Exclusive interview.- Martin Carlesund, CEO at Evolution, sits down with Focus Gaming News and discusses the gaming market.
Evolution is one of the top company’s in the iGaming segment, which is why its CEO discusses how this year has hit on its business. While the company continues to expand worldwide, Mr. Carlesund explains what he expects for the future in this exclusive interview with Focus Gaming News.
What impact do you expect your new branding to have on the company’s operations?
The rebrand reflects the diversity of our company’s operations and better represents our activities today. Our new branding will not have any impact on our operations, the name is aimed to bring our brand closer to who we really are today and showcase the true breadth of what we do. In addition to our online gaming offerings, we also have activities within areas such as software development, technological innovation, and state-of-the art studio design.
What’s the next big step for Evolution after such a major change?
Earlier this year we announced a recommended offer to the shareholders of NetEnt, with the aim to expand our offering to include market-leading slots and to move towards our vision of becoming the global leader in online casino. The merger of Evolution’s leading position in Live Casino with NetEnt’s strong position in the slots sector will create a best-in-class B2B provider with capacity to drive the digitalisation of the global gaming industry. The combination of Evolution’s strong offering in Live Casino with NetEnt’s leading position in online slots will result in a world class portfolio of online games that will enable us to serve a growing customer base. Furthermore, NetEnt’s established US positioning combined with Evolution’s existing US studios and first-to-regulated-market strategy will put us in a favourable position to capitalise on the on-going regulation in North America.
The acquisition is now fully complete and we are in the first steps of this exciting next phase of Evolution’s journey.
The combination of Evolution’s strong offering in Live Casino with NetEnt’s leading position in online slots will result in a world class portfolio of online games that will enable us to serve a growing customer base.Martin Carlesund, CEO at Evolution.
You’ve recently signed a strategic deal with BetMGM in the US, how important is the US market for Evolution’s plans? Do you expect any more deals like this to come in the near future?
A key part of our growth is due to the expansion of the live offering in new markets by our existing customers and the US is a key pillar in our overall strategy. Indeed, the eyes of the entire industry are laser-focused on the opening of the market across the Atlantic. It’s our intention to have a crucial primary presence in all newly-regulated US States going forward and agreements such as this with BetMGM, allows us to provide Live Casino services to more providers in the US Market. The launch of our studio in Pennsylvania was an important step for us and equally important will be the new studio in Michigan, which we look forward to going live with in 2021. During the second half of 2020 we also signed deals with PointsBet, William Hill US and Wynn Sports Interactive. We will continue to utilise these opportunities to give operators greater opportunities to promote the product and are excited to announce similar deals in the very near future.
Do you think online gaming’s success during the pandemic will be sustained once everything goes back to normal?
The global coronavirus outbreak has affected the industry in many ways, and despite this very challenging situation, we have continued to develop and release new products. In order to continue operating we had to quickly adapt the running of our operations, creating contingency plans to secure a continuous delivery of our products. It is reasonable to believe that there are some long-term positive effects, as many new players have been introduced to Live Casino.
It’s our intention to have a crucial primary presence in all newly-regulated US States going forward and agreements such as this with BetMGM, allows us to provide Live Casino services to more providers in the US Market.Martin Carlesund, CEO at Evolution.
As a specialist in the live casino segment, how big do you expect the vertical to become after 2020?
In the upcoming year, we have a lot of studio builds, customers to deliver to, games to develop and demands to fulfil. Based on previous years, Live Casino is the fastest growing segment in online casino with an annual growth rate of 38 percent and we see no signs of this trend slowing down. Live Casino is today seen as a highly strategic, important product for operators who want to differentiate themselves in the highly competitive marketplace. In 2021, we expect that the vertical will continue to grow in popularity. Every year we aim to bring something completely new to the market and the 12 news games we launched in 2020 did just that. We will continue to innovate and launch exciting new games that will help us welcome even more players.