with mechanics that make the gameplay continuously exciting, all based on a classic ‘good guys versus bad guys’ story.