ICE: Branded games – how to avoid the pitfalls

ICE: Branded games – how to avoid the pitfalls

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 Totally Gaming

Branded games need to have a purpose and cannot just be a default option for designers, Dominic Bourke, the Head of Casino & Games at BetClic Everest Group, said on Wednesday at ICE Totally Gaming.

In his presentation, ‘The art of successful design and development’, Bourke warned that a famous brand is not enough to guarantee the success of a game.

“When we use brands – or bonuses for that matter – there has to be a purpose,” Bourke said at the ExCel in London.

“Brands are a big thing in the industry and we know they help to supply players – particularly novice players.

“They also have a secondary purpose, giving us credibility. Players know that we must have some legitimacy if a brand is attaching itself to us.

“However, there are also things to be aware of. Brands are harder work for us, as our guys need to work to fairly tight guidelines. Additionally we have to share the money generated from the game.”

Bourke added that branded games have to be consistent with the brands of the associated property – whether it is a movie or TV show.

“Branded games only really work if they hit certain criteria,” he added. “They have to be relevant, and the game really has to deliver the brand promise to the player.

“They need to get the same feeling playing the game as watching the programme or film. If they don’t get the same feeling then the money tails off very quickly. There has to be a specific purpose to linking up with a brand.”

Bourke added that it was crucial for developers to consider their specific audience on an “end-to-end” basis.

“Our customers represent a broad range, ranging from very unsophisticated to sophisticated,” he added.

“We want designers to focus on which particular group are they building for. You can’t hit the entire spectrum. We’ve seen a lot of games over the past six months where the graphics are suited to novices, but they actually aren’t the target.

“A game needs to be built for a specific group. There needs to be simplicity in the game in terms of the value in the game and how to play the game.

“The hardest part for us as an operator is to get a plyer to play the first 200 spins on a game. If we don’t show them enough love or they have a super-bad run, or something begins to irritate them in the game, we could lose them.

“Any time we can give players control – for example, in terms of the speed of the game – is a good thing.”

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