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Wazdan’s Michal Imiolek: Looking ahead to 2023, starting with ICE London

Wazdan CEO Michal Imiolek talks exclusively to Gambling Insider about the group’s 2022, new trends in casino game development, player engagement, ICE London 2023 and much more

Michal

How has casino game development changed over the years?

In today’s climate, with casino games being so prominent on portable electronic devices, there are hundreds of games being released each month and thousands already in existence. Therefore, it is essential to focus on producing quality content that stands out in a saturated market while also striking the balance to release games every month in order to stay competitive.

At the same time, audiences are always on the lookout for new experiences and the next thrill. Game developers need to be constantly inventing new bonus features and promotional tools to keep players engaged. The times of more simple, straightforward desktop games are long gone, as nowadays all games need to be mobile-first and easily accessible. Players also look for more attention to detail and, thus, we need to focus on aesthetics and eye-catching themes, stunning graphics, smooth animations and immersive soundtracks.

Creating a personalised and customisable experience for slot enthusiasts is also required in game development to maximise user experience, which in turn increases engagement and player lifetime value. This remains an important aspect of driving revenue growth. 

The dynamic market of casino game development has helped to shape our value proposition at Wazdan, where we have increased the number of games we release annually, while remaining true to our mantra of “quality over quantity.” We remain proud of our consistent monthly releases, ensuring each of them comes with engagement-boosting features, immersive themes and superb visuals. At Wazdan, we’re always on the lookout for the next innovation that can help us stand out from the crowd.

The times of more simple, straightforward desktop games are long gone, as nowadays all games need to be mobile-first and easily accessible

How does Wazdan engage players?

Wazdan’s philosophy of supporting its partner’s growth through a commitment to innovation and increasing player engagement continues to be a commercial success for the company. 

Our pioneering solutions have been both well received by players and deliver proven results to operators. We’ve seen this, especially with the launch of our innovative Cash Infinity, Collect to Infinity and Sticky to Infinity mechanics, which have supercharged our slot portfolio and brought considerable engagement value to the products in which they appear. A prime example of this is when we introduced the Cash Infinity mechanic to 9 Coins, generating impressive results in regulated markets across the globe, increasing the number of unique active players by 163%, game rounds by 248% and bet sum by 265%.

Tailoring player experience to suit their individual preferences is at the forefront of enhancing conversion rates. This is why Wazdan’s games offer various customisation tools, including industry-first Volatility Levels. We’ve also seen fantastic results in our Cash Drop and Mystery Drop promotional tools, boosting player experience and enhancing KPIs. 

Wazdan reported growth in 2022 with new games, market launches and partnerships. How would you summarise 2022 for the group?

It was a very successful year for Wazdan and we are very proud of everything we achieved in 2022. We released 17 new games over the year including some top performers like 9 Coins, Magic Spins, Sizzling Eggs, Burning Sun and Hot Slot: 777 Crown. We also launched a range of incredible new features to our slots specifically designed to boost player engagement, including Collect to Infinity, Cash Infinity, Sticky to Infinity and Magic Respin.

Entering new markets and strengthening our global presence more than ever also brought on great excitement and commercial success. This led to the expansion of the Wazdan in-house team with 60 new members. We struck over 25 new partnership agreements which saw us enter the likes of Michigan, Ontario, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Spain and Italy.

Can you tell us more about the Mystery Box Giveaway that will take place at ICE 2023?

We wanted to find a special way to celebrate our attendance at ICE London and the launch of our biggest network promotion yet, which features a fantastic prize pool of €1m (€1.09m). Therefore, we decided to run a Mystery Box Giveaway for ICE attendees.

We want to invite all delegates to enter the Giveaway on our website, where they’ll get a special promo code, entitling them to receive a Mystery Box. Then all they have to do is visit our stand N7-420 during ICE 2023 and collect their gift. We’ve got some really amazing prizes up for grabs, including exclusive merchandise, Apple AirPods, fine spirits such as Glengoyne 30-Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky and a travel voucher.

What else does Wazdan have planned for ICE?

We look forward to welcoming visitors over a delicious cocktail made by a professional bartender at our bar and walking them through our premium offering at stand N7-420. We’ll be showcasing both new and upcoming releases to our catalogue, including Power of Sun: Svarog, Hot Slot: 777 Stars, Hot Slot: 777 Rubies, Hot Slot: Great Book of Magic, Mystery Kingdom: Mystery Bells, Hot Slot: 777 Coins, Hot Slot: 777 Cash Out and 12 Coins. 

We’ll also be encouraging delegates to delve into our Cash Drop and Mystery Drop promotional tools and network promotions, which will be on display at the event. We have been incredibly busy preparing for ICE London and can’t wait to show Wazdan to the world.

It was a very successful year for Wazdan and we are very proud of everything we achieved in 2022

Wazdan recently outlined its roadmap for Q1 2023 with various slot launches. What does the rest of 2023 look like for the company?

With nominations for prestigious awards ceremonies like the Global Gaming Awards, Wazdan has definitely started off 2023 with a bang but we have so much in store for the rest of the year.

We’ll be running network promotions with an astounding prize pool of €1m. Our Mystery Drop promotions engage players with instant prizes in our top-performing games. Operators can opt-in to this service for free and it includes marketing assets provided by us. As well as new games, we’ll be introducing new mechanics, including the thrilling One Click to the Grand Jackpot feature which presents players with an opportunity to win the Grand Jackpot with just one click.

We also plan to enter new markets this coming year. Already lined up we have Pennsylvania and Connecticut, and we hope to continue the expansion of our global reach by creating new partnerships. We remain very optimistic to see what this year brings and what the future holds for us!


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