As the competitiveness of the US market intensifies, Fantasma Games has praised its recent collaboration with FanDuel as ‘a major milestone’ for the group within its ambitions in the region. 

It means that the firm is live with all the top tier operators in North America and has significantly expanded the reach of its slots in the region. 

The studio’s founder and CEO, Fredrik Johansson, revealed to SlotBeats that “this position gives the firm an incredibly strong foundation from which to keep driving growth in the market, which we’ll do with a packed product roadmap between now and the end of the year”. 

“I’m proud that we’ve been able to establish ourselves as a strong provider among some of the biggest names in the business, and we’ve also earned a reputation for offering exclusives, especially with the likes of BetMGM and FanDuel. Most importantly, we see very good engagement amongst the US players with games and that’s been a catalyst for our success in the market to date. Of course, the work has only just begun, and we’re excited and motivated when it comes to creating thrilling slot experiences for US players.” 

Key to the firm’s success has been a significant focus on the research that goes into the games, transcending their understanding of game appeal to a new level. 

He said: “Research has been key. We spend a lot of time researching the market, for both land-based and online slots, and combine this insight with our own data. We also work incredibly closely with our operator partners, keeping an open line of communication when it comes to what their players are looking for in the games they play. We take this understanding and use our ‘slots beyond gambling’ approach to create games that really do offer something different while still providing the familiarity players need to actually play them – so more evolution than revolution. 

“Fantasma Games is a small, agile studio, and this enables us to react quickly to changing preferences or data trends to ensure that each game we release is better than the last and really hits the mark with players. This is a great position to be in and one that we’ve maximised so far.” 

The differentiators between the US market and European markets are also significant, with research also playing a role in how the company has achieved success in terms of user engagement. 

Johansson stated:There is a strong correlation between the games popular on the floors of land-based casinos and those doing well online. This is likely because of the early-days nature of the market, with players drawn to themes and mechanics they’re familiar with. Our job as a studio is to push the boundaries a little and bring new and exciting experiences to the online casino lobbies where our slots appear. 

“In terms of what’s popular at the moment, Asian-themed games are big, as are slots that capture the magnificence of Las Vegas. In terms of mechanics and bonuses, classic mechanics such as hold-and-win are in high demand and so too is the ‘buy bonus’ feature – this mirrors European markets but the speed at which Bonus Buys have become popular is surprising. This is probably due to players already being familiar with slots, especially classic slots, from social casinos and land-based play, so are now seeking next-level experiences when playing online.” 

He continued: “The US is one of our core markets, but we are still heavily focused on Europe and in particular the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden. Latin America is certainly exciting with Brazil coming online and the likes of Colombia and Mexico moving towards maturity. Africa is another region we are keeping a very close eye on, especially South Africa. Ultimately, we want to deliver our games to operators in regulated markets across the world, but with the need to localise content for each, we are taking a considered approach to ensure we never compromise on the quality of our games.” 

Looking ahead Johansson mapped out how the firm will look to stay ahead in the US market, as he cited that the level of competition in the market is continuing to rise. 

Consistent growth in the market will be fuelled by not only staying ahead of trends, but also by “exceeding player expectations”. He believes this “goes back to undertaking thorough market research, analysing data and having an incredibly close and open relationship with our operator partners. We always like to push the boundaries where we can, and always ensure we put our own twist on a game whether through the theme, design, audio, mechanics or bonuses. This is what leads to strong player engagement”.