International edition
September 30, 2020

Exclusive interview with Helen Walton, Founder, Gamevy

“The skill revolution is coming to real-money gaming”

“The skill revolution is coming to real-money gaming”
Gamevy's Helen Walton talks ICE 2016 and innovation in real-money gaming. “The gambling industry continues to focus on a narrow group of people – slots players, but that’s a tiny % of the population,” she says.
United Kingdom | 02/16/2016

Gamevy's Helen Walton talks ICE 2016 and innovation in real-money gaming. “The gambling industry continues to focus on a narrow group of people – slots players, but that’s a tiny % of the population,” she says.

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hat products did you showcase at the recent ICE show?

We launched the most innovative games to hit the gambling industry in a decade! For the first time, the industry was able to see and play games that combine genuine skill with luck and the chance to win massive, life-changing jackpots of up to £5 million.

Boss the Lotto – 43 good balls, just 6 bad. Your choices are all that matters when it comes to the big win. This huge success reinvents how people play lottery!

The Heist – Winner of Game to Watch 2016!. Take ten steps to reach the vault and win some money, but risk it all in the jackpot or jail round if you want to reach the million pound prize!

Gears of Fortune – spin the gears in this symbol collection game and answer quiz questions to unlock the jackpot.

Back of the Net – a sports quiz where you cross the pitch to a penalty shoot out jackpot.

Diamond Deal – there are ten diamonds dealt across the board. Can you go on a lucky diamond run to scoop the prize?

Goldenballs – the game where the odds keep changing in your favour. Throw away those bad balls and find a better one!

Sloto – the world’s first lottery slots game, this is one set of lucky numbers you don’t want to miss.

Who is the player of the future? How would you describe him and how are you adapting your product offering to cater to this new type of player?

The gambling industry continues to focus on a narrow group of people – slots players. But that’s a tiny % of the population, compare to the 75% who buy lottery tickets, but who don’t think of themselves as ‘gamblers’. They want to be engaged and entertained – the way they are by the free games or pad for app games that they spend time playing on mobiles. While a few companies are attempting to attach this market with real-money skill games, the industry as a whole has very little focus on the broad demographic.

We aim to attract to this much broader demographic of customers with games that combine skill, luck and huge jackpots. We know that real innovation comes from thinking outside the existing product types in real-money gaming. Our games often draw inspiration from gameshows – a highly popular form of entertainment – but also re-imagine lotteries, bingo etc for ways to make them more engaging. Our Boss the Lotto game offers a high win rate and gives players choice and agency in the game – no surprise then that it’s proving a huge hit with lottery players.

Mobile and online gaming, once synonyms of innovation, have become common currency. What new ways of innovating will the industry see in the coming years?

We believe that the skill revolution is coming to real money gaming – not just in the existing narrow categories of e-sports, but also in many other social interaction opportunities. We are not thinking of cannibalizing the existing gaming genres, but acquiring new customers – and if the industry doesn’t wake up to radical product innovation, we think it faces an ever narrowing focus and reliance on promotions.

There will also be more innovation in types of wearables and virtual reality to offer a more immersive experience – why not view a race or fight in real time using new uses of virtual reality to enhance the pleasure of race and betting opportunity?

Apart from a strong presence of both eSports and omni-channel gaming, what were the highlights of ICE 2016?

There was a distinct theme amongst the games submitted this year´s Game to Watch award. The games all had skill aspects to them or were looking for deeper player engagement and interaction. It suggests that for those good at reading the signals, there is a definite move towards product innovation.

And the innovation stretches to other aspects of the industry as well. This is 2016 and for Gamevy, as industry outsiders, the sight of dozens of promo girls in tiny outfits was a bit of a shock to us. It felt like travelling back in time to 60s views of women.

When we thought about ICE, we decided that the traditional promotional approach was due a bit of a shake up. Our approach, two boys in tight skirts and killer high heels, and they rocked ICE! More than 500 photos of them were taken in a single day, they became celebrities of the show, visitors were asking who they were. We thought it made a nice point – Gamevy plays differently – just like our games.

How do you assess your participation in the 2016 edition of ICE?

We are just so pleased; ICE has been a big deal for us!

First, we opened the show Alongside Chris Veitch of Eurocoin. At 88, he was representing the long tradition of ICE, and us, a sparky start-up trying to deliver game-changing innovation.

Winning the competition for the Game to Watch award. To win this competition for our hero gameshow, The Heist, is the perfect recognition of all our work. We sow great products from hot new comers-it was a hotly-contested competition.

A huge crowd of people playing our games in the big touch TV screen at the front of our stand. “There is nothing like this out there” said one state lottery operator to me. “This is real innovation”. It was incredible seeing how people gathered together to answer the quiz questions right, or wanting to continue playing our interactive scratch game. Once was not enough.

Doing deals. We have had several major operators asking to move to commercials after seeing the games in action, as well as promising conversations with a dozen others. It feels like a real take off point for the company.

We’re looking forward to next ICE already!

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