G3 speaks to BetConstruct’s Vadym Silchenko, the company’s Social Gaming Product Owner, about the opportunities for both land-based and online operators in offering social gaming to their players.
1. Where does social gaming fit in the portfolio of products from BetConstruct? What type of games do you offer?
Social Gaming Platform is an important part of BetConstruct’s product line that makes the latter a fully comprehensive solution for land-based casinos. The platform is firstly dedicated to producing Social Casino Games, either simple classic games or more complex, combined with successful game mechanics from other game types like a roadmap with a specific plot. Nevertheless, BetConstruct’s Social Gaming Platform is capable to produce any type of social game whether fantasy sports or casual game is needed.
2. How do you choose what types of Social Games to offer players?
The golden rule here is to decide objectively. To make a successful game, you have to deeply research the preferences of your audience, test continuously and evaluate, while the ‘magic formula’ is discovered. Easier say than do. And BetConstruct’s Social Gaming Platform makes it easier than ever. Using a powerful back-office tool a game manager can easily turn on/off or configure separate game mechanics and evaluate each change via comprehensive Reporting Module.
3. Social Gaming is all about creating an eco-system of player interaction with the games and with other players - how do you set-up and maintain that can of eco-system - and is it worthwhile?
Many small, but important details are considered in game features design to provide the best user experience together with exciting gameplay. For example, incentives for social interaction. Players are appropriately treated with in-game goods for sharing, friends inviting and etc. The tricky thing is to make sure such incentives are perceived as a natural part of game experience and not as an enforcement.
4. Should land-based casinos consider offering Social Gaming?
Surely. Social Gaming is a powerful and efficient tool to retain existing clients, attract new ones, especially Millennials, and advertise casino's brand. Social Gaming is a natural development of the casino industry in line with the changing of the customers. In the modern ocean of informational oversaturation old acquisition techniques are less efficient. Land-based casinos that want to succeed in a long term, should consider Social Gaming as a ‘must have’ option.
5. How valuable a tool is Social Gaming in connecting with players remotely?
Extremely valuable. Once the customer crosses the threshold of a land-based casino, there’s a big risk to lose that customer forever as his or her attention might be easily captivated by another casino. In such a situation the use of a branded social casino game is an efficient marketing tool to stay connected with the customer base. Customers continue playing games they like and receive casino’s marketing messages, they earn loyalty points for free and change them to real-words amenities, they communicate, become friends and plan joint rest at casino facilities generating even more income.
6. Is social gaming given enough prominence by operators?
Not enough yet. At the moment almost only the largest casino operators have invested in Social Gaming. By the way, for most of them social casino games are not the marketing tools only, but an additional flows of income from games’ monetization via in-app purchases. We believe that social gaming should and will become more popular as it is a very efficient marketing tool.
7. What role do you believe social gaming plays in attracting new/casual customers, and are the benefits being exploited fully?
Social Gaming, when properly used, might be a game-changer in acquiring of new customers. For most products on the market benefits are not used efficiently. Existing players are not properly stimulated for sharing, liking and friends inviting, new players are not properly stimulated to start playing a game, rewards are not of high quality and are quite hard-to-get. BetConstruct always consider these factors in social games development to provide the best quality products to our partners.
8. What’s the best way to utilise social gaming within a customer offer?
The best way is to bind social gaming to existing loyalty system or to create such system based on appropriate opportunity, included in BetConstruct’s Social Gaming Platform. Quite popular and efficient option is also to implement customers’ statuses system: the higher level the most attractable conditions customer has, like discounts and various amenities.
9. What role does Social Gaming play in customer retention?
Social Gaming is all about customer retention. BetConstruct always strives to create a micro-universe for players, where they can communicate, compete in tournaments, challenge each other and make new friends that boosts retention to new heights, in addition to quite classical mechanics as daily bonus with increasing ‘days in a row’ multiplier, super bonus game or daily leaderboard contest. The main goal is to create emotional hooks, which leads to customers return.
10. Should operators offer both social gaming and gambling products in the same channel or create separate entities?
Experience shows that free play players and real money players are not the same. Some statistics said that only about 5% of social gaming players convert into real money gamblers. Taking this into account, it’s better to create separate entities. Despite so small share of customers’ conversion, Social Gaming is still a reasonable investment as big audience of players makes casino brand more recognizable and respectable on the market. And actually the same experience shows that there’s no a sliver bullet for all the times. Markets change, people change and there’s always a place for new victories.