hich were the major highlights of the company this year, so far?
This year, we have launched a record 12 new games at ICE 2020, with a mixture of casino classics reinvented for the next generation of players and an expansion of our innovative game show range. By creating hugely visual, entertaining, yet simple games such as our headline game, Crazy Time, our most fun and bold game yet, we are giving players more choice than ever before to find something they love.
The launch of Crazy Time is exciting as it is a unique variation of our Dream Catcher money wheel. There is an additional two-reel Top Slot above the wheel and four thrilling bonus games (more than we have ever had in one game) called Coin Flip, Pachinko, Cash Hunt and Crazy Time, which could be individual games in their own right they’re so fun!
We also launched our first-ever bouncing ball game, Mega Ball. This unique and highly entertaining lottery-style game utilizes game mechanics found in the popular lotteries found across the world, and it is available 24/7. It features one or two Mega Ball bonus rounds, where players can win huge multiplied winnings of up to 1,000,000x!
Additionally, at the end of June, we announced a recommended offer to the shareholders of NetEnt with the aim to expand our offering to include market-leading slots and to continue our vision of becoming the global leader in online casino.
As a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, almost all sporting events were suspended worldwide. Have you experienced any major differences in terms of customer demand?
The global coronavirus has affected the industry in many ways, we had to adapt all aspects of our operations to carefully ensure full compliance with national guidelines in each country in which we operate. Evolution services have remained operational at all times during the pandemic with key product launches going ahead as planned. We experienced a very high demand for our products since the outbreak, this is only partially due to the lack of sports betting games. As mentioned above we have released several new and much-anticipated games, which has also played a part in a higher demand. The wide variety of these new games appeal to entirely new player bases, which games such as Mega Ball and Crazy Time attracting those who traditionally would player bingo, lottery, and slots rather than Live Casino, simultaneously providing operators with the ultimate cross-selling tools.
What are your most popular games?
Record numbers of first-time players are attracted to Live Casino through our Game Show range. This started with the release of Dream Catcher in 2017 and then Lightning Roulette in 2018, switching players’ perceptions of Live Casino from traditional table games to ones that offered end-users engaging, immersive gaming experiences. Just like the popular TV game shows that all of us know and live, we now look to create a fun environment for players with our charismatic, TV-style game hosts and highly stylized studios.
Our innovative range of live Game Shows re-define Live Casino by putting entertainment at the heart of the game. Many of these leverage some of the most advanced technology available, uniquely mixing Live Casino, RNG, Slots and augmented reality technology providing something completely new in the market. Augmented reality has been utilized in the Crazy Time bonus world and in the multi-level gameplay of Deal or No Deal Live. Other exciting titles within the Game Show category include Lightning Roulette, Mega Ball, MONOPOLY Live and Dream Catcher.
Which are the most important markets for Evolution? Where are your newest areas for growth?
A key part of our growth is due to the expansion of the live offering in mature and new markets by our existing customers. To meet the increasing demand for Live Casino, we have focused on growing our presence globally, and we have a very strong presence in Europe where we work with the majority of leading operators. Recently, we have seen strong growth in particular within the US. Over the past year, we have doubled our capacity in our first US studio in New Jersey, as well as planned our entrance into the neighboring state of Pennsylvania. Building has begun on what will be our 9th studio globally, and also makes us the first Live Casino provider to be licensed in the state, securing a preliminary waiver status back in September 2019.
We enjoy considerable opportunities to further develop, expand, and refine each operator’s Live Casino solution through our existing customers. Looking to the future, we will continue to utilize these opportunities to bring more potential end-users and give operators greater opportunities to promote the product in new regulated markets.
Which strategies do you believe online gaming suppliers will need to develop to retain customers in the future, having recently arrived in this market as a consequence of the pandemic once the global industry recovers from this health crisis?
In a world inundated by choice, players are looking beyond simply the game itself for an even more exciting experience. People essentially want to be entertained and the excitement and thrills from huge multiplier wins can be enjoyed even as a spectator, as we have seen from the many comments on our YouTube channel on big wins videos. By utilizing exciting new technology such as augmented reality, RNG, slots-type elements which appeal to a wider audience including slots, bingo and lottery players, a totally new gaming experience is created. Additionally, multipliers within games allow them to be entertaining and immersive to a wide range of players, not just Live Casino enthusiasts.
It is becoming more and more apparent that Live Casino competes in the broader entertainment sphere, for players’ time. In terms of product development, we are moving into a new era of ultra-entertaining and interactive products. It is incredibly exciting for us to develop these games and we hope for players to play them.
Could you detail Evolution’s plans for what is left of 2020 and next year? Do you have any product releases in sight?
In addition to the launch of new games shows, such as previously mentioned Crazy Time and Mega Ball, we have had a big focus on reinventing the classic games. Traditional Live Casino games remain popular player favorites and therefore we wanted to honor those games that players know and love, but with unique twists, to welcome a new generation of players to Live Casino.
We have very recently launched Instant Roulette, a twist on Auto-Roulette, which puts the player in control. In the studio, we have 12 individual and synchronized wheels that are constantly spinning, as the balls drop one after the other in the different wheel, there is always one wheel close to having a result. The player places their bets and clicks on the ‘PLAY NOW’ button whenever they are ready to play, this gives the player an unlimited time to place bets, and, with so many wheels, they don’t have to wait long for a result!
Additionally, this year we are launching an exciting and unique online version of the most well-known casino game, Craps. Not only will this game appeal to Craps lovers but we have made it easier than ever for new players, by introducing an easy-to-play user interface with helpful features, welcoming a new generation of players to this much-loved casino favorite.