Following a pulsating start to 2020, which has seen a myriad of slot launches and new content deals, Evoplay Entertainment‘s new CEO has arguably been a key driving force behind the supplier’s success.
The mastermind behind Evoplay’s rapid growth and development of the “industry’s first ever role-playing game”, Ivan Kravchuk has amassed over a decade in senior managerial and creative design positions.
Since its founding in 2017, Kravchuk has served as the creative director of the company since day one, overseeing art direction, idea generation and game development for the company’s gaming content.
In his first interview since becoming CEO, Kravchuk took the time to speak to SlotBeats about the reasons why he stepped up to the CEO position, what technologies will capture the igaming sector and the future plans for Evoplay.
SlotBeats: Can you tell us a bit about your background prior to joining Evoplay Entertainment?
Ivan Kravchuk: My background includes senior management and creative design roles, as well as numerous project areas within the gambling sector.
While I’ve enjoyed plenty of success, I truly believe Evoplay Entertainment is the perfect place where my knowledge, experience and ambitions can really combine to produce something remarkable in the world of igaming.
We’ve got an exciting era of development ahead of us, and I can’t wait to get started.
SB: What inspired you to step up to the CEO role?
IK: My journey with Evoplay Entertainment began the day it was established in 2017, as I was part of the original team. I witnessed its first steps in gaming, and shared both its successes and challenges as it became the revolutionary game provider we now see today.
For me, stepping up to lead the company I have been with since day one is not just a promotion, but also the opportunity to take the company from exciting rising star to an established supplier to many of the world’s most popular brands.
SB: Evoplay Entertainment recently launched Dungeon: Immortal Evil, the industry’s first RPG-based slot, how long did the development process take?
IK: Dungeon: Immortal Evil is a unique, industry-first 3D RPG inspired slot that players have never seen before. A year in the making from ideation to market release, the game’s stunning visuals and action-packed storyline is proving to be a hit the world over.
For us, Dungeon is more than just the typical ‘spin and win’, it’s a game that players want to keep returning to for the experience. Each spin is a new story, a new battle – and a new win that never feels the same.
Of course, this meant that the development process was a monumental effort, as it takes a lot of dedication to create a game as special is this. In the end, it’s all proven to be all worth it. With the mountain of positive feedback we’ve had from our players and fans, the end result has proved to be a legendary achievement for us.
SB: Do you believe there to be strong demand for these types of slots?
IK: The main driver for us here is the changing nature of players’ preferences. If they demand something from a game, it’s our duty as suppliers to provide them with an immediate response.
From our market research, we know with full confidence that the new generation of player is struggling to connect with the old-school style games that are popular with the older demographic, and our team is constantly looking for ways to innovate on the market’s out-dated approach.
Our stellar team is ready to take on these challenges and provide the experience that the players wants, ensuring that we’re here to usher in the next era of gaming.
SB: Do you think the next generation of players are going to expect this type of gameplay as the norm?
IK: Without a doubt. We expect that innovative games such as these will become the norm. The next generation of players have different behavioural patterns and we as game providers should have something new to offer to make slots more engaging and enjoyable.
Of course, the win will always be a factor, but there’s more to it than that. The next generation of player places far more value on the gaming process, and they want to enjoy it for the gameplay just as much as the final result.
SB: And how about your other insights into the future of tech in gaming? What else can we expect to see in the coming years?
IK: It may be a touch obvious, but it’s something that global-facing developers must never forget. Smartphones are now king. We are seeing more and more players access their favourite games via mobile over computer and that isn’t going to change.
This means that a mobile-first strategy is essential, with technology development focused on an optimal UX that can create an experience that merges the lines between slots and immersive gameplay.
We can’t understate the importance of this. I believe the integration of modern solutions such as a flat UI, HD graphics, and a simplified UX, are set to be the key elements of games that will pique the interest of a new generation of players, and studios risk underinvesting in this area at their peril.
SB: And finally, what are Evoplay Entertainment’s plans for the year ahead, any particular highlights we should watch out for?
IK: For us, the year ahead is going to be all about keeping our momentum going. As one of the company’s founding team members, our success over the last two years has been nothing short of breath-taking.
We’ve broken industry records, released the industry’s first 3D, VR and RPG mass-market slots, as well as making our mark the world over with a gaming catalogue that includes over 80 unique slots, instants and card games.
Our first few months of this year are just a taster for the armoury of action-packed content we have lined up, and with even more disruptive plans in the pipeline, we can promise it will be an exciting year of announcements to look forward to!