It takes a lot to build a brand, and no one knows it better than iSoftBet. iSoftBet has been around the block since 2010. Its lucrative journey entails over a decade of casino game crafting, as well as market expansion, and perfecting its Game Aggregation Platform and cutting-edge software solutions. Simply put, iSoftBet has it all.
iSoftBet’s Head of Business Development, Lars Kollind, was kind enough to sit down and chat with us about game development, the creative process, and all the magic that happens behind the scenes at the company. Read it in full below.
- Hello and welcome to CasinosOnline! Could you please start by introducing yourself to our readers?
Hi, I’m Lars Kollind and as part of my role as Head of Business Development at iSoftBet for the last two years, a large part of my role has revolved around working alongside the marketing team to reinforce our internal communications and external relationships with partners. Much of the work involves facilitating new providers, ensuring they are up and running with iSoftBet's platforms, which requires a thorough understanding of customer needs in implementing the best approach possible to fulfil commercial agreements and execute effective strategies to attract new business opportunities.
Having held various jobs across the iGaming scene for more than 15 years, spending over a decade in senior commercial, sales and marketing roles within the gaming sector for some of the industry’s largest suppliers, I would call myself somewhat of an expert in the field, and the experience I have gathered over this time has been invaluable.
- You’ve been in the industry for more than 15 years, having previously worked at Aspire Gaming, Global Gaming, and Playson. You’ve seen how fast iGaming evolves and changes first hand. How would you describe the industry today?
Looking back on the state of play when I first entered the scene, it’s safe to say that the industry has become much more regulated than it ever was before, meaning that nowadays we need to abide by several rules and regulatory frameworks across multiple markets. This has made my job easier in some ways, as having these regulations in place makes it clearer what is and is not allowed. In my opinion, this has definitely had a positive effect on business, since the regulations ensure that the product the end-user receives is not harmful in any way.
- As the company’s Head of Business Development, what would you say are the major challenges that you face in your role?
Since iSoftBet only offers its product portfolio to regulated markets, we are constantly pushing to be pioneers in emerging market. However, keeping up with these new regulations and all of their progressions is a big challenge, and a significant drain on resources. If we fail to do so, it will have a very negative impact on iSoftBet’s performance within the industry, so our compliance team has its work cut out for it and is key in our ability to remain at the front of the pack.
- What would you say is your greatest achievement within iSoftBet in the years you’ve been with the company?
It’s hard to pinpoint any single event that I would call my greatest achievement. I prefer to look at my time here as part of a bigger picture. During my time at iSoftBet, we’ve entered 23 regulated markets, which is a lot compared to the average slot provider, and I have personally overseen the signing of over 70 operators over the past couple of years. This averages out to roughly three new clients a month, which is something I’m very proud of.
- iSoftBet has a prolific content catalogue with over 150 proprietary releases. What makes iSoftBet games stand out from the crowd?
As a leading supplier to the industry, we have a strong reputation to uphold, so we really endeavour to create memorable gaming experiences for some of the industry’s biggest names. Amongst our portfolio of leading Hold & Win and Megaways™ titles are a number of hugely enjoyable experiences, including our renowned Twisted Tale series, along with some of our self-made classics like the Aztec Gold and Gold Digger collections.
- Speaking of games, are you a player? Do you have a favourite slot?
If I had to make a choice, I’d say Gold Digger, seeing as it is easily one of our most renowned titles and it has effortlessly stood the test of time since its launch.
The Gold Digger series incorporates different mechanics, styles, and gameplay to engage with a broad player base. The original title saw Gold Diggin’ Gus and his mining truck make their way deep underground in search of big wins across an expandable grid, with additional reels able to be unlocked through landing special symbols and modifiers, and a bonus round that boasts a thrilling Hold and Win respins mode.
- Besides developing games in-house, you also have a Game Aggregation Platform with over 8,000 releases from 80 different suppliers. Can you tell us more about this platform and its importance for iSoftBet?
What makes our Game Aggregation Platform more attractive than those of our competitors is the quality of promotional tools on offer, in conjunction with both the quality and the quantity of games we deliver from other reputable development studios. Our fully integrated player engagement solution delivers a powerful suite of marketing tools across the entire platform, delivering Free Rounds, Jackpots and Tournaments to stir up the excitement, as well as our recently launched MultiDrop.
Having tapped into more than 20 regulated markets, we are able to serve our products in a multitude of jurisdictions, giving us a worldwide reach that few businesses can compete with. The number of games we provide is approaching close to 10,000 games, and the amount is only going up as we continue to establish content agreements with the industry’s biggest and most exciting brands and bring unmatched value to our partners.
- With access so many regulated markets, iSoftBet boasts a truly impressive content reach. How important is market expansion for you?
Our strategy over the past 18 months has shifted almost entirely to focus on key regulated markets across Europe and Latin America, as well as operators that possess licenses in local, regulated markets. Growth is extremely important to us as a business, with the number of jurisdictions our games are certified for serving as a big pull when it comes to attracting new opportunities with likeminded businesses.
- Last year, you entered Greece and the Netherlands, so where are you headed next? What is the next stop in your market expansion strategy?
All leading gaming studios are pushing to enter the US and Canadian markets, with the landscape holding so much promise and potential for major European businesses.
It has been a long-term dream of iSoftBet to enter these markets, and thanks to our acquisition by IGT, this is turning into a reality. The iSoftBet brand is going to evolve considerably off the back of this, helping us to tap into this region with the support of the biggest iGaming company in this market.
- Finally, what is for you the key ingredient for success in the highly competitive online gaming industry?
I’d say that one of the most important factors in manifesting success is building your own personal brand, followed by being visible and constantly putting your name out there by attending prominent networking events. Keeping updated on social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, is key in engage your connections and professional network.
Beyond this, you need to remain in the know and able to constantly adapt to new regulations and markets. I keep myself up-to-date to ensure that I can carry out my responsibilities in the most effective way possible, and it’s really that simple. Even by participating in this interview I’m getting my name out there, and there’s a good chance that new clients I meet will have heard of me through one of the channels mentioned earlier.
- Thank you for your time! Before we end this interview, would you like to share with us some of the main lessons or insights you’ve learned about online gaming over the years?
Remaining diligent and personable when following up on potential clients is crucial to securing exciting opportunities when they pop up and being constantly adaptive to an ever-changing industry landscape is key not only to survival, but to thriving as a business in this industry.
In such a fast-paced environment, it is no surprise to see innovation occur on a seemingly weekly basis and remaining agile and open to new trends has enabled iSoftBet to stay at the forefront of the innovation curve for so many years.