Creating and executing an optimum release strategy in a competitive market18th May 2021 10:27 am GMT
As iSoftBet prepares to launch its flagship game for 2021, Moriarty Megaways, four of the company’s leaders discuss their release strategy
Cutting through the many hundreds of games launched every month in our industry is not easy, and it's a continual battle that many studios face. Therefore, to achieve the maximum exposure and return on investment, providers need to put together a robust release strategy bringing in expertise from four key areas of the business: Games & content; Compliance & regulatory affairs; Marketing; and Commercial.
Games & Content: Mark Claxton, Head of Games
One of the most vital areas to focus on to ensure you create that ‘lightning in a bottle’ moment in those crucial first days and weeks of launch is a localised approach, with a relevant theme that caters for different audiences and tastes. We have a team of experts in place for every regulated market. Each one takes a data-driven approach to every game and product we deliver, researching and learning about target audiences and their preferences in specific markets, while simultaneously working closely with operators to align our content with their requirements.
With Moriarty we undertook meticulous research to uncover a theme and title that would resonate with UK audiences alongside developing a unique combination of popular licenced (Megaways) and innovative in-house mechanics, math models and new features that UK players would enjoy and keep coming back to.
Add unique content and features; best-performing mechanics that are instantly recognised by brands and players; a localised approach and local expertise plus strong partners, and you have the ingredients to enable you to stand out and gain that extra edge you need in this increasingly competitive industry.
Compliance & Regulatory Affairs: Mark Halstead, Head of Compliance
No game can launch without the appropriate certification and compliance checks and tests and this forms a vital element of a successful, and on time, go-to market strategy.
It is also worth remembering no two games are the same. For Moriarty we had additional checks with the games testing lab to ensure compliance per market, 19 in all, rising to 21 later this year. This went without a hitch and we successfully completed and received the certificates.
Continued compliance is also important after launch, and we support any changes to regulations if new markets bring in new laws. Related to this are new and emerging markets such as Greece, Germany and the Netherlands where we will provide new content for these territories as standard once regulations become law, while we work closely with customers to ensure a seamless transition when laws come in.
Marketing: Virginie Luce, Chief Marketing Officer
The role of marketing is to provide immersive campaigns as per our vision of creating amazing experiences for our partners and their players, thus, we focus on storytelling to stand out. Affiliate partners are also essential in sharing the technical and gamification features, while leveraging owned, earned and paid media channels is equally important, with an emphasis on strong visuals - all within a 360-degree campaign, planned around a main launch event.
For Moriarty, this has involved centering the story around on one of our company values of ‘Curiosity’ by inviting our customers, affiliates and media partners to an exclusive virtual murder-mystery event 24 hours before launch, hosted by the dastardly Professor himself - the central character of our game’s theme.
He co-hosted the activation alongside our Head of Games, Mark Claxton, to talk through the key features of the game, followed by a 10-minute rapid fire slot tournament to accumulate the most points while spinning the reels. Whoever won was given a competitive advantage to the second part of the event: a murder mystery experience.
These extra touchpoints can deliver a new, exciting and differentiated campaign and can ultimately make the difference from a brand perception point of view.
In addition, flagship game releases, particularly if aligned with an exclusive arrangement, only succeed if the quality and the innovation of the product is of the highest possible standard. Just as important, however, is giving our customer as much time to prepare, test, play and familiarise themselves with the game, as well as set up all the necessary marketing assets ahead of pushing the launch button. For Moriarty Megaways we worked closely with William Hill to ensure we reach the right audience with the right messaging and use this as a benchmark for any new release in our roadmap.
Commercial: Federica Faggiano, Chief Commercial Officer
Where we excel is our strategic approach with the exclusive release of any of our games focused on specific target markets or key customers. We wanted to launch Moriarty Megaways exclusively with a tier one partner that has great strength in the UK market and William Hill was the natural choice. Finding the right partner to launch and not having a generic approach is crucial, and you must ask yourself a series of questions before putting pen to paper.
Do they have the same values or principles as you? Being aligned is key. What competing content do they have that could affect how your game performs? How has similar content performed previously? And finally, is their demographic, both player types and markets, within your sweet spot? Our aim is to generate as much interest, coverage and performance from a short term exclusive as possible before it goes on general release, while for brands exclusivity offers the chance to perhaps cater to VIPs or a specific audience segment.
To sum up, at iSoftBet we integrate our releases with the full support and firepower of our marketing, technical, commercial and compliance teams. This instantly creates that ‘lightning in bottle’ moment every launch needs to stand out, as well as the platform you need to build a sustainable strategy for successful content creation and delivery.