David Mann, Chief Executive Officer at Swintt, shares how the having the backing of an experienced aggregator can help start-up studios hit the ground running while also developing a successful and sustainable long-term business
The demand for exciting new online slot content means that there’s always a big opportunity on the table for new studios that come in with a fresh approach to development to achieve great things.
Time and again we’ve seen a developer quickly go from rising star to power player off the back of just one or two games that have taken the market by storm, but due to the fiercely competitive nature of the industry, the going can be tough for new studios. The cost of entry is high and success requires more than just a strong theme and a never-seen-before mechanic. Start-up studios often have limited resources and budgets, and this makes it hard for them to hire talent for key roles across the business.
This covers everything from design and development through to sales, marketing and even finance. Without the right people in place across these key areas, a game – even one that has the potential to top the charts – may never even get off the ground. Indeed, even with an all-star team already in place, getting slots in front of operators and casino managers can be a tall order for those just staring out.
In most cases, good distribution requires a skilled team of account managers with an extensive network within the industry. These managers must also strengthen and grow these relationships over the months and years so there’s always an open line of communication between the developer and the operator. These hard-earned connections must then be combined with savvy all-round marketing so that casino managers know what’s in the studio’s product pipeline. This allows them to plan accordingly, and to ensure they have all the assets that they need for future promotions or campaigns.
But that’s not all – studios also need to consider regulations and compliance in the markets they wish to target. Certification is a hugely important area for studios, but it’s complex and again requires extensive industry know-how in order to ensure slots are compliant with the rules set in each jurisdiction. All these factors result in aggregation deals being highly sought after by newer developers.
The key to a good aggregation deal is enabling operators to extend and diversify their portfolio of games in as few technical steps as possible. In an ideal world, they should be able to gain access to hundreds of new games via a one-time integration, and this is where good aggregators really earn their stripes. By acting as both a foundation and a springboard for new studios, you can help give them the head-start they need to establish both themselves and their titles, and that’s exactly the service we’ve tried to provide through SwinttStudios.
From the developer’s side of things, teaming up with a well-known aggregator can allow them to gain access to an extensive network of operators in some of the biggest regulated markets across the globe. Backed by a dedicated team of account managers, they can rest easy that their titles will be able to secure top positioning in operators’ lobbies, enabling them to be seen by the widest possible audience.
This goes hand-in-hand with game promotion, which is a crucial area for up-and-coming studios. and often one where they need the greatest support. A good aggregator can help in this respect by producing communications about upcoming releases and adding media packs and game sheets to their client area. They can also ensure games get the coverage and positioning they need through newsletters and social media posts, thereby raising brand awareness and fuelling operators’ interest.
Of course, while these distribution and promotional services are invaluable to start-up studios, one of the other ways that a good aggregator can really shine is by providing them with additional technical support. By freeing up the provider to fully focus on fleshing out the designs and themes of their games while they handle things like back-end logic and the addition of powerful gamification tools, aggregators can ensure studios enjoy a hassle-free launch that benefits operators and customers alike.
At Swintt, we firmly believe that the role of a succesful aggregator should be to enable developers to focus on what they do best – creating the next must-play game – while supporting them throughout their journey with technical, marketing and commercial know how. By acting as both a foundation and a springboard for new studios, you can help give them the head-start they need to establish both themselves and their titles, and that’s exactly the service we’ve tried to provide through SwinttStudios.
Having seen so many talented new developers over the years fail to get a potentially great game to market simply because they were unable to clear the initial technical hurdles, it’s clear that game aggregators have an important role to play in the future of online gambling. Not only can they help studios refine, promote and distribute their titles, but they can also give operators quick and easy access to a diverse line-up of boutique studios in one integration – and that’s a win-win for everyone.