SG Digital: US igaming market will be a key focus for developers

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The US igaming market will ‘likely’ be a ‘key focus’ for developers within the industry for the foreseeable future as it continues to gather pace, according to Rob Procter, content specialist director at SG Digital.

Procter highlighted the recent opening of Michigan, which has already yielded strong results, and emphasized that there’s ‘clearly an appetite for the entertaining experiences’ that the industry offers. 

“Scientific Games already holds a strong position due to our heritage within the US land-based environment, and we’re very confident of increasing our foothold within the digital space,” he explained. 

“From the games inspired by the classic slot machines to new and innovative titles, players clearly resonate with our content and we’re excited to bring more concepts to our US audience.”

Ahead of the developer’s participation at the second CasinoBeats Slots Festival of 2021, SG Digital’s third involvement since the festival’s inaugural event in November last year, Procter spoke to SBC Americas about what the firm has to offer on May 11. 

Promised for the event, SG Digital noted a ‘wide range’ of new games from its content library will be showcased at the festival, with Procter noting his excitement at introducing the titles to more than 600 delegates from the slot sector. 

“This includes the eagerly anticipated release of Invader Megaways, which is set to be one of the biggest games of the year. It’s a truly action-packed game that players will appreciate,” he added. 

“The sci-fi adventure includes hovering UFOs that land above the reels, which then selects a symbol and turns it into a wild in the base game, and add a modifier in Free Spins. From a design perspective, the graphics are stunning and demonstrate the level of quality we’re aiming to achieve right now.

“Attendees can also find out more about Jin Ji Bao Xi Megaways, the latest instalment from the hugely popular SG franchise. The JJBX brand is familiar to players worldwide and is consistently one of our top-performing games, so adding the player-favorite mechanic makes strategic sense and ramps up the gameplay.

“We’ve got a host of other new titles to demonstrate too, including Dancing Drums Explosion, Quick Hit Ultra Pays, Blazing 7s Roulette, Minotaur and Ultra Blazing Fire Link India. Delegates will have plenty of new content to explore at our digital stand.”

While the industry eagerly awaits the return to physical conference activity, Procter emphasized the importance of digital summits, labelling them a ‘great opportunity’ for suppliers to showcase their latest range of products in a period where physical events, whilst on the horizon, are still restricted. 

He commented: “In the previous 12 months, we’ve seen how crucial digital conferences have been in bringing the industry together and conducting new business.

“From a slots perspective, it’s also an ideal way to show customers exactly what we have to offer, as well as provide an opportunity to try the new games themselves. While we’re all keen to meet one another at major conferences again in the near future, these digital events now have a place in the igaming calendar.”

Over the last year the igaming sector has seen an increase in streamers, no more than in the world of slots. With both Fruity Slots and Paris-based streamer Jackpot Sam streaming live at the festival, we pressed Procter on the importance of the streaming community in the industry.

“It’s an area that we’re looking to get more involved with as this is becoming an important channel in the online casino environment,” Procter revealed. “We’ve been doing a lot of work to identify key streamers that we can partner with and who share our beliefs about gaming, in particular around safe and responsible gambling.

“In recent months, we’ve stepped up our activity by doing paid promotions with several online streamers. This included a project with CasinoGrounds for our Raging Rhino Rampage title, as well as promotions for Cluedo Cash Mystery with CasinoDaddy and Rainbow Riches Race Day with Chipmonkz. 

“In addition, our experts are now available to appear on the streams and we’ve been supplying branded merchandise as part of free giveaways to viewers. Our plan is to build better relationships where we help them deliver exciting content to their audiences and ensure they’re as excited about our new content as we are.”

As gamification becomes the buzz word for the slot sector, the evolution of features within developers’ titles is set to become enhanced with Procter hoping to see new features that ‘elevate’ the gameplay to the next level.

He concluded: “There’s a never-ending determination from Scientific Games to create the next innovative concept that revolutionizes the online casino experience. We’ve got high hopes for our new mechanic Dual Ways Pay, which goes live later this year with our upcoming release Spirit of the River. 

“The mechanic pays from top to bottom as well as from left to right, which evolves the traditional ways format that players are accustomed to.”