Alea Co-founder Alexander Tomic - Breaking down future prospects for 3D virtual reality slots

Alea Co-founder Alexander Tomic - Breaking down future prospects for 3D virtual reality slots

Thursday, December 14, 2017 Posted by Joseph Streeter
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Discussing the 3D slots portfolio of Alea amongst other things

ALEA.com, operator of UK online casino LadyLucks.co.uk and the world’s first real money virtual reality (VR) online casino, SlotsMillion.com, recently launched a new B2B business arm, ALEA Play.

Following on from the launch, which will give other operators access to its innovative online casino platform, which includes a portfolio packed with more than 2,000 blockbuster desktop titles from 45+ suppliers, TotallyGaming spoke to the co-founder of ALEA Alexander Tomic, discussing Alea’s cast portfolio of slots, as well as looking at future prospects for 3D virtual reality slots.

TotallyGaming: Firstly it’d be great to hear how 3D virtual reality slots help expand the audience of slots?

Alexander Tomic: For the moment we can’t really say that VR slots have helped us expand the audience of slots, because VR is not currently mainstream enough. In the future, it may attract a younger generation of players, but today it’s more about attracting online casino players who won’t find this experience anywhere else, as well as retaining existing players for the same reason. It is also a very important aspect of the image we project toward our customers, as an innovative company that is investing resources and efforts in new technologies.

TG: Can you reveal to some of the products that have been more popular in the virtual reality casino?

AT: We currently have two different types of VR casino: SlotsMillion VR, launched two years ago, which is a high-end version that creates a fully immersive experience by allowing you to play inside a casino with a large selection of games and communicate with other players; and our mobile version, launched in November, where you actually enter the slot in question -  Pragmatic Play’s Sugar Rush - and explore the virtual environment. They’re two very different experiences, but the mobile one has already been more successful simply because of the medium; mobile is much more widespread, as at the moment 95% of VR is consumed on mobile and only 5% on high-end devices.

TG: As an operator that offers games via a game aggregator, which platform have you found to be the most popular for slots?

AT: Mobile. This currently forms around 60% of our traffic, a number which is growing every month. Add that to the fact that, as previously mentioned, 95% of VR is mobile, and it’s clear that mobile is the most popular platform now and that it will continue to grow over the coming years. We also expect that this tendency towards mobile will be even bigger once we release our mobile app.

TG: How can you ensure that a slots game has a positive reaction on multiple platforms?

AT: Some games perform better on desktop or mobile, depending on how they are built. Some games are properly designed for mobile - lately developers are building games in portrait mode when they used to be landscape to make them more user friendly, like for example the recent NetEnt release Planet of the Apes, and it has a strong impact on the success of the game on mobile. The game still displays in both landscape and portrait, but while the trend used to be to build the game in landscape to make the most of the screen, it’s now done in portrait to make it easier to play.

Slots that work well on mobile are generally those that allow players to enjoy a full gaming experience in a very short time, because mobile sessions are generally shorter than desktop ones. Low volatility slots with quick spins are good, so games like Starburst perform very well, while high volatility games like Immortal Romance are less effective. Some games perform well on both, but some games are targeted more for mobile than desktop.

TG: Also, how can an operator that mainly provides slots ensure that it competes with mainstream operators?

AT: lToday we have over 2000 games on desktop and 1000 on mobile (for some regions - in the UK it’s fewer due to regulations). However, it’s not about having the biggest portfolio or being able to say we’re the biggest casino. It’s about being able to offer games from almost every provider out there, because every provider has at least one or two top performing games.

We have providers that have the same volume of bets with only one game as other providers with many more; for example, Big Time Gaming with their amazing Bonanza, which outperforms ten games from much bigger providers with just this one game. Or Pragmatic Play’s Wolf Gold, as another example. We would work with these providers just because of these two games. Similarly, we’re soon going to add WMS, who have a great and extremely popular game called Rainbow Riches.

We made it our goal to offer as many providers as possible, including, obviously, the big ones such as Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, IGT, Novomatic, WMS; but we also take pride in including smaller providers like Quickspin, Pragmatic Play, Thunderkick, Elk Studios and Big Time Gaming, who have some really innovative slots. The problem that we face with so many games is how to present them to the players, so we created our innovative filter, which allows players to easily search our portfolio and for which we’ve received a great deal of recognition from the industry. We do also have table games, video poker and live dealer games, though - we just don’t promote them quite as much because our brand is all about how much we love slots. It’s all in the name.

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