Ahead of the gambling industry event everyone is eagerly awaiting, Andrzej Hyla, Wazdan Head of Sales, speaks to Gambling Insider about his company’s plans for ICE London 2019 and beyond.
How have you found your time so far at Wazdan and being based in Malta?
Being a part of Wazdan is not only a great challenge but an adventure. I have been at Wazdan since the beginning and I enjoy working with the team at Wazdan; observing their passion and commitment every day and the joy that comes as their hard work contributes to company development. It’s been great to watch the growth of our games and the popularity of our products among players, and I hope to see further progress in 2019! Malta is a great location for the growth of Wazdan; we’re located right in the middle of everything and close to our clients which is great for business development.
What kind of innovation do you see in the slots market over the next few years?
I see gamification not only offered to casino players (e.g. in the form of loyalty programs), but available in each game separately, and an advanced personalisation of games for individual players. For example, players will be able to choose symbols and place them in their favourite games.
I also think our Unique Wazdan Features – and especially Volatility LevelsTM, which enable players to independently choose the level of volatility in their game – will be an innovation that leads the way in the future. At ICE London 2019, we will be presenting our brand new seventh Unique Wazdan Feature – Big Screen Mode. This new feature provides a unique visual experience while playing our games on large screens, and enables players to fully embrace the atmosphere of their favourite game.
How important is ICE for Wazdan and the rest of the industry as a whole?
As the company grows, we want to continue to showcase our products and the passion we put into them on the global stage. ICE is, as every year, a major industry event in Europe, so Wazdan places great importance on it.
Alongside the presentation of our games on giant 65-inch screens at our stand, we are inviting our customers to a unique evening boat cruise on the Thames, with great cuisine and beverages on the house, accompanied by live music and special magic shows. We want our business partners to know they are as important to us as the players playing our games.
What products will Wazdan be showcasing at ICE this year?
As in previous years, Wazdan will present our latest games to visitors at ICE. This year, we can’t wait for the reaction to our latest titles – which we hope will become hits in 2019. These will be the next two editions of the Magic Stars 3 game, enthusiastically endorsed by the market in 2018, and this year we are launching Magic Stars 5 (5 reels) and Magic Stars 6 (6 reels). Another game we are launching is Larry the Leprechaun, a cheerful story about a tiny creature well known for storing gold coins in a pot of gold hidden at the end of a rainbow.
We will present our seven Unique Wazdan Features: Volatility Levels™, Ultra Lite Mode, Energy Saving Mode, Double Screen Mode, Unique Gamble Feature, Ultra Fast Mode and Big Screen Mode, as well as a few other titles appearing on the market in 2019. You’ll have to visit our stand S8 202 to find out more on those. Wazdan are also offering all our visitors great coffee and delicious Japanese whiskey, so we can enjoy a drink while talking business!
You recently signed a deal with TGP Asia; what are your ambitions for the Asian market?
We are working to increase the number of our games available in the Asian market. The contract with TGP Asia is a great step forward. Our game portfolio of nearly 110 titles offers something for everyone – and we are keen to offer our games to more Asian players. Following our game "9 Lions" receiving a prestigious Hot Hit Products 2018 award at G2E Asia in Macau 2018, we are excited to work towards becoming the games provider of choice for all players. We’re aiming for similar success among all operators running their business in Asia.
Are you targeting any new emerging markets?
We are looking at emerging markets such as Africa and LATAM. With these markets in mind – where the availability and speed of the internet can be limited – Wazdan has designed the Unique Wazdan Feature, Ultra Lite Mode. It shortens the loading time of the games by five times, without reducing the player's playing comfort. So, it is perfectly suited to the needs of such markets.
What are the major challenges you face in 2019?
The main challenge for Wazdan this year, and every year, is to continue to develop games that become player favourites. This year, we will continue to create products in which every detail reflects our commitment to delivering innovative casino games which deliver original and fun player experiences. Another challenge we face is to meet (and beat) the competition, which is evolving day by day. We are constantly looking at new games appearing on the market with respect.
Our goal for 2019 is to enter new markets, i.e. Italy, Spain and Portugal, and increase our share in the European and Asian markets.
Where does Wazdan aim to be this time next year?
We aim to continue to launch games that are eagerly anticipated by players and operators alike. We have lots planned for 2019 and, in 2020, we’d like to be one of the leaders among online slots suppliers. We would also like our team to grow, employing even more people with a passion for games. The end result will be each of our clients can be sure that, in offering their players Wazdan games, they offer them the highest quality product.