As part of our latest interview we had a pleasant discussion with Michael Probert, Head of Business Development at iSoftBet. The interview was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the company's plans, creative process and even Michael Probert’s very own slot favourites and predictions regarding the future of online gambling.
iSoftBet: One of the Reigning Software Giants Today
Home to dozens of popular online slots, such as the 24 slot, Ninja Chef slot and Basic Instinct slot - to name a few - iSoftBet has remained a constant presence in the iGaming world.
As they’ve proven time and again that quality is their main goal, we’ve decided to have a chat with Michael Probert and hear more regarding their strategies and success.
Being certified in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Alderney and the UK, and with offices in London and Luxembourg, can we conclude that Europe is the market that you mostly focus on? Also, do you have any expansion plans for the future?
Yes, Europe is our main focus, and specifically regulated markets. Our entire suite of slots and table games is fully compliant in the markets where we supply our content. We are certainly looking to expand our geographical reach in Europe and further afield. In the former, we are targeting newly regulated markets such as Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria and Croatia, while in the latter we are exploring South America and Africa.
Earlier this year, we remember Habanero signing a partnership to distribute their online games via iSoftBet platform. Can you tell us a little bit more about this strategic deal and how it all worked out?
Habanero is a class act, and has built a formidable reputation for designing high-quality games and innovative marketing tools. By joining forces with them, and integrating their games and tools into our platform, we were able to expand our game portfolio, making us more competitive. This, in turn, has allowed us to reach new customers in additional markets, making the partnership mutually beneficial.
By offering high-quality games with superb graphics, with the games like Neon Reels slot, Paranormal Activity and Skulls of Legend you’ve already matched the leading software giants. How hard is it to succeed in the iGaming industry nowadays?
It is a fiercely competitive market, and one where it is hard to succeed. There are hundreds of new games being launched per month, so it is difficult to bring something new to the table. Our strategy has always been to make iSoftBet stand out from the crowd by developing innovative games that offer something different, be it graphics, math, theme or feature that adds additional value to the player experience. This has worked well for us so far.
Since you’ve worked in the iGaming industry for a long time now, do you personally have a favourite iSoftBet slot?
It tends to be the latest game that we release and in this case it's the Disco Double slot. It offers rich graphics and an authentic, foot-tapping soundtrack. The slot is based around a 1970s disco theme, and captures and celebrates the nostalgia of the disco era.
Also, do you have any favourite video slots among your competitors?
Yes, absolutely loads, but I’m not about to promote them here.
How important is players’ feedback to iSoftBet and where do you usually find players’ game reviews?
We tend to take a mathematical approach to game feedback; in short, the numbers don’t lie. But it is also vital to hear it from the horse’s mouth. We spend a lot of time reading affiliate sites and player forums – particularly AskGamblers – to get a clearer picture of what players do and don’t like about our games. Their feedback is very important, and is taken into account when designing and developing new slots. We also hold regular meetings with our operator partners to learn about any feedback they may have received.
How often do you add new games to your portfolio?
Our production pipeline tends to roll out one new game per month. While this is less than some of our rivals, we believe in taking a quality over quantity approach. One game per month means we have plenty of new content for our players to get excited about, but that the games we release are of the highest quality.
From the perspective of the software provider, can you share your experience about the game process creation? How much time does it require and where do you get the inspiration from?
Games go through nine stages of development, from concept to launch. This includes math, testing, coding and integration. Our dedicated games team meets regularly to discuss ideas and themes, and they are constantly researching and tracking industry trends in order to create exciting new slots. Once an idea is agreed on, the initial specifications for the game will be drafted and distributed ready for development. The whole process from start to finish takes around six months.
What are your greatest challenges during the creation process?
There are many different challenges, and they differ from game to game. Sometimes finding the right theme can be tough, other times it can be fine tuning the mechanics to ensure the feel and flow of the game is on-point. To overcome this, we employ some of the brightest minds and creative talents in the industry – and the success of our games is down to their ability to clear the many hurdles they face.
Where do you see the future of online gambling?
The future is going to be about regulation, with individual markets establishing their own frameworks and requirements. We are seeing this now, but I expect the roll-out to continue as more countries look to open their doors to online casino play. I also think advanced technology is going to drastically improve the player experience, and allow game developers to launch even more innovative and engaging slots. Virtual reality will play a significant part in this, giving players a multi-dimensional experience.
What do you think of a portal such as AskGamblers?
They are vital to keeping players informed about the online casino industry, while also giving them a chance to communicate with one another via forums. There are so many online casino sites available to players, and literally thousands of games to choose from, it really helps to have an authoritative voice guiding them through the noise. For suppliers such as iSoftBet, it is also a great platform to share our games and updates with players, and also to learn about their likes and dislikes.
Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us, Michael. We hope you’ll have even more success in future endeavours and we can’t wait to see what new iSoftBet slots you have in store for us!