Opportunities in Challenges

By Carl Friedmann
Simon Hammon, Relax Gaming CPO, discusses using technology to adapt during the Covid-19 pandemic

Already a year into the global pandemic and the ripple effects brought about by Covid-19 are still having an impact. Online gaming at large is continuing to undergo a period of transition that never tires of introducing new requirements and conditions among the usual upkeep of player wants and trends. In an environment that demands efficiency against reactive needs, whether from the industry itself or an unforeseen global pandemic, are there positive opportunities to be found?

One key area that was highly impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak was the global closure of casino outlets. Mitigation efforts to stop the spread of the virus saw most land-based operations shuttered more than 10 months ago with minimal support available for businesses of this nature. The sudden industry shift gave rise to the need for migrating land-based content into the digital world so players could continue to access their favourite games. Adding new studios at speed is nothing new, but land-based to online conversion is not as simple as rebuilding a title in a digital format. Suppliers need agility when delivering on new or unusual requirements. Technical frameworks were needed to support new entrants into the online market and to do it at a speed that alleviated the pain points these studios needed to mitigate quickly.

Moreover, as the legislative landscape continues to evolve, it’s become vital for suppliers to be able to provide games that are not only targeted in theme but tailored to the technical needs of every new jurisdiction that their operators set their sights on. Content derived directly from the region marginalises risk while increasing its potential for success. Products created in the same region as their target audience lend the work a multitude of subliminal cultural references, or preferences, that are felt and enjoyed by players of all kinds. As a game provider navigating the current online gaming environment, it’s imperative to address the needs of players in detail, to satisfy those of casino clients.

With this in mind, suppliers should take regionalised content a step further, devising packages of collected games tailored to particular markets. Nordic-focused aggregator Games Inc, for example, is releasing a collection of titles, "The Ultimate Joker Suite", through the Relax platform to specifically target the Norwegian market. Packages of this kind allow operators to pick and choose content that aligns with their global strategy, reducing risk and ensuring they secure high-quality games that have the potential or have already proven successful in their markets.

Suppliers must add value across the supply chain with a more prominent focus on markets. In a market as competitive and changeable as this one, it is those who can adapt to the shifting environment at speed and with a vision for creative solutions that will prevail, and that boils down to scalable and reliable technology, as well as the drive to differentiate.

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