Dennis Gustafsson, Play’n GO: “We’re moving faster than the competition”

Dennis Gustafsson, Play’n GO: “We’re moving faster than the competition”

Play’n GO’s Chief Operating Officer Dennis Gustafsson speaks to Focus Gaming News about the company’s technology network, how it rolls out new content reliably and what comes next in 2023 across North America and beyond.

Exclusive interview.- Dennis Gustafsson, Play’n GO’s Chief Operating Officer, granted Focus Gaming News an exclusive interview to talk about the company’s highlights of the year and what comes next.

What were the keys that allowed Play’n GO to keep the rhythm of a weekly release throughout 2022? 

We’ve proven for more than 15 years that we can build great games that move the needle for operators, and that’s down to the sheer creativity of our team. 

Maintaining the consistency of weekly releases without delay or a drop in quality is in many ways the bigger challenge. It requires us to marry the creative aspects of the process with operational excellence. 

Make no mistake, this isn’t easy. We’re not just launching 50 plus games per year; we’re also rolling them out to our operator partners across more than 25 regulated jurisdictions, each with differing technical requirements.  

For this, we need a robust network, and we’ve spent years building just that. I believe we have the strongest tech stack of any supplier in the industry, and our record speaks for itself. 

We’re extremely proud of this because it means our partners can have absolute confidence in us to deliver what we say we will, when we say we will, and they can plan accordingly.  

Where will the strategy for new products and launches go in the coming year? 

For 2023, we will continue to cement our position as the provider of choice for the best casino entertainment in regulated jurisdictions, across a range of new products, partners and markets. 

We’re really proud of the diversity of our content portfolio, whether that be global blockbusters like Book of Dead, licensed content such as our KISS and *NSYNC games, or titles focused on innovative mechanics and math models. 

Operators can expect more of the same in 2023. We’re listening closely to both our partners and our players and this feedback is looped directly into the development process. It’s all going to add up to what I believe will be Play’n GO’s biggest year yet. 

How do you evaluate your landing in North America, across different states and provinces in the United States and Canada? 

It’s no exaggeration to say that arriving in regulated markets in North America for the first time is one of the most important milestones in Play’n GO’s history. We’re now live in the states of New Jersey and Michigan, as well as the Canadian province of Ontario. Just a few short years ago, regulated gaming in these countries looked a long way off, and the speed at which things have moved has been impressive. 

We’ve made a really strong start, not least because we’ve been able to leverage both our unparalleled expertise in regulated markets, but also the strength of our games portfolio and our technical expertise too, of course. Both operators and players in the US and Canada were familiar with Play’n GO classics, so we had a head start in that respect. 

“It’s still really early days in these markets, but the indications are positive for us. We expect them to become core to our growth strategy over the coming years.”

Play’n GO’s Chief Operating Officer Dennis Gustafsson.

Do you have other markets in your sights? Which ones? 

We’re a truly global company now, and we’re always looking for new regulated markets to enter. As I mentioned, we’re already active in more than 25, and the good news is that jurisdictions around the world are waking up to the necessity of introducing sensible online gaming legislation as a way of ensuring a safe and sustainable future for all. 

In terms of specific regions, we’re particularly excited about Latin America, where we are already active in Colombia and Argentina. With the likes of Brazil, Peru and Chile either in the process of introducing or having recently introduced new frameworks, we’re hopeful that more opportunities will emerge in 2023. 

The strength of our network and our experience in regulated markets allows us to move faster than the competition. When a new market opens, operators need high-quality, reliable content that meets the local requirements, and they know Play’n GO can deliver. 

How do you think online gaming has fared compared to land-based gaming, in a year marked by the lifting of pandemic restrictions? 

The global trend has been clear for a long time now, with the gradual shift from land-based to online, and the pandemic has only accelerated this process. But it is important to remember that the relationship between the land-based and online segments differs depending on the market. This impacts the expectations of players, and it’s important that we consider this as, ultimately, our job is to create a world-class entertainment experience. 

Italy is one interesting example. Compared to most other European countries, its online industry hasn’t cannibalised land-based gaming to quite the extent you might expect. During the pandemic when a significant portion of players did move online for the first time, the challenge for us was to create an experience that met and exceeded their expectations. This involved a sharp focus on content, including games with a local flavour, like Rocco Gallo

There will always be a land-based sector and an online sector, and while we’re very much focused on the latter, I think it’s important we watch and learn from the land-based side so players receive the very best, wherever they choose to play. 

Recently, in an interview, Play’n GO pointed out that your goal is to produce maximum entertainment with minimal impact. How do you plan to achieve it next year? 

We’ve been among the first movers in the gaming industry to laser in on sustainable and responsible growth. When we talk about maximum entertainment with minimal impact, we’re really touching on a very broad set of issues we feel are essential to the long-term health of the sector. 

They cover, but are not restricted to, our environmental footprint, social responsibility and our duty of care to players. Play’n GO is leading by example across all of these. On the environment, we’ve pledged to be carbon neutral by 2025. On the social side, we’ve built one of the most diverse teams in the industry. And our focus on regulated markets displays our commitment to the care of players.  

These are just a handful of examples, but they illustrate a larger commitment to sustainability that is at the heart of everything we do. 

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