Although a young company, ATMOSFERA has quickly positioned itself as a reputable iGaming source of quality, fun, and innovation. With the world going into what would by mid-2020 become "the new reality", remote work has become the new normal, and it's been a challenging adjustment for all industries, iGaming included, to continue working successfully.
AskGamblers sat down with Yury Ermantraut of ATMOSFERA to talk about challenges during the pandemic, upcoming game releases, live casino products, and more.
You have been CEO at ATMOSFERA since early 2020 and almost immediately have had to navigate a global pandemic. What has this been like, and are you now expecting calmer waters?
We have a highly organized and independent team in their areas; that's why perhaps the most difficult challenge in the pandemic was home isolation and the general negative background of the pandemic's consequences. The world adapts to many things, just as we have adapted to the current life. I think now it isn't easy to imagine an IT company without remote work. I think it's normal to accept this as a new reality.
I don't make any predictions; we treat this as a new reality and work in a new standards format. We are only responsible for what we can be responsible for.
How important are the collection and use of accurate data for your live casino products? What is the main metric you look for to determine how successful a game is?
Let's start with the second question. At the moment, our "North Star" metric is LTV (Lifetime Value). This metric consists of many others and a set of measures aimed at improving products. The collection and use of accurate data are essential to us. This is why we use several analytics systems. We are working on optimizing player retention strategies, creating incentive promotions and functions in games, and conducting actions aimed at activating players who enter our products (for example, through the introductory tutorial).
What is the secret to developing a strong live dealer title, and what helps differentiate ATMOSFERA from competitors?
The development of game presenters' status depends on their company. In my opinion, the company should empower employees through different courses such as language practice, acting, speech techniques, makeup training, etc.
Game presenters should be punctual and shouldn't stop working on themselves, because it's required for their professional skills and status.
Live casino is a huge part of the gambling industry at the moment. What do you put this down to, and how do you see the trend developing in the coming years?
Online casino formats have been actively developing for the past ten years. Every year we see a growth trend - both in the number of players and in the number of investments.
At the same time, demand creates its own supply: an increasing number of development companies are presenting games in this segment, but one has to try hard to attract partner providers. In my opinion, the expected trend is VR/AR technologies. Further, there is a forecast for an increase in the quality of content thanks to 5G networks and an increase in the market due to mobile gaming.
Of course, the development of gambling and live casinos is impossible without the active participation of the legislature and regulatory bodies. I think there will be a number of changes inside too.
Getting a live game right takes a lot of time and expertise behind the scenes. What would you like players to know about this before their next session in the lobby?
Primarily, we want our players to get the entertainment level they expect and even more. As for us, we constantly conduct training for the game presenters on how to interact with people correctly, conduct extensive UX research to understand the "pains" of the players and solve them. In general, we carry out a set of actions aimed at improving the gaming experience of our clients.
The number one worry for all players is fairness and safety. How do you lessen any concerns players may have about games at your casino partners?
Indeed, we understand this concern! In this regard, we integrate only into those gaming platforms that have internationally recognized gambling licenses. Secondly, all our gaming devices have a certificate of conformity, excluding third-party interference in the game. And finally, we have strict procedures for the presenters' behaviour in the studio, which allow us to show, in addition to all of the above, a part of fair play, eliminating doubts among players.
Do you have any exciting plans on the horizon that you can share with us?
Next year we'll be even more actively involved in the fight for the player. Until recently, I didn't attach so much importance to this. The whole focus of the year for ATMOSFERA was on development, infrastructure. Since the moment of important releases, we felt that today the competition for the player has become many times higher and is growing every day.
That's why now we are working on tools for attracting clients.
We're planning to expand our product line, but the focus will be on creating a competitive marketing proposal.
Thank you, Yury, for taking the time to talk to us; we'll be looking forward to more from ATMOSFERA in the next period.