Jul 24 / 2018

Breaking fresh ground

Words by Arcangelo Lonoce, Habanero’s Head of Business Development – Europe

Western Europe has long been home to many of the most significant jurisdictions in iGaming. With new online brands being launched across the continent on an almost daily basis, and many regions introducing increasingly practical and robust regulatory regimes, the continent’s strength in this area is showing no signs of diminishing.

A trend of growth in desktop coverage extended to mobile in the mid-2000s, and the towering demand for online casino content across both channels is clear. That demand has presented its own set of challenges to operators – that is to say, a substantial and insatiable demand for fresh content. Many casinos now offer their players hundreds of games, some even stretching their slot offerings into the thousands in an attempt to meet that demand. As a greater number of countries introduce their own workable frameworks under which to regulate iGaming, this demand for fresh slots and new gaming ideas will continue to expand.

It is clear, then, that the video slot market is not one predisposed towards standing still. With this in mind, the arrival in Europe of a new breed of slots suppliers, ones with innovative ideas, could not be timelier – especially when it comes to driving player engagement.

Innovating the fundamentals

In terms of the experience sought by slots players, while they may prefer certain themes or styles, the fundamentals of the reels broadly remain the same. It is those developers that innovate around this tried and trusted framework, bringing a unique spin to a universally-enjoyed formula, that will help satisfy the ever-building hunger online casino players are demonstrating for original experiences.

Put simply, a solid free spins mode is no longer enough when it comes to keeping players coming back on a long-term basis. Varied, expertly modelled, and well-executed bonus modes are increasingly crucial.

By way of example, at Habanero we spiced up the reels of one of our most recent releases, 5 Mariachis, with a traditional party piñata, which drops random amounts of cash across the reels for players who hit three senorita symbols in a single spin. This is not a feature that revolutionises the core gameplay, but it adds an extra layer of fun for those who want that something extra from their video slots.

Such players are growing in number as iGaming continues to expand in Europe, and it is great that an increasing number of innovative suppliers are stepping up to meet the challenges that this expanding play base is presenting them with. While healthy and positive business relationships with our customers are important, let it be very clear when we develop entertaining content, we give perhaps even more consideration to our customer’s customer – the player.

sigma igaming Breaking fresh ground
Habanero

A high level of graphical fidelity plays a big part, alongside interesting maths models. For a market of seasoned slots players such as those in Western Europe, it is important that every aspect of a game’s presentation, from overall theme down to each individual spin and animation, are true to the overall gameplay experience that you want your players to have.

Rapidity and regulation

What holds this together is a commitment to true speed to market.

This must also happen consistently – a provider’s reputation for swift delivery will suffer if a wave of new releases is followed by a fallow period. For both your players and operating partners, dependability in three factors – timing, quality, and speed of delivery – are of paramount importance, and it is those able to capitalise on an exciting portfolio of games with real speed to market that will find success.

Fast and tight development pipelines enable a supplier to build the foundations of a positive, long-lasting relationship with its operating partners. Doing so in continual, productive dialogue with our operating partners is one of our core priorities at Habanero.

It is fair to say that regulatory standards in Western Europe are among the highest in the world. However, at Habanero, high standards have always been something we’ve been keen to have in place anyway.

While there may be greater competition from established brands, we are very confident that side by side our content will perform equally well. It will take some time for us to establish ourselves and become better-known among operators, and we must be patient and realistic. But players are always looking for more and more high-quality games that raise the accepted industry standard, and we think the trick is to have games that are proven to last the course, rather than ones that boom when they are released but fizzle out soon after.

Habanero is one of a new breed of young developers capable of shaking up Western Europe’s iGaming sector in 2018. We recently went live in Italy with SKS365, have agreed a partnership with Eurobet, and are also talking to a number of other high-profile operators in that market. As a result, we will continue to capitalise on our thriving portfolio of acclaimed video slots, with a string of impressive operator and supplier integrations that we have in the pipeline

Such players are growing in number as iGaming continues to expand in Europe, and it is great that an increasing number of innovative suppliers are stepping up to meet the challenges that this expanding play base is presenting them with. While healthy and positive business relationships with our customers are important, let it be very clear when we develop entertaining content, we give perhaps even more consideration to our customer’s customer – the player.

A high level of graphical fidelity plays a big part, alongside interesting maths models. For a market of seasoned slots players such as those in Western Europe, it is important that every aspect of a game’s presentation, from overall theme down to each individual spin and animation, are true to the overall gameplay experience that you want your players to have.

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