Jonathan Drysdale discusses the strategies used to maximise a game's performance.
The question IWG is most often asked by lotteries reviewing its portfolio of games is “which game title is the best performing?”.
“It’s obviously a sensible question as we have over 100 online instant games in our portfolio and it can be a little overwhelming to know which games to choose in order to achieve the best performance online,” said Jonathan Drysdale, Game Development Manager, IWG.
However, it’s not about picking individual titles based solely on sales figures from other territories—it’s about strategically selecting the correct mix of games for your audience. “Your (potential) online instants audience is just as broad and varied as your retail scratch card audience, if not more so, and so certain games will only appeal to certain categories of player,” he said.
IWG has identified three broad categories of player (along with a number of sub-categories), with each type being drawn to a specific type of game mechanic. “If you don’t have games that cater to all three player types, you’ll potentially lose those players,” stressed Drysdale.
Arriving at the correct mix of games is collaborative process with the lottery. “At IWG we know what the ideal mix will be depending on what the lottery already offers online and offline,” explained Drysdale. “However a lottery’s knowledge of their audience is invaluable here, so we work closely with the lottery to define what will be most suitable and most successful for them.”
It’s also not just about the mix of game mechanics, though. The same thought process needs to be applied to selecting the right combination of game theme, price point, top prize, playing time etc.
Once you’ve got your ideal portfolio ready for launch that is really just the first step. “You now have to keep the portfolio updated with new game releases on a regular basis,” said Drysdale. “Each new game release (and retirement) needs to be carefully considered to ensure the optimum mix is always live.”
To complicate matters further the optimum mix will change over time as your online audience evolves and grows. “At IWG our experience of launching and maintaining portfolios for lotteries all over the world has helped them through this minefield to ensure we deliver the best performing portfolio possible,” said Drysdale.
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