September 27, 2022 iGaming

Evolving apace

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Gaming America meets with Martin Carlesund, the CEO of Evolution, to hear about the unique offerings of his behemoth company as well as its plans for the Americas.

What can Evolution do to retain its position as a market leader in the US?

I think we can do a lot. The most important things are sometimes forgotten in our industry. The customer and user experience are the only things that matter. If they have a feeling of happiness and contentment, then that’s perfect; then it will not be hard to get and retain new users. Evolution has always pushed that. From a wider perspective, the incoming generations will not be satisfied with what they had before. 

The young generation is on TikTok, their lives are fast-paced, and their attention spans are low. You need to capture them with an entertainment factor. The games’ speed and volatility need to change. It’s not like everyone will continue playing Blackjack or Roulette or the other classic games. Evolution tries to do that every single day. We are always striving to constantly develop that. We have 16,000 people in our company and the majority of these are between the ages of 20 and 30. 

How have your products evolved over the years? As you say, you’re trying to stay contemporary.

They have evolved a lot. Eight years ago, we only had the classic casino games. Over the course of our development, we actually invented what is now known in the industry as the game show category of games: a classic blend between RNG and table games, which is something that greatly increases the entertainment factor for players. That blend with RNG is something that you simply cannot do in the land-based sector. That is one giant step, and now a lot of other companies have followed.

Recently we acquired NetEnt with Red Tiger, BTG, and now Nolimit City in the slots arena. We now have the ability to mix these games, having fantastic land-based elements, but also fantastic RNG as well. So, we’ve done a lot to move forward. 

Do you think these products are less well-known in the US and perhaps that this is something like a new release

In the US market, there are a lot of states and only essentially five regulated ones for online casinos. The knowledge base of users in the market is still fairly low. If you look at Europe, there has been development in the online space for the last 15 to 20 years. In the US, more knowledge is needed: how does online work? What are the normal progressions? Specifically, we are figuring out how to obtain new players. I want to contribute to that. One of the big things for us is the percentage of live playing.

The percentage of players wanting to play live casino games was initially low due to the lack of knowledge, maybe they’ve never seen it before, and don’t trust it. So, it starts low, in the 10% area, and then moves upward from there, to the 30% or 40% mark. To achieve that – in the US in particular – we need to launch new competitive games and enrich the user experience.

Does Evolution have any further acquisition plans for the US?

We’re always looking for acquisition opportunities, especially for what we can do technically. And we are always trying to broaden the range of world-class games we can offer, and we have added the best games that I think exist in the market: BTG (Big Time Gaming), Nolimit City and Red Tiger. The point is, that we are constantly looking, although there are no firm plans right now.

Has Evolution made progress in the LatAm market?

I think the Latin American market is fantastic and we’ve made great progress over there in the last year or two. I think it will develop and become a significant market, both because it’s regulated and awakening now, but also because we are targeting it and putting more focus on it. We have not done this in such a structured way before. As worldwide demand is increasing – and Evolution is really all over the world now – we can focus on different parts where we weren’t so active before.

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