Award-winning heavyweight studio Evoplay has made a serious impact in LatAm in 2022 – with its smash-hit Penalty-Shootout quickly becoming one the continent’s fastest-growing games by popularity and engagement.
Our team at Gaming America took the chance to sit down with Evoplay’s legendary CCO, Vladimir Malakchi to talk through the studio’s 2022 success, new releases and plans for the LatAm region in the year ahead. Read on to find out more!
First off, congratulations to Evoplay on a fantastic 2022! For our readers, can you tell us a bit about your success over the last year and what that means for LatAm?
2022 became another outstanding and rewarding year for Evoplay, with so many goals achieved and milestones reached, thanks to our business strategy. We grabbed seven prestigious industry awards, again proving that we are moving towards being one of the most innovative studios in the industry.
Looking at our work – the task of creating top-tier iGaming content and delivering it worldwide was performed at the highest level. We released forty-six new titles, the biggest hit being a World Cup-inspired football package that helped Evoplay’s stats skyrocket. One of our games, Penalty Shoot-out, gained significant popularity in the LatAm market, which comes as no surprise, as we developed it with football fans in mind!
Looking back, I can’t but mention that 2022 is also marked by a line of fruitful partnerships with top-notch iGaming providers. We established deals with companies operating in the Italian, Irish, Romanian, Croatian, and, of course, LatAm markets, as well as obtained the opportunity to work with the markets under the MGA jurisdiction.
Given that football is so popular in South America, how much are you looking to develop your games with a sporting slant?
We have done thorough research and analysis to study the LatAm iGaming audience and its preferences and cater to its exact needs. It’s no secret that sports are prevalent among LatAm residents, with football being their greatest passion. The region’s betting GGR is over $1.3 billion, which is forecasted for continuous growth. Sports betting constitutes 75% of sportsbooks’ GGR, which reflects strong demand for such content.
Our football package, consisting of 3 titles, Penalty Shoot-out, Football Bet, and Penalty Series, is a product to cover a broad audience of LatAm players, from sports bettors and football fans, to iGamers seeking fresh, sports-based games. This collection is a perfect mix of casino and betting entertainment, and we definitely have more football-themed products on our roadmap.
With Argentina proving to be the World Cup champions, how much increased traffic did you see over the World Cup, and were you impressed with the numbers?
We were impressed with the figures before, during and after the World Cup. You could say that it became a true goalscorer in our business metrics! During the World Cup, for the football package, we saw impressive growth in our key metrics. In particular, Penalty Shoot-out and Penalty Series showed a considerable spike in Bet Sum, GGR, User and Round Count – up to 600%! These results demonstrated the special atmosphere of football celebration a sporting tournament creates, and iGaming providers should be on the ball with their products and their marketing.
Looking to player preferences – what’s your take on what LatAm players are looking for right now, and how is Evoplay looking to cater to this demand?
LatAm is a very diversified region, however, an active interest in football is a common feature for its audience. Evoplay is ready to supply it with the gaming experience they search for. We studied the nature of sports betting, segregated its key elements and implemented them in our titles, giving players the same excitement, but with a casino twist. As a result, they are not bound to football fixtures and can enjoy the same pastime within reach of their smartphones.
Aside from that, we have an assortment of other titles in our gaming portfolio that will perfectly match LatAm players’ interests. Evoplay produces many games with a LatAm flair, such as the Mexico-inspired Rueda De Chile or Hot Rio Nights with its Brazilian carnival theme. Our research proves that the LatAm audience prefers dynamic and action-packed games, which aligns with our product vision. There is more in the pipeline, as we have some interesting titles in the making!
Looking ahead to 2023, we bet you’ve got plenty of exciting things in store to wow players! Can you give us a hint as to your plans?
Evoplay will continue rocking the iGaming industry with innovative games and solutions. Rest assured, we have much in our product pipeline and business strategy to make 2023 a year to remember. Our mission is to revolutionise traditional iGaming and bring a fresh perspective to its products, offering more gamification and fun. On top of that, we see our global reach considerably growing this year, including enhancing our presence in the LatAm market with even more new partnerships established.
Last but not least, what’s your take on the development of mobile on the continent, and how much are we seeing enhancements in data capacity and smartphone playability?
Without a doubt, the level of mobile penetration in LatAm is growing, which holds a lot of potential for developers and providers, with 75% of subscribers using a smartphone to engage with a product. I am more than confident this trend will continue and build momentum for smartphone playability.
We have always been focused on mobile iGaming, with our in-house game engine, Spinential, being an excellent solution, accelerating loading speed by up to 10x and saving digital storage space. It makes our games accessible to players on a wide range of devices, regardless of their technical specifications and the quality of their internet connection.