Slots remain one of the most popular igaming options with operators housing hundreds of titles in their games catalogue. Many of which vary in terms of theme and features, but all rely on the familiar format of spinning a reel to land winning symbol combinations.
For the player, slots are easy to understand and quick to play. For developers, they are straight forward to create because of the simpler premise they follow. When moving into an emerging market like LatAm, however, developers need to focus on creating slots that the unique target audience will engage with.
Understanding player preferences in LatAm
To fully understand a new market, developers and operators need to combine the advanced capabilities of AI solutions with human expertise and community engagement.
For Chong, making connections within specific markets helps to encourage a leading approach to slots creation. “Our company is actively attending exhibitions globally to stay competitive. We are happy to work with industry leaders to seek new opportunities and attend conferences to keep a close eye on industry trends.”
Chong explains, “We collaborate with professional consultants to cross-check the results of our targeted gaming market to obtain comprehensive information. These experts provide us with helpful guidance on elements and cultural trends that support our findings.”
Personal interaction is hugely beneficial when trying to understand the characteristics of emerging markets, and when trying to build a strong network of partnerships. However, a deeper understanding of a market is easily achieved when you add this with artificial intelligence (AI) that can gather and analyse relevant data at speed. Navigating the complexities of regional preference, legislation and cultural nuances can all be catered for through this pairing.
Including adaptive technologies to innovate slots
For Chong, the primary benefit of embracing advanced technology is the depth of data it can produce. Something that is vital for a games developer looking to find success in a new market.
“As a leading turnkey game development company, we place a strong emphasis on innovation and embracing technology advancements in the igaming industry.
“The company has a committed group of designers and developers who are always looking into testing and reinventing new slot features.”
In fact, he believes one of the reasons for SlotsMaker’s success in releasing slots titles in LatAm has been its ability to proactively use AI tools to fully localise for a particular region. By focusing on a pinpoint target market and by taking the time to understand the relevant features of the demographic, Chong believes the team has been able to create slot games “with regional themes that gamers in the area find interesting.”
Creating slots for a specific demographic
Using unique and innovative features in slot games helps to change up the standard format that players are all-too-familiar with seeing. However, though a particular feature might prove popular in one market, it may not see the same successes in another. The key is to ensure features are personalised to exactly what the chosen demographic wants.
Chong highlights that SlotsMaker carefully considers the preferences and expectations of LatAm players before developing features for its games -“With a wide range of in-game features such as wilds, scatters, multipliers and free spins, SlotsMaker is dedicated to create innovative and exciting slot games that cater to the Latin American market.”
Strategising for accurate features
To better understand players gaming preferences, the company will first gather player feedback and conduct comprehensive market research with its long-standing business partners.
This research involves a combination of market research on popular slot themes and game mechanics and a strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis to allow for a better understanding of how the market works. The team goes a step further by delving into the analysis of popular aesthetics that will likely appeal to the target market.
Chong explains, “With player data and trends, we can pinpoint the most popular features and incorporate them into our games. This approach not only offers thrilling gameplay but also guarantees huge success on our new game releases.”
It has been through this strategising that SlotsMaker has recognised that LatAm players prefer a classic three-reel slot. With this knowledge, the team developed two slots titles that would appeal to this demographic, Imperial Diamond and Royal Heart, that have proven hugely successful.
Honing your slot style for LatAm
It is not only the features that require precision when marketing to LatAm, a game’s style and design must reference local tastes. SlotsMaker mitigates any potential guess work through direct discussion with each specific community.
“We collaborate with professional consultants to cross-check the results of our targeted gaming market to obtain comprehensive information. These experts provide us with helpful guidance on elements and cultural trends that support our findings.
“Our company will also get feedback from each market segment and listen to what their needs are. We will make the necessary adjustments to fit into each market without compromising our company identity.”
SlotsMaker findings in LatAm
“Through our findings, Latin American players have shown a clear preference for cascading slots. We meet their demands by releasing games such as Sanctum of Savannah, Apes Squad, Epic Ace, Dark Angel, and Sweet Symphonies.”
SlotsMaker has found that the average LatAm player has a preference for colourful and eye-catching slots, and immersive themes that tune into the cultural traditions of the market. It’s this knowledge that has helped with its release of Bloodmoon Amazonia, in conjunction with Live22, which has proven a huge hit in the region.
Prior to launching Bloodmoon Amazonia, the team researched Brazilian customs over several months, choosing to focus on the Amazon jungle after long discussion with the game design team. The final decider came when “we just fell in love with the jungle’s ecosystem and diversity.”
“We keep an eye on market trends and player feedback to make sure our slot titles reflect the changing tastes of the LatAm audience. This way, we can satisfy their needs and give them the greatest possible gaming experience.”
“While our styles of creating slots remain consistent, we’ve certainly adjusted to the Latin American gaming market. This includes creating slot themes that are more culturally relatable, as well as using landmarks as design inspirations.”
Keeping in mind differing legislation and licensing requirements
As with many markets that compose a blend of legislation and licensing requirements, LatAm poses a challenge for any operator looking for success here.
For SlotsMaker, having a team on-hand to continuously keep a close eye on regulatory changes in LatAm, alongside an expert compliance team, helps to take the heavy-lifting off of operators’ shoulders.
“We also took one step further by acquiring GLI-19 certification given by Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), an independent organisation that specialises in testing our RNG system.
“We aim to achieve industry standards for the secure and dependable game development company to our clients and operators by obtaining GLI-19 certification.”
Progressing an emerging market
For Chong, SlotsMaker’s competitive edge is the way it’s always thinking on the front foot, imagining what LatAm players may want next and designing titles with this in mind. In fact, the team is currently in the process of merging two popular games formats, lottery and bingo, into a slots format.
“While lotteries and bingo are the most popular gambling games in Latin America, our company is attempting to launch different slot concepts that align with these two models.”
To make this a success, SlotsMaker is collaborating with a national lottery operator to design a game that combines several features into one new creative. Responses have so far been positive for the new formation, and SlotsMaker is confident this will take off across the region.
Expectations for the future in LatAm
SlotsMaker predicts that the industry will see an increase in regionalised content that will help operators and developers see success in emerging markets like LatAm. For Chong, the SlotsMaker team will continue to push innovation, with a player focus always front and centre – “We understand that players are looking for slot games that showcase their country’s interests, customs, and culture.”
“We strike a balance between staying true to our fundamental style when developing slot games and what our target market wants. Our game design team spends a lot of time working behind the scenes studying and observing competitors’ gaming styles and coming up with fresh ideas.”