January 19, 2022
Gaming Americans Exclusive Interview with Andrzej Hyla, CCO at Wazdan
What were your highlights in the Americas in 2021?
We hold licences and certifications to offer our games in a widespread collection of markets, however, entering the US market was a significant milestone for us. In May, we launched in New Jersey and 30 of our new and most popular titles have already been certified in the state, including Sun of Fortune, Sizzling Bells™, and Power of Gods™: Hades. We also received a Lottery i-Gaming Interim Supplier Licence in West Virginia.
Our titles resonated particularly well with US-based players, allowing us to gain significant traction with some of the biggest iGaming brands in the US, including the likes of Significant Games.
Receiving a number of nominations for the prestigious SBC North America Awards and SBC Latinoamérica Awards was testament to the hard work and momentum that we gathered throughout the year. We can not wait to see what 2022 holds for us.
What do you think was the key to your success in the US in 2021?
Launching high-quality games with engaging themes, stunning graphics and gripping bonus features is a great formula to stick to if you want to stand out in the market. Our Hold the Jackpot series has quickly become a staple of our offering worldwide, including in the US.
2021 saw us deliver a stream of fresh content to the market with the introduction of Wazdan’s unique customisable features, such as adjustable Volatility Levels™, which was eventually nominated for the Industry Innovation of the Year Award at the aforementioned ceremonies.
We now offer our games in 17 regulated markets and have used this experience to streamline our approach to entering new markets.
What industry trends did you notice in 2021, and how did Wazdan respond to them?
There was no singular trend that dominated the industry over the past 12 months, rather a collection of minor changes that together have irreparably changed the iGaming landscape.
There is always a new market on the rise that is setting its regulations and new gambling laws, and at Wazdan we constantly for new certifications that allow us to become pioneers in a region. In order to gain these certifications, our games must be of top quality and compliant with regulations in a given jurisdiction, and Wazdan remains at the forefront of the regulation curve by developing such products.
Offering tools to casino operators that boost player engagement has become the new battleground for suppliers, and Wazdan’s unique features have been designed following this development. Our Cash Drop promotional tool allows operators to set customisable promotions for players, and our hugely popular Volatility Levels™ feature was enhanced and now offers casino managers an opportunity to set a default level for their players, giving them more control over retention.
We’ve also seen an increase in popularity of games with particularly large numbers of ways to win, which influenced our decision to release Jelly Reels™ with a whopping 16,777,216 ways to win.
Are there any products in the roadmap for 2022 that we should watch out for? And will you be targeting any US markets beyond New Jersey?
We received our West Virginia licence in November and are planning to go live in the Mountain State imminently, and we’re currently in the process of finalising our Michigan and Pennsylvania licencing.
The plan is to release a number of new entertaining products, including some new titles in our renowned Hold the Jackpot series. Our goal is to take part in several industry events and trade shows in the US, including SBC Summit North America in July.
Our first release scheduled for 2022 is Sizzling Moon™, which provides an intergalactic journey that combines cosmic creations with the hugely popular bonus round, offering a massive Moon Jackpot. We will also see Dwarfs Fortune™ released in Q1, with the fast-paced gameplay bringing new innovations to the industry.
Lastly, do you have any predictions for trends that we will see across the industry in 2022?
We can expect to see further regulation of new markets and a rising demand for mobile-first games due to the prevalence of 5G and the ever-increasing number of mobile players in key jurisdictions.
The pandemic has led to an increase in popularity of social gaming, but we also saw the boom of online casinos offering cryptocurrencies in 2021, which we can expect to continue into 2022 and beyond.
One of the biggest developments that we could see is in VR games. The technology is starting to catch up with the innovative ideas that have emerged over the past 12 months, and we anticipate pioneering studios taking a dive into the unknown in this aspect.
Interview originally published GamingAmericans.com