July 6, 2018
Interview with Lauryn Duncan, Sales & Business Development Manager
What were you doing before you first joined the industry? What led you to your first iGaming job, and what challenges did you have to go through to make WAZDAN what it is today?
I’m actually from the manufacturing industry in South Africa with general management experience. I joined Wazdan at the beginning of the year and it has been an amazing experience so far. The passion of my colleagues for what we do, the buzz and energy of the industry and the absolute excitement in now being involved in the heart of the industry has been a very positive experience. It is fantastic to be part of the Wazdan team and to have the same goals and Visio as my colleagues and my bosses.
How has your career evolved with WAZDAN and which area do you lead today?
Wazdan has given me a greater exposure to the gaming industry and ignited my Passion for Games. I am very fortunate that Wazdan encourages and supports attending industry events, conferences and exhibitions. With a lot of hard work, we are winning awards and partnering with very successful operators. The industry is taking note of us and I am very confident that we will continue to get stronger.
What opportunities do you look into to grow as a brand?
As Wazdan our primary goal is to become one of the world’s leading games suppliers, we strive to participate in expos all over the world. We are going to exhibit at iGB Live! 2018 in Amsterdam with a willingness to present our product to a broader audience and to reach global partners. We had fantastic feedback from operators and aggregators after ICE 2018 in London. Then our new 9 Lions slot won the Hot Hit Award at G2E Asia and we signed-up our first Asian operators Twelve40 and EvenBet. Now we are preparing for iGB Live!, to feel the business environment by ourselves and listen to market needs and expectations. If we listen and react adequately and if we add our Passion for Games on top of that, the benefits will undoubtedly come. We have 10 brand new games ready for release, and we will do it very soon! We’ve just released some great games, Football Mania Deluxe for the World Cup, Great Book of Magic Deluxe, Tetri Mania Deluxe and Fruit Mania Deluxe. Games being released ahead of iGB Live! include the intriguing Corrida Romance Deluxe debuting for the San Fermin festival, Hot Party Deluxe, Highway to Hell Deluxe, Fruits Go Bananas and smash slot Spectrum, amongst others.
How does your company stand out from its competitors?
Wazdan is a technology pioneer. We are a company whose brand is synonymous with re-shaping the slots industry through innovative technology, the Unique Wazdan Features, a set of special hallmark properties that includes the world’s first Volatility Levels™, Energy Saving Mode, Double Screen Mode and Unique Gamble Feature. We are working on more Unique Wazdan Features which will make our trademark in the slot games! What we know for sure is that players and operators love this new technology, which is re-invigorating the category and bringing new players and revenue. We’ve had a double-digit rise in revenue since the introduction in Q4 2017 of that initial suite of added-value tools, Unique Wazdan Features, which provide operators with the ability to activate multiple features designed to enhance customer experience and engagement, improve retention, encourage extended play and produce high er yield. The results speak for themselves, Wazdan has signed several partnership deals already this year with companies such as EveryMatrix, Videoslots, SlotMillions, Iforium, iSoftbet, Evenbets, Globalplay, and more. We are putting a lot of effort to make players’ game sessions longer and to deliver to our customers some tools which will allow them to attract players with our games. Wazdan also aspires to give them “The Freedom of Choice”, so operators and players can expect some features which will bring this feeling. Wazdan is licensed in the UK, Malta and Curacao which means that we undergo regular auditing and provide the security of being tested at the highest levels. Wazdan is a well-known name across the industry and our games can be found in many casinos today. With our speed of game and technology development, we are able to add exciting new content quickly and simply. Our aim has always been to deliver market-shaping products and services.
You recently have been awarded Malta’s Gaming Best Start-Up Company of the Year Award during MiGEA 2018. How do you reflect on the achievement?
We were shortlisted by the industry-acclaimed EGR B2B Awards and then won Hot Product Award at G2E Asia, and this is what continues to give us confidence that we are moving in the right direction. The MiGEA Best Start-Up Company of the Year Award reinforced that further.
How do you constantly re-invent to deliver the most intuitive and innovative betting application in the market?
Our company mission is ‘Passion for Games’ which aims to deliver a richer slots game experience to improve player psychological, emotional and intellectual engagement. Wazdan developed a set of innovative Unique Wazdan Features that enhance player experience and provide operators with opportunities to attract new players to their casinos.
With Wazdan’s world’s first Volatility Levels™, players can customise the variance of each round by setting the game to a low volatility level where the game has frequent but smaller wins, or to a high level where the game has fewer but bigger wins. The player may also decide not to alter the Volatility Levels™, leaving the setting at ‘Standard’ where the game reverts to its normal volatility.
Double Screen Mode allows players to see the paytable and win values of all game symbols in portrait during gameplay and be in control of their wins at All time. This new technology provides players with a quality of entertainment that matches the standards that they have come to expect in other environments.
Energy Saving Mode is another mobile-friendly feature that maximises players’ enjoyment and is great for operators seeking to reach players on-the-go. Energy Saving Mode gives players up to 40% additional mobile play time without recharging, thereby extending revenue generation possibilities for operators.
Wazdan’s Unique Gamble Feature is a mini-game styled to meet the theme of each new game. It can be activated after every win, and gives players a 50/50 chance to double their win in an instant. The Unique Gamble Feature is available on all winnings in every new game released by Wazdan.
These are the technology developments that underpin world-class games. Optimisation for handheld devices has been one of the pillars for Wazdan’s dramatic organic growth. The real breakthrough for Wazdan has been the quality of slots experience the company now offers on mobile. As the regulatory landscape continues to change and the company extends its range of licences, this spells new opportunities for Wazdan to grow our business and put those games in front of additional players.
At the end of last year, you made a deal to integrate your content onto the EveryMatrix’s Casino Engine platform. How has that move put Wazdan into a highly competitive position and what were the benefits accrued?
Wazdan’s portfolio of over 100 HTML5 slots is growing rapidly following a further 8 game releases in Q1 2018. Recent releases include Fruit Mania Deluxe, Magic of the Ring Deluxe, Football Mania Deluxe, Tetri Mania Deluxe, Great Book of Magic Deluxe and Magic Stars 3; these are the kinds of products that partners like EveryMatrix value and we aim to keep delivering exciting games like this for all our operators and players.
Were you expecting to win this award and have such award been long time in the making?
We don’t expect anything. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it! We are judged by the people who choose our games, whether operators or players, for us that is our greatest measure of success. Being the technology and game partner of choice.
As a closing question, we would like to ask about your future projects. Could you fill us in on some upcoming launches and potential incoming partnerships?
We have a game coming for Halloween called Los Muertos. All I can say is don’t play it with the lights switched off! Other upcoming titles include beautifully animated video slots packed with entertaining special features, such as Captain Flynt, Fruits Go Bananas, Slot Jam, Relic Hunters and Mayan Ritual, as well as two Asian themed slots: 9 Lions and Double Tigers. Come and visit our stand at iGB Live! to talk about our passion for games and play our newest titles. We look forward to seeing you!