Slots and mobile game developer Push Gaming has entered its tenth year in rampant style as it continues to announce new content deals and agreements with various operators.
Furthermore, the game developer started off the year with the major announcement that it received regulatory approval for its proprietary platform from both the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority.
As a result, the supplier now has full control of its own technology development and delivery schedule via approvals in both aforementioned regions.
As the company approaches its ten year anniversary in October, SlotBeats spoke to Push Gaming’s CEO, James Marshall, about continuing evolution, recent announcements and looking forward.
“Our initial idea, back at the end of 2009, was simple – we wanted to bring the best land-based games into the online space.”
SlotBeats: Push Gaming is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary; can you give us a quick snapshot as to how the company has evolved?
James Marshall: It’s incredible to think that we are already approaching our 10-year anniversary. It feels like just yesterday we set out on this journey and so much has changed for us over these past few years.
Our initial idea, back at the end of 2009, was simple – we wanted to bring the best land-based games into the online space. By 2012 we had already developed eight flash games in-house and distributed to several major operators.
Continuous developments in technology have of course played a significant role in our evolution and as flash was left behind, so was the focus on land-based games. Our direction has now turned to making unique games and in particular mobile-first offerings, so we set about developing HTML5 content on an exclusive basis for selected partners.
In 2015, our first HTML5 game, Bonus Beans, went live and was launched on both desktop and mobile. We have continued working extremely hard to improve the player experience ever since.
We also streamlined our distribution through a partnership with Relax Gaming, and through building other strong partnerships, our games are now widely available across the industry’s most popular online casinos.
More recently, we acquired our own platform at the beginning of 2020, and this is allowing us to take the next steps forward as a business. We aim to keep innovating and refuse to compromise when it comes to quality.
SB: Is there a signature style when it comes to Push Gaming slots?
JM: Uniqueness, surprising twists and innovation is what sums up our signature style when it comes to creating our smash hit games. With a focus on player experience, we guarantee a highly entertaining gameplay that’s different from the rest.
So many suppliers are releasing a large number of games on the market, but how many of these actually have any staying power?
The majority get forgotten in a matter of days, and that’s not the approach that we’ve opted to take. We strive to be different, while at the same time, making sure we create that ‘wow factor’ and unforgettable gameplay experience for our players.
Let’s take our latest release, Joker Troupe as an example. We took a classic Joker-themed game and applied the Push Gaming treatment to it by creating an alternate universe that made the game more exciting and intriguing for players.
Our joker characters are an interesting addition, with each bringing unique features of their own. A key launch worth mentioning here is our never-seen before, Hypermode feature that increases the frequency of spins, the more wins arise.
Taking place during our Red Joker free spins feature, we offer a countdown during these free spins. If a player fills up a meter with enough Red Jokers, they’re awarded with an additional 10 seconds and the meter is reset.
The more this happens, the faster the reels spin which can bring about even greater wins. This is set to get players’ adrenaline pumping due to the excitement that this brings about, and is unlike anything else they will experience from any other game on the market.
SB: Can you give us some insight into the creative process behind the games?
JM: Our creative process is an open one as we don’t like to have any strict restrictions in place that could possibly hamper our ideas. We start off by collecting numerous ideas and sources of inspiration so the initial spark can come from anywhere.
Our product owners then take the responsibility for deciding which of those ideas are worthy of some extra attention. They work hand-in-hand with our mathematicians to refine the concept and the selected games will move forward into development.
There is more to the creative process of course, as we also rely on our talented artists, animators and developers to bring the product owners’ vision to life. The ways in which our whole team works together is where all the magic happens and is ultimately what brings about our highly popular games.
SB: Push Gaming has had an exciting start to 2020, can you tell us about your GSI acquisition and what it means?
JM: We certainly have. Our recent acquisition of GSI was definitely a pivotal moment for us, as having our own platform has provided us with much more control in our operations.
It has enabled us to better select the markets in which we want to offer our games, as well as providing us with the opportunity and flexibility to create new tools or functionalities that can enhance the player experience.
Tied in with that, the acquisition will allow us to take relationships to the next level with our partners and help them deliver on their objectives.
Also, as we know regulation is going to be playing a key part in our industry in the coming years, we’re delighted to be bringing key in-house expertise in platform technology to ensure we stay on top of regulatory demands.
SB: You also announced your rebrand, what was the thinking behind this?
JM: The main purpose of the rebrand was to make clear our transition from a small games studio to that of a significant supplier in the industry.
Our team has grown, particularly over the past two years. We are not only investing more in their capabilities and expertise, but also in the technology that we use.
In line with that, receiving both our Malta and UK licences earlier this year for our own platform was key to our re-branded proposition.
All these milestones, along with the fact that we have a strong and growing games portfolio, is why we felt the need to give our brand a fresh new look. It signifies our next steps forward as well as our big plans that we have for the company.
Our new logo, a ‘P’ and a ‘G’ is encapsulated within a shield and reflects our key company values as well as our mission and goals towards our players, partners and staff.
The shield signifies the strength of our game portfolio, and trust, which reflects our aim for full transparency. The look and feel of the brand mark is also bold and modern, yet approachable.
We too are bold in our innovative approach to development, while the approachable aspect comes from the overall culture within the company and the way we work together internally as well as with our valued clients.
“We feel that studios will have to get back to focusing on the quality of the products that they put out.”
SB: Would you argue that the present game development model we are seeing (and your decision to acquire GSI) suggests that we’re on the verge of real change?
JM: For some time now there has been a trend to put more and more content into the marketplace. For new games, that means front and centre exposure. However, there is a limit as to how much new content operators can promote.
In addition to this, due to the growing success of streamers and social sites that are engaging directly with casino players, players are more informed than ever before when it comes to game suppliers and the content they are releasing.
We feel that studios will have to get back to focusing on the quality of the products that they put out. Within that is the need to aim less for hitting KPIs and spamming the media with announcements, and instead focusing on a long-lasting quality product that players want to spend time with.
SB: How do you see the needs for operators evolving over the next few years?
JM: The needs of operators will most likely be focused on protecting and growing certain markets or areas of their business that are key to them, which means that they will require suppliers to be highly flexible and adaptable.
Every operator will undoubtedly have their own unique requirements in one way or another, so being able to work on multiple projects concurrently and delivering what is required quickly and to the highest of standards will be key to success.
SB: And finally, what can we expect to see from Push Gaming for the second half of the year?
JM: We’ve certainly got a lot going on! As our partners and players expect, we’ll be releasing plenty more of the fantastic games which we’re famous for.
I’m delighted with our development pipeline, each of our games brings a different experience to the table and will really help our partners to differentiate themselves. We also have quite a surprise in store for one of these releases, but that we’ll have to wait until the end of the year before we can tell you more!
Our 10-year anniversary is also coming so we’ll be celebrating that too, along with strengthening our collaboration with our latest partners. Lastly, we’re also working on a couple of exciting projects that will enable us to connect with a new generation of players like never before.