CasinoBeats Summit: the ‘wow factor’ of in-house jackpots

CasinoBeats Summit: harnessing the ‘wow factor’ of in-house jackpots

Gone are the days when slot studios would arrive at an industry event with just a portfolio of games to promote.

Game developers continue to branch out into an array of proprietary products, offering their own third-party services, distribution programmes or, the focus of this pre-CasinoBeats Summit discussion, jackpot functionalities.

Speaking to CasinoBeats about the importance of operating an in-house jackpot product, Shelley Hannah, CPO at Relax Gaming, explains how the “wow factor” of jackpots can widen a studio’s audience and increase brand awareness.

CasinoBeats: Ahead of the company’s appearance at CasinoBeats Summit, what does Relax Gaming expect from the event? 

Shelley Hannah: We’re incredibly excited to be part of the CasinoBeats Summit in what looks like a fantastic agenda. The summit will provide us with the opportunity to meet both existing and new partners face-to-face, discuss upcoming releases and potential collaborations and gain insights from other industry leaders too.

We know the igaming space is always changing and that a flexible and adaptable approach is necessary in order to be successful. Events such as CasinoBeats Summit provide a platform to showcase offerings and innovations under one roof, allowing for a holistic view of current and emerging trends.

CB: How important is it for slot studios to appear and showcase products at events such as CBS? 

SH: It’s always a fantastic opportunity to increase product awareness, whilst simultaneously building relationships with top operators and other igaming experts who share the same love of quality content.

It’s also an excellent opportunity to showcase how studios have managed to navigate the market in a crowded space where everyone is fighting to have a standout product, and what it is that truly makes a release succeed.

CB: As you’re set to appear on a jackpot-focused panel at CBS, can you explain why offering an in-house jackpot functionality can be beneficial for studios? 

SH: This heavily depends on how you define an ‘in-house jackpot functionality’. At Relax, we have our own proprietary system of Dream Drop enabled by our front-end tech solution in Relax Apex. Not all jackpots are the same, of course, and vary in size, fixed, local or global. The benefit to Relax is that our Dream Drop prize pool is global and available to all operators where territories allow, but importantly, across a multitude of games, which in turn allows us to diversify the jackpot product.

As a studio, you don’t necessarily need a jackpot offering to be successful, but it can increase the depth of the offering to customers by pulling together innovation in the wider portfolio. An effective jackpot functionality enables more profitability for both the operator and the studio, and although it takes a lot of effort, it’s worthwhile if you get it right.

To get a better understanding of the benefits, it’s vital to understand how jackpot players and slot players are two very different consumers. Having a quality jackpot product will both widen the audience and increase brand awareness. Another key benefit of the Dream Drop system is that it has been made available to a selection of our partner studios who, in turn, can add a global offering with multi-million prize pools when, in their own right, they could likely not have been in the position to do so.

CB: How important is it for a well-made game with unique features, themes and mechanics to also offer several enhanced jackpot prizes? 

SH: I don’t necessarily think all games should also offer jackpots. The audience for jackpots and non-jackpot games is quite different. A strong game without jackpots can be just as successful.

Not all players are keen on jackpots due to the contribution they make to the pot. However, it’s pivotal that any jackpot game should be made with strong features, themes and mechanics to engage and entertain, whilst anticipating a surprise drop.

CB: Do you think a well-made game can be successful without huge jackpot prizes? 

SH: Huge jackpots do carry a wow factor and are fantastic from a marketing and PR perspective. However, the true charm of Dream Drop is that it has a constant hot-mode feel, drops jackpots regularly and has the highest reseed on the market standing at over 75 per cent.

CB: What differences do progressive jackpots offer for studios compared to fixed jackpot prizes in terms of player retention and engagement?  

SH: Ultimately, it’s two different types of products in the same area. The experience becomes more static with the known possible wins via a fixed jackpot prize. This might appeal to some players, but the more traditional jackpot players do like to have progressive elements as it offers something different.

When a jackpot progresses above the normal expected value, the interest from the players peaks. As a result, this creates more revenue for both the operator and the studio. Players enjoy knowing that there is value to playing a jackpot when it is high even if unlikely to win.

CB: What are the pros and cons faced when a studio’s largest jackpot prize is claimed? 

SH: It’s fantastic for the studio when a jackpot lands as it validates the product. However, on the back of that, a natural reaction from jackpot hunters is that they may be less active in the jackpot directly after the fallout. Depending on the time between the studio’s jackpots, this can impact the product performance for a period and represents a scenario where having smaller but attractive jackpots can stand out from the crowd.

Jackpot players also tend to keep an eye out on previous win amounts, so that low action period can last for quite a while as the bigger mass of players will wait for the jackpot to grow.

CB: Is there a risk that players will only want more and more when it comes to top jackpot prizes? What is the limit on jackpot prizes? 

SH: I don’t think so. If the top jackpot amount in a particular product is high enough but more frequent, this will do the trick.

In my opinion, the market will increasingly shift towards more frequent payout of big amounts instead of mega amounts once a year. This will be more beneficial for operator profitability, brand awareness and the chance to celebrate an actual winner too.

 

Source: CasinoBeats

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