Play’n GO: How to Succeed in Regulated Markets like the UK
In the hyper-competitive UK market, it can be challenging for new products to achieve success. However, Play’n GO’s entertainment-focused games continue to perform strongly despite tough market conditions. We spoke with the Swedish company’s UK Regional Director, Anna Mackney, to discuss how the blockbuster studio is adapting its approach to ensure sustained UK growth.
Play’n GO has recently set up a new office and team in the UK. Can you explain why the UK is such an important part of the Play’n GO growth strategy?
“Regulated markets are at the very heart of our strategy here at Play’n GO, where building a sustainable future for our industry is a top priority. When it comes to these regulated markets, the UK remains the world’s biggest, so naturally it’s an important part of what we do.
“We’ve never had as many team members in the UK as we do now, and the country has become a hub of talent for us from across Europe and beyond. As we’ve begun to regionalise our teams to better deliver for our partners in specific jurisdictions, the UK was one of the first where we’ve looked closely at ways to localise everything we do.
“This means expanding the commercial team looking after existing UK clients, building new relationships, and perhaps most importantly, working closely with our operator partners so they can maximise the impact of Play’n GO content in this truly unique market.”
The UK is already a well-established market, with major brands present in the sector taking the majority of the market share. How does Play’n GO plan to stand out from the crowd and bring something new?
“While the UK market is mature, there is healthy competition, making it quite fragmented, and it continues to present some interesting opportunities for both existing suppliers and new entrants.
“For us, we have a strong presence across Europe and a reputation as one of the world’s leading creators of casino entertainment for regulated markets. The UK is one of the most heavily scrutinised igaming jurisdictions, and there’s a growing consensus in the country that matches our outlook when it comes to delivering sustainable, entertainment-focused gaming.
“Our content pipeline to the UK – and the more than 25 regulated markets we are active in – is unrivalled. It includes more than 50 new titles per year, each built to the highest possible, AAA standards. Our graphics and cinematics are unparalleled, and we’re never pushing out a lobby calendar filler; love and care goes into every game we produce.
“One thing to note is the sheer diversity of content our games team is now producing. Our portfolio is packed with a wide array of games, each differing in maths models, mechanics and features. We are able to cater to very different types of players, and in the UK where we are working with operators which are focused on sportsbook, casino and bingo, this is more important than ever.”
What type of casino games do you expect to see most success with in the UK going forward? How do you plan to grow your market share?
“We’re looking closely at both local data and operator feedback to ensure our games resonate with UK audiences, and a big part of this is building genuine partnerships with operators to find the best ways to deliver our content to their players. It’s part of an expanded localisation strategy we’re rolling out in key markets worldwide, and we are already seeing a positive impact.
“For the UK specifically, we understand the importance of providing value to players via play times, entertaining base games and interactive base game modifiers. With healthy but capped maximum win exposures, it’s about creating longevity via genuinely engaging extras — like adding near-win re-spins into certain titles.
“We have recently launched a number of titles over the last few months that include a cash collector/value collector style feature we expect to be popular in the UK market too.
“Of course, we build our games to succeed in regulated markets around the world, but a touch of local flavour, or creative cooperation around areas such as marketing, can turn a great game into something magical.”
The UK is renowned for its strict regulatory framework, which has deterred some game providers in the past from entering the market. Plus, the impending Gambling Act Review threatens to make the regulations even more stringent. How easy will it be to develop compliant products for the UK whilst still keeping your competitive edge?
“We live and breathe regulated markets every day. It’s been our core strategy for many years, so we’re never unprepared for changes. We welcome sensible regulation that protects players and allows us to help build a sustainable future for iGaming.
“Here at Play’n GO, we took the decision to focus on regulated markets at a time when not everyone realised the way our industry was evolving. We prioritised the long-term instead of taking shortcuts, even at times when those shortcuts might have been more profitable. We now have the best portfolio of entertainment-focused games in the industry. No one makes content better suited to regulated markets than us.
“We’re also backed by the top dedicated regulatory compliance team in the business, which is always monitoring the latest developments, so we can be proactive rather than reactive. Our main goal is to provide our partners with absolute confidence that our games are not only compliant, but also future-proofed against further regulatory developments.
“These games are built to cater for players who are seeking entertainment. We’re not building titles designed to maximise income from a player before they churn; the games should be the reason players choose to come back. This has been our mission for many years now, not just in the UK, and it’s served us very well.”
It’s exciting to see that Anna has such a clear road map ahead for Play’n GO’s UK operations. It’s clear that the UK Director sees real value in regulated markets in regard to building a sustainable future. As the UK is the world’s biggest online regulated market, it makes perfect sense to be a part of it.
Although Anna admits that the UK is a tough market to break, she believes that content is king and this will be their key to success. Their content pipeline to the UK–and the more than 25 other regulated markets they are active in–is unrivalled. Their ability to keep fresh, exciting content coming at scale in a region as stringent as the UK is a huge benefit that operators will be keen to leverage. With the UK Gambling Review still pending, it’s exciting to see companies like Play’n GO are still so enthusiastic about pushing the market forward and creating new avenues for growth.