BetMGM Gaming VP: Brand IP partnerships make your slots 'stand out on the shelf'

March 5, 2024
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Following the launch of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gaming America asked BetMGM about the company's use of IP and how it impacts game development.

In an exclusive interview with Gaming America, BetMGM VP of Gaming Angus Nisbet explained how BetMGM works with developers to create IP-based games. The question was part of a larger interview, which will be available in the next issue of Gaming America Magazine.  

Back in early January, you launched Star Trek: The Next Generation. When you're creating games based on existing IPs, how do you go about designing something that will appeal to fans but also be fresh and engaging for your overall player base?   

We partner with game studios that build the actual games. Different game studios. We work with them from concept creation all the way through to delivery of the game itself. 

If we go back a step before that, we have thousands of games available on BetMGM, as do most operators in Europe and the US. You've got to give yourself a chance, really, and IP partnerships and brand partnerships are just one way of doing that. So Star Trek, The Godfather, Charlie's Angels or the other deals that we've done? They let you stand out on the shelf. So, you come onto the site and see Star Trek and you think okay, I like Star Trek. You go and play the game, but ultimately, if it's not a very good game – you play it once and then you'll disappear. 

So to answer your question, we're not really appealing to Star Trek fans if I'm completely honest, because they might not want to play a slot game, and that's fine. But I think the reason brands are happy working with us at BetMGM, whether it's the brands I've already mentioned or whether it's [another]... they know we're going to be true to the brand. We're going to protect the brand.

Have you worked with other brands previously?

I've been doing this for a long, long time. I brought the X Factor and Britain's Got Talent into the gaming space in the UK many, many years ago because people weren't doing it, and it struck me as an opportunity to bring entertainment and gaming together. It was a logical thing to do and now everybody does it. 

Do IPs often create successful games?

You know what the game suppliers would say, ‘Well, look, we know the US market likes volatile games and Star Trek is a highly volatile game. It's got cascading wheels and free spin. Bonus this and that,’ and that's all good. Some games land and some games don't; sometimes, there's no rhyme or reason for it. But like I say, you've got to give yourself a chance and I think [we use] branded IP in a sensitive way, so the brand owners appreciate it; but also in a way in which the maths of the game stacks up as well. 

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