Pragmatic Play runs the show with multi-product offering
5 Star talks to Pragmatic Play’s Chief Business Development Officer Yossi Barzely about the company’s journey from premium slot developer into a true multi-product supplier.
This year has seen significant innovations across the slot portfolio from Pragmatic Play. Which has been the most successful?
We have seen a landmark year for our slot portfolio, with our catalogue of award-winning slots growing significantly. Our ‘Gold’ series has led the way, with Mustang Gold, Pirate Gold and 5 Lions Gold all proving to be hits with our operator partners. We have also released our John Hunter series, which sees our titular intrepid adventurer search for treasures across the globe. We’re delighted that our interactive slots have been very well received, and a third John Hunter title has already been released.
Sweet Bonanza, one of our most colourful recent slots, contains a unique tumbling feature. This is triggered when a winning combination of symbols appears, causing them to be replaced by new symbols which drop onto the reels from above. This exciting addition has seen even further engagement with Sweet Bonanza, as any successful spin can have big effects for a players’ win total.In this light, we have strived to continue our development roadmap of releasing three titles per month, but never at risk of lowering our incredibly high standards.
We continually look at balancing the gameplay models that make Pragmatic Play titles stand out, while also combining them with a healthy number of fun features that can lead to big wins for our players. We constantly aim to diversify our offering. Some games, such as The Great Chicken Escape, are filled with triggerable features, whereas others, such as Hot Chilli, are limited in features but offer a smooth, easy to understand gameplay in an immersive setting. It is all about finding the balance.
What was the thinking behind Pragmatic Play Enhance?
At Pragmatic Play, we’ve always prioritised trying to create a gaming experience that isn’t just top-quality, but hugely entertaining as well. Gamification plays an increasingly important role in online casino, and if as a supplier we can create tools to further benefit our player’s gameplay experience, it becomes a no-brainer. Pragmatic Play Enhance is a fully rounded, complete gaming promotional kit that encompasses local and network jackpots, tournament and prize drop promotions, as well as a number of free spins bonuses.
The idea behind Enhance is to create an engaging, adaptable and customisable promotional kit that can give players real-time rewards. We have developed it to be simple to set up, via straight-forward API integration, supported by the entire Pragmatic Play slots portfolio. Crucially, in the modern online casino universe, Enhance is mobile-friendly. With nearly 80% of revenue now coming from mobile players, designing tools that work seamlessly on mobile devices is vital for suppliers.Through Enhance, we keep players engaged through a thrilling, real-time promotional tool that our operator partners can adapt to suit their needs. It has also been proven to increase revenue for our partners, as it optimises player engagement and retention, adding significant value to our portfolio, and maximising the success for all involved parties – us, our partners, and players of Pragmatic Play slots. From random prize drops to real-time leaderboards during tournaments, Pragmatic Play Enhance gives players immediate thrills to match their experience.
How has the roll-out of Live Casino gone?
The launch of our Live Casino products has proved to be very positive. We pulled out all the stops during the development stage and spent a considerable amount of time before launching to make sure we had the highest quality products available. Our state-of-the-art, purpose-built studio has a capacity of 43 tables, and the studio is equipped with the latest 4K cameras, as well as premium visual, audio and lighting equipment. Our Live Casino portfolio includes roulette, blackjack, baccarat and our newest table game, Live Speed Roulette. We have also enhanced our blackjack offering with two new tables, Blackjack A and Blackjack E, which are aimed at either low-stakes, fun-seeking players, or higher-stakes gamblers looking for an immersive casino experience. The Pragmatic Play Live Blackjack also has a number of new features aimed at making a player’s experience as smooth as possible.
This includes an auto-stand feature, where players can set a predefined points total to ‘stand’ during the game, and a ‘deal now’ button to speed up gameplay when all bets have been placed, regardless of time left. We’ve also experienced considerable commercial success with our Live Casino portfolio. We have signed deals with a number of major tier one operators such as Interwetten 1xBet and Parimatch, with other exciting announcements in the works.
An aspect of our Live Casino offering that has been particularly well-received has been the option to have a dedicated live casino for our operator partners. This dedicated environment features operator-branded tables, bespoke dealers, and unique game types that provide the operator with a truly exclusive solution. While the decision to expand from our traditional product of slot games wasn’t taken lightly, the success we have garnered from the launch of our Live Casino products has been a real testament to the work put in. We now are starting to get a reputation as an excellent supplier of Live Casino, which, tied with our slot games, is a great start as we endeavour to become the best multi-product supplier on the market.
We have seen a large number of high-profile commercial deals signed by PP, is this trend set to continue?
It has been a very exciting few months at Pragmatic Play, as we continue to sign deals that focus on our targeted markets. We’ve experienced considerable expansion in Western Europe, signing deals with Codere and Casino Portugal, and continue to prioritise commercial agreements in regulated markets. We think it is vital that we grow in these regulated markets, and we achieved significant success, especially when we signed with Svenska Spel this year.
We’ve also gone live with operators as varied as Sky Vegas to Snaitech, Ladbrokes Coral to SuprNation. The diversity of our operator partners is a great strength and allows Pragmatic Play fans in markets everywhere to access our award-winning content.In recent weeks, we have signed deals and gone live with some of the very best and biggest names in regulated markets across the globe. Pokerstars, 888 Casinos, William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair are just some of the names who offer Pragmatic Play titles, joining a list that continues to grow in both length and stature, cementing ourselves as one of the best slots suppliers on the market. As we have become a multi-product supplier, we have also seen an increase in the number of commercial deals asking for either Live Casino on top of the existing slots agreement, or just solely Live Casino, giving operators options to choose. This is very pleasing for us, as it shows the work put into creating our multi-product provider image is paying off. We expect to close deals with further exciting Live Casino partners soon.
What can we expect in the future from Pragmatic Play?
Hopefully a lot more of the same! Our Live Casino offering is going from strength to strength, and our slots portfolio continues to impress. We have a clear roadmap for our new slot games, and the latest title in the John Hunter saga, John Hunter and the Tomb of the Scarab Queen has just been released. We continue to innovate in our Live Casino vertical, and we will look to expand into the Live Casino market with some exciting commercial agreements. Our bingo offering brings forward more customisation options than any product on the market, right down to the buttons and icons, which means operator partners can shape it according to their audience. It also features a unique in-game lobby on mobile, alongside a simplified, easy to comprehend card view feature and extra prizes on each ticket to keep players coming back. And, like all Pragmatic Play products, it is easy to integrate via a simple API. Much like the past few months, we will continue to expand in regulated markets, which has always been a priority for us. Pragmatic Play now offers a high-class slot portfolio, Live Casino offering and bingo product, and after our acquisition of VsoftCo in early 2019, we will soon have a premier suite of virtual sports products as well. The journey to becoming a multi-product provider has been exciting, and we have achieved a lot this year – but we aren’t done yet!