6 May, 2022

A new face at the helm

We sat down with Yggdrasil’s new CEO Björn Krantz, then Chief of Global Marketing Operations, at ICE London

You’ve been with Yggdrasil for over two years now. How do you reflect on your time at the company so far?

A lot of things have happened in the past couple of years. When I came in, we had just decided to roll out the publisher strategy within the company. Looking at the approximately 200 customers we have now, and the trust and confidence that we have been given, we really capitalised on scaling up our output during that couple of years.

Another area is the output of roadmap offerings, which has almost doubled year over year; then the initiative working with the GEMs – the game engagement mechanics – and the high-performing mechanical frameworks.

You joined just before the pandemic hit. How has Yggdrasil responded to it and, more broadly, what impact has Covid had on the company?

First of all, being in a very digital segment, everyone is used to working from their computers. I think having a hybrid or remote setup has forced us to take a step back on leadership. How do we work with our teams in order for them to be engaged and motivated when they’re sitting at home? How does it impact the communication and the transparency of communication in our day-to-day work?  

From my perspective, we are now much more focused and much clearer in everything we’re doing. We have learned how to be very focused on our requirements and in how we work and act internally. But we do miss out on the normal day-to-day and being in the office. Coming in, doing the whiteboard stuff, talking about innovation, you know, the queue behind the coffee machine.

One thing that we have worked on is bringing a social element into this hybrid or remote setup. But all in all, I think the whole company has supported the new way of working.

The US is obviously a big opportunity right now. How are you looking to capitalise on this?

If you look at US player behaviour, there’s a nice correlation to what we see in Europe. Most of the games, if you look at mechanics, are quite well tuned to what works well in the US. Considering that we are a premium supplier in Europe, we recognise that this is a tremendous opportunity for us to take our portfolio and bring it to the US market. 

The importance here has been on finding a very reliable partner who can help us maximise our business strategy, that thinks in the same way we do. IGT was the partner that we selected and just a few weeks back, we went live in Michigan.  

So now for us, it’s more about how can we expand this rollout over more brands in Michigan, and then to other states. For years, we have wanted to play a part in this market; and we have very long-term strategic ambitions for it.

Speaking about innovation, I want to talk about technology. What is Yggdrasil working on development-wise?

I think we are driving the development of technology, but also how we can optimise the experience over the technology. 

One example is GATI, the Game Adaptation Tools & Interface. It is a centrepiece in our offering and optimises the way you can commercialise your content across all of Yggdrasil’s regulated markets. 

If you’re innovative but don’t have your own platform, or you don’t have the muscles to do a global push, you need to work with a partner that has the right technology; the right tools to maximise your success and get your content out there. I believe GATI is a technology that can do that.

What does the future hold for Yggdrasil?

We will continue to build on the foundation we have and make it stronger. But, ultimately, it’s all about people. We care about our people; and we care about how we maximise the opportunities for our colleagues and being innovative in our company, as well as having the strongest relationships out there in the market.