Blog: Innovation is alive and well in gaming

Blog: Innovation is alive and well in gaming

Friday, October 9, 2015 Totally Gaming
Ewa Bakun said that industry events such as EiG show that the sector is full of new ideas

With less than two weeks to go until EiG and the Start-up Launchpad , Ewa Bakun, of EiG organiser Clarion Events, argues that innovation is alive and well in the gaming industry...

I have just come back from an industry show in Las Vegas where most of operator visitors were on the lookout for new types of games, content, formats, innovations that would help them tap into the new generations of players, the Millennials.

While the need for new, skill-based content that would blend the elements of video games that new generations have grown up playing with gambling was loud and clear during the conference sessions, very few actual products were demonstrated on the showfloor. No surprise the Gamblit stand (one of the few companies with a clear mission to develop this style of games) was always busy whenever I passed by.

Back at home, the iGaming industry has been complaining about the lack of innovation for a few years now, and about the loss of its entrepreneurship and innovative spirit. Personally, having just selected start-ups for our bi-annual Launchpad competition, witnessed the launch of various start-up initiatives, incubators and funds (e.g. WH Labs accelerator programme, Matchbook incubator or Partech Ventures and FdJ investment), and selected companies to unveil their innovations at the Pitch theatre we’re staging in Berlin, I think I can dare to say that innovation is happening in iGaming.

Amongst the start-up and launch trends we are seeing this year there is definitely less social gaming, while more gamblification and software related to e-sports, fantasy sports and Virtual Reality.

These are precisely the trends exploited by the start-ups we have selected for this year’s Launchpad competition at EiG - organised bi-annually at EiG and at GiGse, boasting finalists such as NumberFire, acquired by FanDuel, BlueBat Games, acquired by Greentube or Imperus Technologies, acquirer of Diwip and Akamon.

Every year the selection committee for the Launchpad (Melissa Blau, Chris North and I) find it harder and harder to shortlist just five, which speaks to the quality of applications and start-ups. This year was no different; in the end we selected:

eSportsPools.com (ESP): founded by the creator of tedbets.com, ESP is riding the eSports momentum and provides fantasy league games and analytics solutions in this rapidly growing industry.

Skillzzgaming: a brand new gaming platform that blends casual with real-money and enables customers to play the games they’ve grown to love with the added benefit and kick of gambling.

Casino VR: a multiplayer casino platform for virtual reality with multiple games and experiences, and the flagship first multiplayer poker product.

DupZapper: complete solution for detecting online fraud by players with multiple accounts or false identities.

Stratagem Technologies: financial technology to unlock the value of sports trading as an alternative asset class targeted to professional traders and investors looking for an 'edge'.

These five companies will get a chance, to pitch their companies, their visions and their projections in front of investors (Mark Blanford, Burlywood Capital, Evan Hoff, Velo Partners, Jean-Marc Patouillard, Partech Ventures, Burckhardt Bonello, Found Fair Ventures and Fintan Costello, Revenue Engineers) and the audience coming to Berlin for EiG, judging their investment potential.

* The Start-up LaunchPad, Start-up Village and the Pitch Theatre are part of Excellence in iGaming (EiG) taking place in Berlin on 20-22 October 2015. EiG, in its 14th year, is the iGaming industry’s most established and senior event, attracting 1500-plus attendees from the entire ecosystem: operators, suppliers, regulators, affiliates, media and start-ups. 

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