In the latest series of SlotBeats Spotlight, we take a closer look into the online world of branded slots. These titles range from movies, music to books yet how effective are they for operators to tap into an already established fan base? 

In the second episode, we ask our experts if branded slots still reach new audiences.

Do branded slots still reach a new demographic of players or are they just a short-lived phenomenon?

Uri Cohen, VP OperationsSkywind Group

Uri Cohen, Skywind Group: Branded slots are as strong as the brand used. When the brand is strong and a significant part of pop culture, it’s a strong asset. Different brands appeal to different audiences, which is why at Skywind Group we create market-specific games using game designs and features that are popular in the brand’s market. 

As we said earlier, brands are a fantastic acquisition tool, and continue to prove themselves as such. We believe that as long as there is brand recognition, branded content will remain relevant. Providing strong branded content is a stamp of quality assurance. 

While a specific brand targets the fans of the brand, the advantages of being attached to it is relevant across markets. It’s a promise to the players that there is something to love here. It’s a promise they can trust us. It’s a promise that we know what we’re doing.

Catalin Bratosin, Head of Games Production, Pragmatic Play

Catalin Bratosin, Pragmatic Play: They can be leveraged for both purposes, but we see more value in generating longer term value for our operator partners with established brand names that are proven to be successful in driving repeated engagement.

Our first branded slot Peaky Blinders demonstrates this well. With the television show being a smash hit across numerous countries, and with many series under its belt, it’s clear that it’s a phenomenon that’s here to stay and we can leverage the strength of the brand over time to drive success in the casino space.

Carl Ejlertsson, group games director, NetEnt

Carl Ejlertsson, NetEnt: With the volume of content that floods the market you could say that all games these days are short lived, albeit with a few exceptions. Casino managers see at least 20 new releases each week, making it increasingly difficult for a slot to cut through the noise and stay visible in lobbies for an extended period. But that’s where branded slots standout. 

These games are by their very nature attention grabbing, allowing operators to reach new demographics of players by appealing to their outside interests. They also open new avenues to explore different marketing messages in order to present the online casino experience in a new light.

Simon Hammon, CPO, Relax Gaming

Simon Hammon, Relax Gaming: To a certain extent there is potential for a branded game to attract a new demographic, especially in cases where a player might not have ordinarily considered the content of a particular studio. 

However, regardless of the brand, the game needs to deliver a great experience in order for it to succeed. A brand name will only get you so far. That ‘feel good’ emotion is mainly influenced by the winning potential.

A great brand coupled with a great mechanic could be truly special, but since there have been so many poor releases, it is more likely that a player’s affinity and loyalty will lie with a supplier’s IP.

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