Play’n GO: The True Value of Reliability, Fun, Safety, Sustainability

"You can set your watch by Play'n Go's releases -- our record speaks for itself." So says Play’n GO’s Dennis Gustafsson.

Over more than 15-years, his company has built a singular reputation for creating some of the most popular and entertaining online slot games on offer, including the storied ‘Book of Dead’.

We caught up with Dennis Gustafsson, Play’n GO’s Chief Operating Officer, to discuss the studio’s approach to technology, ask why even a 10-minute delay isn’t good enough and get his insight on how to innovate in a sustainable manner.

Developing and distributing online slot games is notoriously challenging. It requires a heavy demand on tech capability — and often results in significant episodes of downtime, impacting costs and production lead times. How has Play’n GO successfully managed to avoid these issues?

“We’ve always had a strong focus on reliability. Things should simply work without issues, like a high-quality Swiss clock. Over more than 15 years we’ve been fine-tuning our production process to perfection, and that’s what allows us to deliver with absolute predictability.

“Our record speaks for itself; you can set your watch by our releases. This is so critical because it empowers operators to plan ahead and execute marketing campaigns around new titles safe in the knowledge they won’t be delayed.

“We’re proud of our record in this area, but we also know we need to stay ahead of the curve. The online casino space is always evolving, whether that be the tech or the regulatory landscape. We have the expertise and the infrastructure in place to be able to adapt quickly to whatever comes next.”

What are the most common reasons behind delayed or problematic supplier/operator content integrations? How can they be avoided?

“Delays do happen in a creative space, of course. If we get to a stage where we aren’t 100 percent happy with a game even after certification, we won’t release it. We are committed to quality. If we do need to adjust a release roadmap, we work closely with our operator partners to ensure they receive all the relevant information they need in a timely manner. This includes marketing packs, game information, certification details and more. We also provide easy-to-use systems and APIs, so operators can increasingly automate processes internally.”

Play’n GO are renowned for being a supplier you can always depend on. How does working with solutions such as Amazon Web Services help to maintain this level of quality?

“Amazon has been a very close partner of ours for many years. They provide the largest and most robust cloud services, and they are a famously customer-centric company, which in turn allows us to find the best solutions for our customers. Our platform, while it is cloud-first, is also easy to set up in a traditional data center, allowing us to set up very quickly in new markets where the cloud is not yet allowed, for example. We have a constant focus on improving and reinventing our platform, and we believe this makes us “future-proof”. It is also a key factor for our uptime and reliability.

“We pride ourselves on providing absolute reliability to our operator partners but to deliver that we need to know we can also rely on our own supplier partners. Amazon has the scale and reputation for excellence which means we don’t need to worry about that side of things. Their SLAs are also fantastic, and they truly live up to them.”

What do you think the future holds for the online slots sector? Are there any future product-related trends that you expect to see emerging within the next three-to-five-years?

“From our perspective, we want to continue being a vocal part of the conversation around regulation and the duty of care to our players.  Studios are always coming up with ingenious game mechanics, but the truth is that many of these don’t align with the direction of travel our industry needs to move in.

“Play’n GO could create certain mechanics that would be very profitable but wouldn’t necessarily lead to a sustainable future for our industry. Bonus Buy games, where the player can buy directly into the bonus round, is one such example, and we will never build this mechanism into our titles. Regulators are agreeing with our position, and Bonus Buy games are already banned in the UK and the Netherlands.

“Instead, our focus is a simple one: build better and more entertaining games for players.

“Our value add needs to come on the entertainment side of games, because that’s the fundamental reason people play at online casinos.

If it isn’t fun, safe, and sustainable, the industry has no future.

“Take our upcoming game, Gerard’s Gambit. This game will take players through an engaging story as they progress through 10 levels of play when it’s released next month. In this way, it educates as well as entertains the player, without ever becoming predatory. That’s a great example of the future direction of travel in this industry, and we’re already really excited anticipating the positive reaction to the game when it launches in April.”

Editor’s Note:

After catching up with Dennis, it seems clear that reliability and sustainability are the unsung heroes of our industry.

Many of us often focus on the fun and exciting front-end of products and undervalue the power of the technology underpinning the system and driving our industry forward.

Dennis believes that it’s quite challenging to create games with high levels of engagement that are actually sustainable. And this is what differentiates and sets Play’n GO apart from the rest of the market.

We look forward to seeing how innovative products like those being pioneered by Play’n Go can help take iGaming to the next platform of growth.

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