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Casino dashboard: July 2021

| By Kevin Dale
Postponing the Euros made them all the sweeter, except of course, for those who launched footie-themed games a year ago… Kevin Dale discusses release timings, the crossover between slots and seasonal events, plus of course the latest game releases

Amongst the usual 400 or so games launched in June, there were two rising stars: new releases Hyper Gold (Microgaming) and Blazing Mammoth (Pearfiction Studios) were both able to break into the top 20 charts.

Of recent stars, both Big Bass Bonanza (Pragmatic Play) and Primate King (Red Tiger) continue to perform well, yet for the most part it was up to the old timers to jostle for positions 2-20. In the end Bonanza from Big Time Gaming came out on top, muscling its way back into second spot.

Top 20 games by distribution

With footy fans at frenzied fever pitch, we thought we’d take a look at game performance with a soccer-themed overlay. Evolution Gaming /Netent netted the glory here with their two slots Football Champions Cup and Super Striker plus their live product Football Studio – all outscoring the rest in terms of game distribution. Stormcraft Studios were runners up with their Football Star/Football Star Deluxe games whilst Yggdrasil had two solid performers in Bicicleta and Football Glory.

Inspired had a brace with Football Cashpots and Football Favourites whilst Nextgen had the pair Foxin’ Wins Football Fever and Top Strike Championship.
Other games worth a mention in a theoretical football chart were Football Rules (Playtech), Hot Shots (iSoftBet) and Shaolin Soccer (PG Soft), plus Football Manager from Evoplay.

On the virtuals front, the best performers were Virtual Football Cup and Virtual World Cup from Leap/1X2 Network plus Virtual Football by Playtech.

Almost all football-related slots, virtuals or live products saw some uplift in exposure during June and the increase in themed game performance was around 10-15%. Not as significant as for other events such as Valentine’s or Christmas but probably a result of the tournament’s postponement.

Golden reel contenders for best performance improvement between May and June were the games from Inspired Entertainment, Yggdrasil and NetEnt.

Given the goalposts shifting from 2020 to 2021, all studios can be forgiven for releasing their football related titles a year early. In fact, we have no doubt that football-themed game performance would have been far better, if many of the games released in 2020 had emerged a year later.

Timing is critical: go too early and you lose momentum before the event starts, but if you’re too late, it’s all over before your game distribution has hit its peak – reminiscent of some recent Easter or Christmas launches.

It was only Playtech that managed to launch an extra football-related game in 2021, Football Flaming Bars, a little late in the day to see major exposure across operator sites, but hats off nonetheless.

Optimal release timing seems to be around two months prior to the event. Either that, or you launch just a few days before the event but with a great pair of lungs to chant it from the rooftops… “Slotteone, slotteone, ole ole ole” or “It’s Slotting Home, It’s Slotting Home, It’s Slotting…” maybe.

It was a relatively quiet month in terms of dealmaking but you probably wouldn’t have felt this over at aggregator SoftSwiss, who added yet another three new studios worth of content to their portfolio: Pariplay, Fazi and Gamzix.

Biggest studio dealmakers

Newcomer studio ESA Gaming kicked off with another new distribution partner Microgame and so, at the final whistle, our rolling six-month dealmaker charts both remain unchanged – for a change.

Biggest aggregator dealmakers

* Please note these are live charts which update every month so please ensure the month of June is selected in the drop-downs to match the analysis

**Data on deals by month was collected from April 2020 onwards. Deal relationships between companies from all time are available on other charts. Note that only deals reported on company websites or in the gaming press are collated.

***The games chart here excludes live games and table games. Game rankings are determined by the number of game appearances on the casino homepages of more than 1,000 casino sites. To access many other charts including game rankings, live and table games, positions on subpages or to filter by operator type and size, ask for our demo from our partner, egamingmonitor.com, which covers 32,000 games, 1,100 suppliers and 1,000 operators.

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