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Putting the player first

Brand view

Dominic Le Garsmeur is VP Gaming Products at SG Digital, where he looks after the product strategy and management of the company’s Open Gaming System (OGS). Previously, he was VP casino at OpenBet and product director at Nektan.

As igaming grows, particularly in nascent markets such as the US, staying open to new ideas and applications will give industry leaders an edge over their competition.

This is the view that Dominic Le Garsmeur, VP Gaming Products at SG Digital, shared with iGB North America when discussing how operators can edge ahead of the competition by creating feature-rich content for players.

He says: “As our industry matures, growth will increasingly be driven by innovation and feature offerings that scale. Operators are continuously launching new, bigger, better offerings and features. They need these features to work seamlessly across their products and content.”

The result of this is what Le Garsmeur calls a “constant push” to offer the best technology, platforms and game content. Ultimately, however, players are at the heart of the ecosystem, and keeping them constantly engaged is key to success in any market.

Maintaining an open approach to online gaming allows game developers and operators alike to give players unrivaled experiences, says Le Garsmeur.

“Every inch of your product, game, platform or technology should track against one goal: reimagining the player experience and making every second they spend with your product valuable to them.”

Feature-rich content makes for happy players

Le Garsmeur notes a key trend in the igaming industry: players enjoy games and sites that open up their gaming opportunities.

“Whether it’s a fresh iteration on a popular game theme, jackpots or brand-new features, investing in content and features that players see and interact with on a daily basis can keep suppliers and operators ahead of the competition,” he says.

According to Le Garsmeur, taking the big picture into account is key. In most cases, the features that players seek are attached to one slot theme, or perhaps a small series of slot games. To up the ante, he advises developers and operators to actively seek out ways to integrate features across as much content as possible.

One example Le Garsmeur cites as a demonstration of the value of feature-rich content is the modification of free spins at Scientific Games: “We believe that operators should be choosing how to use features across games based on building the best experience for their players. They shouldn’t need to offer features per supplier—that’s not how players expect these things to work.”

Case study: free spins

The strategy is simple, Le Garsmeur says: Allow players to choose the stakes at which they want to play, and allow operators to choose the games they want, from any studio they want. This approach allows operators to be more open with players, creating a better player experience.

“We believe our product is different due to the scale of the offering: over 300 games from 14 partners. Every new studio joining our network has to integrate. That’s the open platform promise—one integration for all of this content.

Free spins is live now, but Le Garsmeur explains that it is a new iteration which takes into account the volume of content available to players. The feature works across more than 300 games from 14 providers such as Scientific Games’ in-house studios and partners like Big Time Gaming, Blueprint, and Thunderstruck, with more being added by the week.

This integration across game providers gives players the ability to use their free spins in one of the hundreds of titles on offer.

“If you limit which games allow free spins or limit it to first-party content, those limits fall on the player. Without the players, we don’t have an industry, so it’s in our best interest to offer them a robust and comprehensive gaming ecosystem in which their favorite features work across their favorite games.”

Features no longer need to be tied to one game, and the facets of gaming that players enjoy most should spread throughout content networks, empowering players to discover new favorites or to revisit classic titles.

By innovating and experimenting with various features and new capabilities, then, operators can get ahead of the game—especially in competitive markets such as the US.