The evolution of U.S. player preferences
The evolution of U.S. player preferences
November 04, 2022

Callum Harris, Director of Partnerships at Pariplay, discusses the value of localised content in different US markets

As seen on GI Friday

Much has been said about localised content in North America. Pariplay® now has approval to operate in five US states as well as two Canadian provinces, what has your experience been on what content is liked in the region?

In the US market, the content that has been desired the most so far includes games featuring traditional slot mechanics, classic table games and titles from well-known brands such as Slingo, Konami and Everi, highlighting that a well-established brand goes a long way.

The popularity of traditional land-based mechanics is no surprise as we see retail vendors move into the digital space and the local audience already familiar to this particular content from land-based venues. I think the variety of slots and table games that we have seen as a result of mixing the established and the new in the US is certainly unique however, and different to most European markets.

If you check the list of top-ranking slots in the US, the big global brands are still prevalent, but you also see that many games that started as land-based titles with traditional mechanics are showing the highest value in the region. That is why as an aggregator, we are focused on offering a great number of converted land-based games from a different range of suppliers.

Have you noticed that preferences differ across the regulated states in the US or are they all similar?

It’s hard to tell at the moment because there is still not a huge volume of live content out there yet in comparison to our European markets where we are blessed with data allowing us to draw clear conclusions. I would say that the obvious trend we have seen so far – players preferring traditional games with more land-based themes-has been repeated across the different states.

Do you think suppliers must introduce online versions of popular land-based content to be successful in the US or is there room for innovation in the emerging states?

Definitely and we are encouraging this, signing deals with successful retail suppliers and taking their best-performing games from the retail space and launching them online. There is however always room for innovation.

This industry is always going to keep evolving thanks to the constant race to the top and we are seeing varied mechanics and different verticals being developed for the market with an innovative stance. It is yet to be proven how well they will perform, but North American suppliers are looking at the evolution of the industry in Europe and they are, pun intended, taking a gamble.

What feedback are you getting from operators in North America and how close do you work together when introducing/development new content?

The feedback that we are getting from the operators in North America is that they are looking for bespoke content that is unique to the market and will give the operators a competitive edge. Operators are looking for more and unique content that will differentiate them in these emerging markets, and this is something that is a priority here at Pariplay® as we continue to expand in the US.

How do you expect the player preferences to evolve as the markets mature?

It might sound like a simple answer, but players are going to continue to play what they like. Our studio partners are currently delivering online slots to the market because that is what the local audience is currently enjoying the most online. As the market matures and develops however, there are certainly going to be adaptation of math models, different mechanics introduced, and an evolution of the content that is most popular today.

This also includes the introduction of non-traditional content, such as crash games and unique takes on video poker and bingo products, that we are helping to develop via our Ignite programme. The suppliers are currently keeping a close eye at what the market demands, such as bespoke and branded content, and will develop games that fit the bill. At Pariplay®, we consider the US market a great opportunity and via our Fusion® aggregation services we are helping both operators and studios entering North America.

Through our Ignite® programme, we are also offering smaller studio partners the opportunity to build upon our proprietary RGS, fast-tracking them so they can release unique, be spoke and high-quality content to the US market, all via our licences and certification support. We have been working to align with North American operators from the very beginning and through this we have built strong relationships and proven that we can provide great content and a reliable and timely service, without hiccups.

We are now working with a number of major operator partners, offering them content from our own studio, Wizard Games, as well as exclusive games from our Ignite partners and third-party providers. We will continue to follow player trends to ensure our content is in line with the local preferences. It is a very exciting time for Pariplay® in the lucrative North American markets and we have made great inroads already. We aim high however and have great hopes that we will become a leading supplier in the region, known for developing entertaining and engaging games that are loved by local operators and player alike.

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