There’s no doubt that Reflex Gaming has enjoyed a stellar year. 2017 opened with a significant business win with leading bookmakers William Hill sealed at ICE. The landmark deal was followed by the announcement of a supply contract with Gameiom Technologies, notable additions to strengthen the Reflex game development team, an international games deal with BetVictor and an exclusive supply contract with William Hill covering the Einstein Eureka Moments game. Chief Product Officer, Mat Ingram, provides his take on ICE London and explains the Reflex approach to working with clients on an exclusive supply basis.
What are the benefits for a games creator to secure exclusive supply agreements?
I think there’s a number of benefits which apply to the games creator and the operator in equal measure. If the shared end game is to produce successful, customer centric games, then it can only be of huge benefit to establish positive and collaborative relationships at every level of the business. Exclusive supply agreements help in the formation of a mutually supportive approach and working style. They give a sharper focus for our creative teams and it opens up a dialogue and an exchange of information all of which accelerate the process of developing games that the target audience really connect with and want to play. I also think it’s a huge sign of faith in the business which works its way through the company and builds confidence. From the business perspective it also means the operator is much more likely to get behind the game and devote promotional resource into marketing it, which in the online space is really important. Reflex is a small, agile company and it’s very important that we are able to build the relationships on which we thrive creatively.
How do you organise the development process on exclusive contracts?
I have worked in organisations where the teams are segregated by client and in all honesty it hasn’t been a happy or productive set-up, so much so, that they’ve reverted back to a centralised organisational structure. At Reflex we have put together a team of really experienced game producers and our customers, by which I mean all of our customers, want to have access to the skill set, aptitude and imagination which sets our people apart. That’s the way that we work and the structure that we find delivers the very best outcome.
With exclusive contracts do you design for a specific audience/demographic or is just a case of supplying content on an exclusive basis?
We definitely design with a target market in mind. Once again, we work very closely with the customer in order to drill down into the motivations, likes and dislikes of the target market. Obviously with the online market we will have greater access to information and data than you will when designing for land based gaming. That includes what style of games the player prefers, what’s worked in the past, the look and feel of their preferred games. We take all of the sources of information that are available to us and deliver a solution. While it’s important to have some parameters to work within I also prefer not to have too much data. If games creators don’t have the freedom to push the envelope a bit the games they generate will always be formulaic and will never surprise or take the player to somewhere different. It’s an important balance to get right.
When you work on an exclusive basis does it give you the opportunity to really learn about the player that you are designing games for?
That’s true to a certain extent. Certainly the games developers and the creatives have a mental picture of who they are designing for, a kind of visual voice or impression rather than a detailed image.
With such a strong history in bricks and mortar gaming do you think it’s easier to design for an online market?
We are not afraid to market ourselves as the new kids on the digital block but new kids with an awful lot of experience in the bricks and mortar space. Our track record has given us huge credibility particularly with operators which have a predominantly UK target market. The online space is so busy that I am genuinely surprised at how well we have been received. We’ve been very candid in our conversations with the market in so far as we are not going to create 100 games a year but rather use our knowledge and insight to create games that players want and that connect with the market. It also helps enormously that a healthy proportion of online players will already be aware of the Reflex name and our pedigree.
What does Reflex want to achieve from ICE 2018?
ICE is incredibly important to us for a number of reasons. In land-based it will enable us to reaffirm our commitment to analogue gaming. We will also be launching our new Game Pro cabinet with associated fresh content for 2018. This will be the third year that we have been at ICE since Reflex launched its online offering. I wasn’t on board in 2016 but each year we have made really positive progress in our development, resource and ability to deliver top tier gaming experiences. For the first time in 2018 I believe we can demonstrate that we are genuinely a cross channel games developer following the alignment of our development teams for land based and online which enables us to make the most of our game assets and our IP. In common with a number of commercial organisations we come to ICE in order to listen to and network with the market. The conversations that take place at ICE are like gold dust and we are all looking forward to the opportunity to build on the relationships we have in place and to open up new conversations and new relationships. There’s a genuine momentum behind our strategic development and I believe there’s a sense that 2018 could be a particularly big year for the company and by extension for our customers.
Reflex Gaming are on stand S8-110 at ICE London