Play’n GO Interview with Magnus Olsson and Entering the US Online Casino Market

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Play’n GO Interview with Magnus Olsson and Entering the US Online Casino Market
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From a small office in Sweden, Play’n GO has evolved over the years into one of the world’s largest gaming entertainment suppliers of online slots. The company provides a portfolio of over 300 online options, including classic table games such as craps and blackjack, to operators in 25 jurisdictions. 

Play’N GO’s online slots portfolio also includes games with themes from Norse, Greek, and Egyptian mythology, as well as sci-fi adventures and music slots. Also popular are the company’s grid slots, which, instead of a payline system for wins, allows players to win by matching clusters of symbols that can connect in multiple directions.

Recently, Play’n GO’s Chief Commercial Officer Magnus Olsson sat down with the team to chat about its progress in the U.S., why grid slots have become so popular, and what it takes to build entirely new genres of game.

Q: What makes the U.S. a different market to others for a gaming provider?

A: We’re active in more than two dozen regulated markets worldwide. We’re finding there are two sides to the coin when it comes to the debate around local versus global strategy.

First and foremost, great content tends to perform well across the board. But at the same time, every market has its own flavor, and you need to work closely with local partners to succeed. That’s very much the case in the U.S., but I wouldn’t say it makes these states inherently unique. The challenges are broadly the same.

What perhaps is different is the scale of the opportunity. Even if regulatory frameworks differ state by state, there are still obviously commonalities across the country, and building a joined-up strategy as more states go live is going to present real opportunities, particularly for us at Play’n GO with so much strong IP on our books.

When do you think you'll be licensed to offer games in Pennsylvania?

I can’t share an exact date with you quite yet, but I can tell you we will be live in Pennsylvania shortly.

As you know, we entered the U.S. last year, and we’ve made really great progress in a short space of time since then. That includes successful launches in three regulated states — New Jersey, Michigan and West Virginia — with some of the biggest operators about.

We’re working hard to ensure players in Pennsylvania can enjoy Play’n GO games as soon as possible.

Why do you think grid slots have become so popular for players in the U.S.?

Our grid slot games — including Reactoonz, Colt Lightning, Rise of Olympus and Tome of Madness — have been among the most successful from across our entire catalog in the U.S.

There are a few reasons for that. For one, these games are really tough to build. They require a huge amount of technical and creative mastery to deliver. We’ve pioneered this genre, and we’re continuing to push it forward in new directions, which gives us a significant edge over the competition.

When you look at the U.S. specifically, the country has been home to a thriving social and mobile gaming space for a long time, and I’d say a big part of grid slots’ popularity is how they tap into a similar energy.

For us, the challenge now is to stay ahead of the curve and keep innovating, and some of our recent launches, like Rise of Olympus 100, are focused on precisely that.

Can you tell us a little about what Play'n GO is doing to build a sustainable iGaming industry?

Sustainability touches everything we do, but I can outline three areas we are prioritizing.

Firstly, our players, by building games that can be enjoyed responsibly and safely.

Secondly, our amazing people who make the magic happen. We’ve put a lot of focus on creating the conditions for them to thrive, from flexible working to a digital-first culture that puts them in control.

And thirdly, the environment, where we have pledged to become climate neutral by 2025, and are already well on the path to achieving that.

We’re all stakeholders in a sustainable future.

In what ways do you implement responsible gameplay to keep players safe when developing new games?

We’ve made it clear for many years now that we don’t just want to be a part of the conversation when it comes to responsible gaming and player protection. We want to lead it.

Gameplay is, of course, a vital component. We believe we have a duty of care to our players, and it isn’t enough to pass that duty onto the operator.

If you look at the wider industry right now, there are many clever game mechanics that studios create, but the truth is that many of them don't fit with the direction we feel our sector needs to move in.

Instead, our focus is simple: make better and more fun games for our players.

Our value comes from the entertainment aspect, because that's the main reason why people play at online casinos. We want the game to be fun, regardless of the gambling element.

This isn’t about trying to win money, but if you do land a big prize, it’s an added bonus. The most important thing is that players can leave happy, whether they win or lose.

What is your strategy in terms of bringing players new entertainment in 2024?

Our 2024 pipeline is already shaping up to be our most exciting to date. As ever, it will include licensed IP and the return of some Play’n GO favorites in new adventures. But it will also include brand new concepts that look to push boundaries. These are the games that really get us going, and it’s why Play’n GO has enjoyed so many smash hits over the years. We aren’t scared to try something completely original.

Sure, not everything works out how we envisage, but I think our track record speaks for itself. In 2024, as with every year, we’re looking to start another online slots revolution.

In what ways does Play'n GO differentiate itself from other game developers?

Differentiation isn’t the end goal for us, but it’s a result of two things: our drive to build the industry’s most entertaining games, and our acknowledgment that this needs to be done sustainably.

That said, I do think we stand apart from most other studios. Players consistently tell us that Play’n GO games have their own vibe, and that tends to be a combination of the very best gameplay, feature-packed action, genuinely intriguing storylines, stunning visuals, a deep selection, and the peace of mind that they are playing somewhere safe and trusted.

We’ll always play to these strengths, and while obviously, we want each next release to be a blockbuster, at the same time, everything we do considers the longer term. That’s the Play’n GO way.

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