Hello, Mr. Eklund and welcome to the Realcasinoscanada’s Q&A session. We appreciate you joining us and taking the time to help us learn more about Play’n GO.
To start, tell us a little bit about yourself, your professional background, and how you came to work at Play’n GO.
I started my career in the gambling industry by being asked by one of the founders of a then recently formed online casino to help start the marketing department. I worked there for three years and saw it become one of the most recognized brands in the industry. After that, I explored opportunities in other industries until a friend informed me that Play’n GO was looking for an Affiliate Manager. Knowing Play’n GO’s impeccable track record when creating games and having heard good things about the corporate culture of the company, I applied and was delighted to get hired.
How was Play’n GO established initially? Are there some interesting facts about the company name?
Play’n GO started in a small office in Sweden in 2005, founded by CEO Johan Törnqvist. The company started from a commitment to provide a safe, regulated, exciting casino gaming experience to players around the world and especially on the GO. We were pioneers in mobile gaming for casino games and still are in my opinion.
In your opinion, what are the main reasons behind the company’s continuous success and becoming one of the biggest slot providers on the gambling market?
It’s pretty simple and not really a secret actually – we make fun and entertaining games that players want to play. Our games have amazing art, incredible sound, really fun mechanics and much more besides. Getting those ‘basics’ right is critical. We are also committed to telling stories in our games, which keeps players engaged and coming back for more.
A really important point as well is Play’n GO’s commitment to only partnering with regulated operators, who are equally committed to player safety, has ensured our longevity. We put players, and player safety, first and foremost in everything we do.
It’s an exciting time at Play’n GO.
How would you describe your company’s approach to online games development?
As I alluded to in my previous answer, we are story tellers every bit as much as we are game developers. We also reject any sort of predatory elements that are found in other games- we refuse to include aspects such as bonus buying in our games. We want players to enjoy themselves when engaging with our games, and to view playing our games as light entertainment.
What are the main challenges facing the gambling industry this year?
If the industry ignores player safety, it’s possible that the future direction of the industry will be solely shaped by legislators. We need to lead from the front, and explain our commitment to protecting our players, instead of exploring ways to make a “quick buck”.
To your personal opinion, what special slot features distinguishes your games from your competitors?
The main feature that distinguishes us from our competitors is one that we don’t have in our games, those that prey on the player. We believe features like bonus buys are extremely detrimental, both to the individual player, and to the industry at large.
Which slots do you consider the most successful in your portfolio? Why is that?
Our flagship game is undoubtedly Book of Dead, which has in turn spawned the entire Book of series. The key to the success of this game is the story it tells. Players control explorer Rich Wilde, as he traverses the deserts of Ancient Egypt, specifically the tomb which contains the famed Book of Dead. Rich Wilde is an engaging character for players to contend with, and players keep coming back for the other adventures in the series, such as Legacy of Dead, Rich Wilde and the Tome of Madness, and Cat Wilde and the Doom of Dead.
Tell us a little bit about your upcoming release – Gerard’s Gambit.
We’re really excited about Gerard’s Gambit. It’s an educational slot game- its progressive levels are designed to teach brand new players how to play slots, but in a fun and engaging way. We believe Gerard’s Gambit is an industry first in this respect, and we can’t wait to officially launch it to the world.
What is your favorite slot and why?
It’s like asking me to choose a favourite child! I’ve really enjoyed playing Legion Gold this year, and the market reaction to the titles has been fantastic too.
However, I’ve found myself playing our sushi-themed slot Slashimi that came out a few weeks ago over and over again. It’s really fun and has nice bonus frequency too.
We know that Play’n GO has been awarded a supplier license by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario recently. How do you think it will influence the company’s further development?
We were one of the first suppliers in the industry to get a license in Ontario when the jurisdiction regulated recently and I can tell you that we are doing very well there today. Players are flocking to our titles, which is lovely to see. We are closely monitoring the other provinces in Canada and will be following their journey to regulated market places with interest.
Ontario is a really important part of our wider North American strategy too, and in the past few months we’ve added a number of the US iGaming states to our active jurisdictions list. If New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania and the others US states follow in Ontario’s footprints, we’re going to be just as successful in North America as we have been in Europe for the better part of the last two decades.
It’s an exciting time at Play’n GO.
What is the main goal of this year for Play’n GO?
We want to achieve the same success we achieve every year- weekly game releases, more engaging stories and characters, and continued growth around the world in regulated markets, as evidenced by our new licenses this year in North America. We’ve achieved plenty in the last 18 years, but we aren’t even close to finished just yet. Watch this space.