While it is vital that measures are put in place to protect people and save lives during the Coronavirus crisis, the reality is that this is doing untold damage to industries and businesses with fears over recessions growing. The land-based gambling industry has been hit particularly hard; Macau forced all of its casinos to close in February and now governments in Asia, America and Europe are doing the same.
This has led some to suggest the online gambling industry may benefit as a result, but, in reality, online sportsbook operators will struggle just as much with the widespread cancellation of events.
To survive this period of uncertainty, online operators will have to refocus on their online casino products if they are to retain players and fend off revenue decline as best they can. A big part of this will mean continuing to add more casino games, like video slots, to their portfolios, keeping existing players entertained but also attracting new customers.
But casino game integrations also look set to be impacted by the crisis. With studios being forced to send their teams home to work, undertaking games integrations has become a huge challenge. This is certainly true for some of the largest online casino software suppliers in the market, who are struggling to set up remote working practices. For these industry giants, the focus will now be on ensuring their teams – some of which consist of hundreds of members – can carry out vital tasks from home.
While smaller game studios are facing the same challenges, it is much easier to deploy remote working for teams of ten than it is for teams of a thousand or more.
For example, we have an office in Russia and Spain but the Mascot Gaming team is already working remotely. As a young game developer, we are used to working from home and have small teams located in different countries around the world.
This approach allows us to access the best talent there is while also directing as much resource as possible to game development and games integration rather than operational costs.
An additional and unexpected upside means that we can now continue to focus on game development and casino games integrations during the crisis, rather than transitioning to working from home. Our production line has not slowed down due to the Coronavirus crisis and we are still able to deliver online casino slots to our operator partners on time without sacrificing quality.
We have a number of highly innovative features in the pipeline that will not face setbacks because of the crisis, which again will allow our operators to better attract and retain players.
While large casino software suppliers are undoubtedly working on new games and never-seen-before concepts, these will almost certainly face delays due to the crisis. This in turn means that their operator partners will not be able to offer their players new and exciting online casino slots and as a result they may decide to wager elsewhere.
Of course, this is not about taking advantage of the Coronavirus crisis.
Instead, it is about leveraging the position of smaller, newer studios to ensure game lobbies remain stocked and that operator receive the support they need from their developer partners. It is also a great opportunity for operators to integrate exciting content from new developers, adding more variety and quality to their game lobbies.
As a rising star game developer, we believe the Mascot Gaming – and other smaller studios – are in a position to ensure a better and faster service for their current operator clients while also helping new partners.
Despite the crisis and the impact it is having around the world, where possible we believe that online casino operators and players should keep calm and play on.
If you would like to speak to a member of the Mascot Gaming team about our suite of online slots, drop us a line here.