Steve Collett, Chief Product Officer at Inspired, explains why the supplier is closely watching the output from companies who don’t have a retail presence.
In today’s gaming world, many players enjoy playing both online and in retail settings. The preferences of traditional, land-based slot players have changed, a shift driven by the arrival of online games and more dynamic mechanics.
While a lot of our mechanics work the same whether online or land-based, math and presentation can vary. Our most successful games are still designed for a more traditional player who has come from retail or started playing online with the early retail styles.
Over the last few years, however, more of Inspired’s games are now released online first, allowing us to quickly understand mechanics that work for the crossover players and hone our roadmaps for maximum benefits to our customers.
Inspired’s successful game development approach, however, isn’t about deciding whether to build for retail or online first. It’s about building for the players in a target market, listening to our customers and utilising what our Insight team tells us the needs are.
All game developers know that art is what first attracts the players, but what keeps players coming back is the math and showing players where the money can come from. This is true for both land-based and online games.
Many of Inspired’s customers are looking for that omnichannel experience as a driver to acquire and retain players and grow overall revenue. Omnichannel content can certainly help build successful retail and online player crossover.
Games with strong brand affinity that offer somewhat similar gaming experiences can be used as a great marketing tool for that crossover. Convergence of retail and digital channels grew dramatically throughout the pandemic for Inspired, and we are continuing to see the benefits.
One thing Inspired is watching closely is the output from companies that don’t have a retail presence, those who are designing for the new online only player. These companies are building some highly volatile, edgy or social video game-style games.
They appear to have strong appeal to the newer/non-omni online operators but maybe less appealing to the omni-channel operators. We continue to challenge our three studios to take note and look to innovate for our customers’ needs.
In 2023, we’ll be releasing top titles like Cops n Robbers Big Money, which leverages the well-known land-based brand Cops n Robbers, online first in the UK and then into retail.
We have some exciting brand extensions for some of our most popular games arriving in H1 and we will be showing our latest branded title at this year’s ICE 2023. Whether retail or online, Inspired has an exciting roadmap planned for our customers and their players in 2023.