Connect with us

Industry News

Vanilla content will always be second best – argues Reflex CPO

Published

on

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Ahead of ICE London 2019, Mat Ingram, CPO of independent developer, Reflex Gaming, explains why the commoditisation of content is a race to the bottom

Looking back on 2018 what have been the highlights and the key achievements in the online space for the Reflex brand?

2018 was a year characterised by strategic and steady expansion for Reflex in the online sector. We went live with five new top tier operators as well as numerous smaller operators courtesy of our existing distribution partnerships which continue to do well for us. We have adhered to our “quality over quantity” philosophy, resulting in six new game titles over the course of the year, all but one emanating from our market-leading portfolio of land-based content. We have forged new commercial relationships, worked with new development partners, and continued to learn a lot.  There’s no doubt that 2018 was an important and successful year.

How would you describe the main challenges for the online sector – is it facing a case of over supply?  Is there a danger of quantity subsuming quality when it comes to games content and what can be done about it?

For me, the sector is surprisingly slow-moving given its entirely-digital nature, but this is a symptom of the complex distribution routes that are now so prevalent, along with the hugely busy supply chain. Many planets have to align technically and strategically for a relatively simple event to occur, such as a game release. Compare this to our server-managed land-based machines, where I can develop a game in half the time and release it overnight to thousands of machines, but of course in this case I am in complete control of the tech stack and the content strategy, which helps enormously! The over-supply of what I would describe as vanilla, ‘global’ content has turned the previous art of game creation into a production line building commodity ‘widgets’ whose value to the supplier is measured in how low they can get their costs. This must, in turn, reduce quality, however this is not always immediately apparent. There are so many games being released that without any promotional activity (that the bigger suppliers can fund), one game performs much the same as another, thus perpetuating their commodity status. As such, I believe there is an increasing requirement for specialised, ‘hyper-local’ content – by which I refer to games that have been specifically created by suppliers with local expertise and experience for local players. As suppliers, we often have to modify our games anyway to suit local regulations and language, so there is already an existing idea that games must be localised, but I believe that it is also better for the user if the games with which they are presented are those that have been crafted for them rather than the one-size-fits-all approach that is often used. Reflex have some of the most successful games in the land-based markets in which we compete and we should leverage these with partners who have expertise in distributing hyper-local content.

Has your thinking on omni-channel gaming changed since ICE 2018 and if so where do you stand now?

No, my opinion hasn’t really changed on this. It may be sometimes difficult to quantify the benefits or produce empirical evidence of them, but intuitively I feel that it has to be better UX for a player to be able to move from one channel to another and play the content they know and enjoy on platforms that support a seamless transition from one place to another. Surely, if the player has a better experience whilst doing this, they are more likely to stay loyal to the retailer / operator and indeed the games? It just seems to make sense to me. This is why Reflex are talking to a number of operators who have both a land-based and an online presence about how we can work together to provide UK-specific, omni-channel games, and we are one of only a few suppliers who can do this.

How will Reflex be using ICE London 2019 and what does success look like?

We will be using ICE to showcase our diverse land-based and online product ranges. It’s one of the few opportunities we have to put everything together in the same space, and our omni-channel credibility becomes really apparent when you see it all together. The range includes UK and Dutch land-based machines of many styles and categories, through to purely online and mobile content, with the same design ethos running across all channels. The star of our land-base range is the GamePro cabinet which will this year include the new GamePro Max, a sit-down lounge-style machine. Our view is that whatever a player experiences in a land-based environment, they should be able to experience on their desktop or mobile within the confines of the devices. A successful exhibition for Reflex is mostly not about the number of contracts or deals we sign, as most of the hard work has been done on these prior to the show, but rather it is about how many new people we meet and new opportunities present themselves, and judging by the number of meeting requests we have already had, we should be in for a busy few days!

As an exhibitor do you get the opportunity to spend time walking the aisles at ExCeL and taking stock of the industry and the direction its travelling in – how important is it to do this?

I think this is hugely important, although being honest, I don’t get as much time to do it as I would like, as I am generally busy on the stand. However, I have a great team who come to the show and who act as my eyes and ears on market trends and important product innovations.  I wouldn’t say it’s a military style operation but we have regular catch-ups whilst the exhibition is in progress and they take me to see the things and meet the people that have caught their eye. I am a firm believer that Reflex should stand independently with respect to innovation and not succumb to parodying the ideas of others, but that said, it is important to know and understand what other market sector participants are doing and why.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Vanilla content will always be second best – argues Reflex CPO

Continue Reading

Industry News

Hard Rock International Announces Collaboration with Clean the World

Published

on

By

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Hard Rock’s motto of “Save the Planet” rings true as currently participating properties begin efforts to recycle hygiene products for worldwide distribution

Hard Rock International announces an impact collaboration with Clean the World (CTW), a leader in global health dedicated to WASH (water, sanitization, and hygiene) and global sustainability. The brand continues to live up to its “Save the Planet” creed as participating HRI hotels will implement the immediate collection and donation of recycled hotel soap and bottled in-room amenities such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion, to help fight the global spread of preventable diseases through the distribution of sanitized hygiene kits crafted with these recycled materials.

With headquarters in Orlando and recycling centers in OrlandoLas VegasHong KongPunta Cana and Amsterdam, Clean the World is a social enterprise dedicated to saving millions of lives around the world while simultaneously diverting hotel waste from landfills. On average, more than 3,600 children die every day from hygiene-related illnesses, primarily pneumonia and diarrheal disease, which are two of the top killers of children under the age of 5. This program aims to eliminate the aforementioned crisis, while sustainably discarding waste from participating hotels.

