Operator insight: How start-ups can beat market barriers

Operator insight: How start-ups can beat market barriers

Friday, October 9, 2015 Totally Gaming
CEO Heath Samples used his experience to spot a niche and launch Betdigital

Launching a new gaming company in the UK is not an easy task, but no one seems to have told that to Betdigital, the digital content developer. Having signed a new four-year content partnership with William Hill this week, Heath Samples, chief executive and founder, tells TotallyGaming.com about his company’s path to success…

Betdigital was launched back in 2011, by which time I had 16 years of experience in the gaming industry under my belt, a well-rounded skill-set and the ability to spot a gap in the market. My belief was that offering games for both fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) and the online gaming space was the right strategy to grow a company.

The main factors which gave the FOBT sector a high barrier to entry were technology, time, corresponding skill-sets, such as graphics, game design, software writing, and performance facets - the maths profile of the games, the aesthetics and the theme of the game.

However, we were familiar with the process of launching a game in the FOBT space and so it became apparent that Betdigital could provide a service to reduce the average time - 13 months - of the online integration process.

We built a gateway called ‘System X’ which was a proprietary-designed platform that converts worldwide game assets and launches them onto any platform within three months. Once we had established a solid launching mechanism, Betdigital developed the game performance element.

The team devised a mathematical model known as ‘GRIDS’, which was a full proof system to ensure optimal performance for our own content as well as our integration partner’s content. The symbiotic relationship between GRIDS and System X enabled reliability in both speed and performance and, as a result, Betdigital started to work with integration partners on a frequent basis.

It became clear that we had made a breakthrough when international firms such as IGT, Net Ent and NYX began working with us because of our premium product. Soon after, we attracted the likes of William Hill, Ladbrokes and Gala Coral to service their bespoke games.

Simultaneously, we immersed ourselves in creating our own games, which subsequently broke records among customers as the best-launched third-party content.

Although it was a step into the unknown, we worked closely with Ladbrokes to capitalise on a first mover advantage by taking our content online. It’s important to highlight that, due to differences in legislation, FOBT games are not the same as online games.

Betdigital is always looking to evolve and offer a unique and tailored service, and we go about this challenge in several ways. Firstly, we design and supply our own games so we have total control in the quality of our products and services. Secondly, we offer integration to launch games into the FOBT market. We’re very proud of the fact that we are the first to offer it both online and within the mobile space.

As to the future, it’s clear that if there is a demand for FOBTs, then the online parties will want them as well. However, I do feel strongly that, if one is to succeed, they need a combination of a great game, an understanding of the technology, a sharp maths profile and access to a platform.

Having designed 11 games to add to the 15 partner integrations, the future appears bright for Betdigital. We’re very much looking forward to what the next 12 months has in store for us.

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