Game developers call for operators to take greater role in innovation Hannah Gannagé-Stewart, CDC Gaming Reports · September 21, 2019 at 10:00 pm Operators should play a greater role in encouraging casino innovations, according to a panel of experts at the Casino Beats conference in London on Wednesday afternoon. Discussing the role of operators in product innovation, Oryx Gaming head of business unit content Jan Ridenfeldt said operators have all the necessary tools to feed into product design more often but have difficulty doing so. “Operators could have a larger role than they do right now in game development,” he said. “They own the stage, and everyone wants to be on the stage. So you would think that they would have lots of knowledge to contribute (about) what plays on that stage.” However, he continued, “There are, of course, real slot experts in very many operators but these slot experts are very focused operationally: getting the right slot in the right place. I’m sure that they have innovative ideas that they want to implement, but maybe it’s not so self-evident how they can take that step further. When you work in an operator, how do you actually implement that game? What you would do (and) who with?” Kalamba Games COO and co-founder Alex Cohen agreed. “There is a layer of information sharing there that would be very helpful to the industry as a whole to understand,” he said. “With specific operators, which demographics they have that are key, which geographies are really important to them or which ones they’re trying to expand into. “As suppliers, we all want to make better products for operators that, in turn, compete better and make more money for everyone. (If) there’s a bit more information to help guide decision-making, then everybody benefits.” Speaking from the operator’s point of view, Royal Panda managing director Melvin Ritsema pointed to a couple of examples where he believed operators were innovating. On the one hand, he said the development of Trustly’s pay and play functionality was “amazingly innovative” when used by operators, while he cited Royal Panda’s partnership with streaming platform CasinoGrounds as helping them to update the way new games were released. “It was actually very innovative on the streaming level where it meant we were able to release the game an hour before the public. And had streamers from CasinoGrounds actually play on our casino before the game was even live”, he said.