Along with contribution of soaps and recycled amenities, Hard Rock International will implement Clean the World’s “hygiene kit building program” as a group and community engagement activity offered at participating Hard Rock Hotels across the U.S. This hands-on program allows meeting professionals and event planners to incorporate an eco-friendly exercise that promotes team building and group cooperation, while giving back to impoverished individuals and reducing waste.

“The Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos brand is a true leader in CSR through their ‘Save the Planet’ initiative, and we are thrilled to partner with them for a Clean the World Hygiene Kit building event,” says Shawn Seipler, founder and CEO of Clean the World. “These kits give event attendees the opportunity to make a positive impact in the community by serving our local neighbors in need and providing them with necessary hygiene supplies to stay clean.”

“We’re incredibly excited to offer such a positive and philanthropic team-building initiative to the MICE community,” says Danielle Babilino, senior vice president of global sales and marketing for Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos. “One of Hard Rock’s founding mottos is ‘Save the Planet.’ This is an extension of how we live our brand creed through giving back to the communities that our properties reside in.”

Clean the World provides all of the guidance and materials, so attendees can build hygiene kits and donate them to local organizations. Each standard hygiene kit contains soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, wash cloth and an inspirational card, however, CTW offers a variety of specialty kits, including a women’s, children’s and veteran-specific hygiene kit. Once completed, the Clean the World Hygiene Kits are donated to a local charity of the property’s choice.

Hard Rock Hotel Daytona and Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood were some of the first properties to contribute to the Clean the World’s efforts, with the rest of Hard Rock’s international portfolio finalizing contribution arrangements.

As leaders in gaming, hospitality and entertainment, the iconic Hard Rock brand plans to announce more Save the Planet initiatives, including partnerships with key charity partners sharing the values of the business to help protect the earth’s natural resources and environment.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Hard Rock International Announces Collaboration with Clean the World

Continue Reading

Industry News

The Stars Group’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship Combine for a $63 Million Prize Pool

Published

on

By

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

The Stars Group today announced the success of the annual PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), which immediately followed the first ever PokerStars Players No-limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC), two major live poker tournaments sponsored by its flagship poker brand.

Combined, the PCA and PSPC, which both took place at the Atlantis Resort & Casino in the Bahamas, awarded a total $63 million over 11 days of competition.

“Together, the PCA and PSPC have set a new standard for live events of this kind,” said Rafi Ashkenazi, Chief Executive Officer of The Stars Group. “These tournaments created many winning moments and exciting stories for our players and staff, particularly for Ramon Colillas, who won over $5 million from a free entry. It’s a great start to the year.”

The PSPC took place from January 6 to 10 and was the largest $25,000 buy-in poker tournament in history with a field of over 1,000 players from and a total prize pool of $26.5 million, including $1 million added to the prize pool by PokerStars for first place.

Spanish poker player Ramon Colillas took home the $5.1 million PSPC first-place prize and was one of six millionaires made during the event. Colillas qualified for the PSPC for free as one of 320 PokerStars customers who won a PSPC Platinum Pass during 2018, which in addition to the $25,000 buy-in covered travel and hotel accommodations.

The PCA ended on January 16 and awarded a total prize pool of $36.3 million. The event attracted over 1,600 players representing 79 countries and generated over 11,000 entries. The $10,300 buy-in 2019 PCA Main Event attracted 865 entries, with a total prize pool of $8.4 million and Main Event first place prize of $1.6 million.

The next major live poker tournament on the PokerStars 2019 calendar is the PokerStars-sponsored European Poker Tour (EPT) Sochi, which takes place in Sochi, Russia from March 20 through 29 and is the first stop of the 2019 EPT.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: The Stars Group’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship Combine for a Million Prize Pool

Continue Reading

Industry News

Wynn Resorts Once Again Outranks All Other Casino Resorts On FORTUNE Magazine’s 2019 World’s Most Admired Companies List

Published

on

By

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Wynn Resorts today was once again honored as the highest ranking casino resort on FORTUNE Magazine’s 2019 World’s Most Admired Companies list in the hotel, casino and resort category, ranking fourth overall among internationally distinguished hospitality companies. Wynn Resorts ranked first overall in the category of Quality of Products/Services among all international hotel companies, and received high marks for Innovation, People Management, and Global Competitiveness.

FORTUNE works with top industry executives and analysts to rate companies based on nine categories that range from financial soundness to social responsibility. Each year, FORTUNE Magazine conducts a survey to compile the World’s Most Admired Companies list, the definitive report card on corporate reputations in a variety of fields including consumer products, power, natural resources, and hospitality. For more information on methodology and to view the complete list, please visit: www.fortune.com/worlds-most-admired-companies.

Wynn Resorts, Limited  is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol WYNN and is part of the S&P 500 Index. Wynn Resorts owns and operates Wynn and Encore Las Vegas (wynnlasvegas.com), Wynn Macau (wynnmacau.com), Wynn Palace, Cotai (wynnpalace.com), and is currently constructing Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Massachusetts (encorebostonharbor.com), scheduled to open summer 2019. With a collective 16 Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Awards, Wynn Resorts is the highest rated independent hotel company in the world.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Wynn Resorts Once Again Outranks All Other Casino Resorts On FORTUNE Magazine’s 2019 World’s Most Admired Companies List

Continue Reading
Advertisement
NSoft

Trending