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Play’n GO’s Ebba Arnred: ‘Are we ready for G2E? We are game.’

Ahead of G2E, Play’n GO’s CMO and co-founder Ebba Arnred opens up about what it takes to succeed during tough macroeconomic times, the future of the operator-supplier relationship, and how the company is building towards long-term sustainability.

Ebba Arnred, Play’n GO’s CMO and co-founder.
Ebba Arnred, Play’n GO’s CMO and co-founder.

As G2E Las Vegas approaches, Play’n GO’s CMO and co-founder Ebba Arnred, shares insights on the event’s significance, the company’s agenda for 2024, and she also responds to the dynamic changes in the gaming industry.

As we enter the critical final phase of the calendar year, many senior executives around the industry will be already planning and budgeting for 2024. How do you as CMO of one of the largest slot providers in the world evaluate 2023 so far?

As an industry, we’re clearly in a very different place from where we were even just a couple of years ago. The pandemic impacted us all in many ways and is still being felt. The regulatory landscape is evolving, and sometimes at a speed and in a direction that isn’t in line with stakeholders’ hopes. The broader macroeconomic situation is still one of uncertainty.

But all that said, we’re very happy with where we are – both Play’n GO and the sector as a whole. Today, we’re a far more mature, regulated industry, and that obviously presents very different challenges and responsibilities alongside the opportunities.

We’ve needed to be more innovative and agile to deliver the same gaming excellence our partners and players have come to expect. It’s made us a stronger company, and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished over these last few years – blockbuster titles, new regulated markets, entering the US.

People always admired us for our creativity, but we’ve really shown our resilience as well recently. It puts us in an extremely strong position as we look forward towards 2024.

Will your marketing priorities change for 2024? Can you share with us what your focus will be? 

I’m thinking a lot about the operator-supplier relationship right now, and how that will evolve over the coming years. You know, we’ve never liked the term ‘supplier’, because it doesn’t really work like that. We’re not just supplying our games to operators, we’re building a partnership that enables those games to thrive.

And for us marketers at Play’n GO specifically, we know that we can really add a lot of value to our partners. With that in mind, 2024 is going to be exciting as we explore more ways we can offer a full, in-house marketing agency service to our partners.

I would personally love to see more of our partners engage with us on that basis – we have the in-house expertise to support partners with almost anything they could wish for.

Casino games studios are in a somewhat unique position because although we’re mainly considered to be a B2B business, our brand is well-known and much beloved by the end user.

Casino players want to check out the latest Play’n GO game, and we’re increasingly playing an active role in that full customer journey. Ultimately, the end user deserves a breathtaking experience every time they play one of our games, and the closer we can work with our operator partners to ensure that, the better.

“People always admired us for our creativity, but we’ve really shown our resilience as well recently. It puts us in an extremely strong position as we look forward towards 2024.”

What has excited you at Play’n GO this year, and are there any initiatives from your marketing department that you’re most proud of? 

One highlight has been the complete revamp and relaunch of our ClientZone. We want to have the very best in the industry and we know it is an important cornerstone when it comes to building deeper, more collaborative partnerships with operators.

A full relaunch went live a few weeks ago and it is the culmination of more than a year’s work and planning across multiple departments. Remember, Play’n GO offers more than 350 games and each is attached to numerous assets, documents, certificates and other information, so this was a significant undertaking.

The new ClientZone serves as our shop window with an emphasis on usability. Traditionally, it was only casino managers interacting with these zones, but we’re adding functionality so we can engage teams across an operator’s business, including marketing, affiliates, promos and CRM.

We built based on the feedback from our partners. To take one example, operators were asking us for the option to search our games database by different metrics, such as theme. We comprehensively tagged our entire portfolio to make it extremely searchable, and now if an operator wants to review our entire Christmas offering at the start of December, they can do it with a simple click.

And this is only the start. We’ll continue to build out our ClientZone with the aim of making it a place where operators and affiliates simply must check in on a daily basis.

I’d also like to point the spotlight on our recent activity around the latest instalment of our Hugo series – Hugo Legacy.

I’m sure most readers of this will have seen some of the elements of our launch of Hugo Legacy. Hopefully, they will have also seen our groundbreaking initiative where we recorded the in-game audio with the Czech symphony orchestra.

For many years we’ve been talking about the importance of audio in slots and have poured our energies into making sure our games have the best sound in the industry and the launch of Hugo Legacy hopefully signalled to everyone just how far we go to make sure our games sound awesome.

Of course, 2023 isn’t finished yet. For many people in the industry, the biggest event of the year is still on the horizon in G2E. What can we expect from Play’n GO in Las Vegas?

We’re relative newcomers to G2E. We’ve obviously had people at the event for a long time, but this is only our second year exhibiting. It’s also the biggest physical event of 2023 for Play’n GO, which really highlights how far we’ve progressed in the US since entering last year.

This year we’ll be showcasing exactly what makes great casino entertainment, and why our games are so loved in regulated markets around the world. We look forward to inviting delegates to our “living room”, and I can promise a full agenda of informative sessions, entertainment and the opportunity to win some prizes. There might even be a drink or two.

“When people internally ask me if we’re on track or ready for G2E I just tell them – We Are Game.”

What’s the background to the ‘We Are Game’ campaign and tagline? How will that be applied both inside and outside of the business? 

The ‘We are Game’ campaign and tagline is really a way of expressing our identity and vision as the leading provider of casino entertainment. It applies to just about everything we do while reflecting our readiness to take the fight to make this industry sustainable in the long term by offering high-quality and responsible products.

We love the campaign because it captures the essence of who we are while hinting at what might be possible in the future if we can continue to build great relationships with our partners.

What does the future hold for Play’n GO in 2024 and what’s the vision over the next few years? 

We’ve got a packed 2024 roadmap in place already. I can’t share too many details yet, but there are plenty of surprises and some games I’m confident will become instant classics.

Our longer-term vision? At its core, we’ll continue to deliver more games of the highest quality. I can tell you our commitment to regulated markets won’t waiver as we truly believe in a sustainable future for gaming, and we’d like to see the global gaming industry wholeheartedly embrace that vision too.

Additionally, we’ve said for years that we believe the future of the industry is in entertainment, and that informs the Play’n GO offering. We’ve been working away quietly in the background on a number of things around the music industry of late and I’m certain we’ll do more entertainment collaborations next year too. Watch this space.

Play’n GO has had a long and rich history of making bold bets on the direction of our industry – we were the first to go big on mobile gaming before the iPhone had even launched – and it’s not something we’re afraid to do again should it be required. We love what we do too much to stand still.

This is an external interview with Ebba Arnred, Play’n GO’s CMO and co-founder. The original article can be found at Focus Gaming News here



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