Following his career move from industry giants IGT, Microgaming and Pragmatic to becoming Head of Commercial for the innovative slot and table game start-up Golden Rock Studios, Shane Regan is well versed in what success looks like. As Golden Rock prepares to unleash its groundbreaking RouletteX2 table game as part of an impressive 2020 release roster, Regan reveals what makes this start-up stand out in a crowded marketplace…
In your role, how do you instil a culture of innovation in terms of practical steps in line with the Golden Rock brand ethos?
Being one of the first people to join Golden Rock Studios, I have had the pleasure of helping shape the brand ethos and culture within the business. We are always striving to be a fun yet progressive place to work and this is already evident in the general feedback we receive and the close partnerships we have been able to build up before we went live with our first game. One of the key factors in ensuring we are innovative in the way we work and not just innovative in the product area is that we hire experienced and creative people who are able to bring across a wealth of various skills and ideas to help us keep to our ideals as a business.
How would you describe the differences between working at major brands and moving to a new start-up studio?
Firstly I must say that each of the previous companies I have worked for are all very different but all have a similar goal and that is to keep growing the business and finding the right formulas to keep delivering innovative content, some do it better than others, but all companies recognise that is what it takes to maintain a strong presence in this ever growing industry. So having spent the last eight years working in these varied environments this has definitely helped me to understand what ideas and processes would work best in a start-up company like Golden Rock Studios.
Is there more opportunity for creative freedom and is this part of why you transitioned to Golden Rock?
There is a lot more creative freedom available in my role within Golden Rock Studios. I have joined a company with no preconceptions of what success looks like, there are no legacy processes or systems holding us back and I have been given creative licence to develop the companies commercial strategy for the short and long term. This actually goes for each new member of the team, as people join the business and new roles are created, we are all encouraged to put our stamp on the role and use our experiences to help shape the processes and expectations for the business.
You’re launching RouletteX2, can you tell us a bit more about this and how it will impact your overall strategy for the year ahead?
If you are going to compete with Table Games you have to innovate and bring something new to the table. RouletteX2 is the first of six exciting new table games which we aim to have out by the end of 2020. The strategy for table games is to make sure we work closely with all the key operators to ensure that we build and supply content which meets the needs of the business and also gives something new to players.
RouletteX2 is a well-polished version of the European Roulette game but with innovative features such as Fast Chips allowing players to place multiple chips on a the same time with a single swipe action. We also have a very a powerful reward mechanic like no other, with a unique dice feature potentially gifting players with double winnings for free on every spin, whilst retaining the standard odds expected without taking anything away from the player – our motto for this game is “If you can win double your payout with RouletteX2, why would you ever play any other Roulette game again?!”
As someone with experience across the industry, where do you see the big wins taking place in gaming, both in terms of technology and geography?
I don’t see future technologies such as VR or AI having any kind of major impact on the industry in the foreseeable future if I am going to be honest. Whenever I see these innovative products or ideas, they just look like that are being done for the sake of appearing to be innovative and forward thinking, however in my opinion the target customer base for our gaming products do not need this change. I believe customers want speed and efficiency more than innovative change in what they already love. Better loading times, better stability in gameplay, better efficiency and KYC with casino withdrawals and registrations etc. Although I should mention that I do also believe that the companies who invest properly into their tech stack and ensure they have solid and agile promotional tools will always prevail when it comes to driving growth within their areas.
With regards to the geography winners, big opportunities lie in North and South America as they open up more markets, as well as Japan, India and Africa being touted by many as having big potential for growth. But with regulated markets tightening up requirements and also with tax being a key factor in where a lot of people operate, the landscape is always changing.
What can you tell us about the year ahead?
For Golden Rock Studios, 2020 has already started off with us being very busy and active on the commercial side of our business. Star Gods, our second game and the first of an ambitious roadmap planned for 2020, went live. Initially it was launched as an early exclusive to the GVC Group brands and they showed great support and faith in us by giving the game a big promotional push before the game was released to the whole Microgaming network in January. We actually have 16 Slots and six Table games all currently in various stages of development, as well as an innovative product feature which will be available in all our Slots games from the second half of this year. So taking all this into account and the fact that we are now growing in terms of customers and products, 2020 is going to be a huge year for Golden Rock Studios!