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ThunderSpin captures lightning in a bottle for online casinos

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In an age where the most important focus for developers is to continually create engaging games for players and operators alike, ThunderSpin’s development process is more akin to Pixar than traditional gaming brands relying on the motto that ‘no idea is a bad idea’.

ThunderSpin, a game studio which has launched its own exclusive set of 25+ casino slots, is becoming increasingly renowned for its strategy of putting originality at the fore. With titles featuring everything from Vikings, newborn galaxies and zombies to World Cup football, biblical battles and cowboy snails, the brand’s extensive portfolio is all thanks to their one internal rule, ‘no clones’.

Commenting on the challenges of ensuring each and every game stands out in the iGaming market, Jeff Letlat, CEO at ThunderSpin, explained: “We have an internal rule – we do not make clones of popular games. Yes, we can be inspired by some kind of game or mechanics or the idea of our competitors, but the game itself will be unique in any case, both in mechanics and in graphics. In addition, our team should primarily like the game too. After all, if inside you feel you are doing what you like – the game will be both memorable and unique.”

In its first year, ThunderSpin is driving innovation in a manner more suited to a creative film company or animation studio than to the typical world of reels and slots thanks to a reliance on the beauty of ideas combined with cutting-edge technology. When taking a game from idea to execution Jeff Letlat highlights how ideas can come from anywhere, whilst not mistaking that although some concepts might seem great to the team at the start, the true genius is knowing which ones to take right through to the end.

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“Every game in the beginning consists of an idea,” he said. “Most often, for starters, the idea consists of just one phrase. I want snails in the Wild West which becomes Snail Town. Or, let’s try to connect the slot with betting elements and it becomes World Cup Football Slot. The main difficulty is to combine a good idea with the resources available to us – technical, human, etc.”

One of the company’s latest games, Book of Treasures, is a prime example explains Jeff Letlat with ThunderSpin’s marketing department highlighting the need for a popular theme slot around a central theme. “Combining hunt for treasures and slots is interesting for our players in principle but the magic happens when our team start throwing ideas around. In this case, in the very first brainstorming session all of us sounded almost in chorus: ‘Mayan treasures!’ It’s the conceptualisation that our team thrives on.”

For ThunderSpin the regular working process consists of in-house game designers creating prototype mechanics, the Art Department’s conceptual sketches and a whole host of programmers, testers delivering details, narrative, etc. After this the project pushes into plans, sprints, deadlines, and an internal presentation to gain first impressions and feedback from colleagues. Detailed external R&D with the company’s partners and players follows which helps not just during creation but throughout the game’s release according to Jeff Letlat. “We try to listen carefully and consider all of this in the development process. We try to analyse as much as possible in different directions – both the duration of the sessions, and the betting strategies, and the players’ returns to their favourite games. And where do they click with the mouse in game clients and much more. Each of our already released games is constantly monitored and analysed, so that we can make each next game more interesting and attractive for our players.”

“With development feedback, we listen to everyone,” he continued. “Whether it’s colleagues, business partners, or players, we analyse competitors, read reviews on the forums and our main focus is our players. Since consumers can be completely different – by gender, age, tastes and preferences – we try to make different games in order to adapt to the most diverse wishes of our players.”

The unique portfolio of games from ThunderSpin have all been developed with a strong focus on sound and visual to ensure a strong first impression of the game in the current market where every casino can offer thousands of slots. For Jeff Letlat, it’s all about that initial visual appeal and the most crucial attribute for a new concept is to ensure your game is entered into a casino at all. “The ability to stand out is essential so your game does not get lost among a huge pile of the same type and uniform slots,” he said. “When creating new concepts the development team are aware that both interesting mechanics and large payouts are all very important in terms of ROI but when developing an idea you can keep the player mechanics, volatility, payouts. To help the player decide to launch your slot for the first time, essentially the visual is King.”

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Biggest iGB L!VE on record opens in Amsterdam

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The 2024 edition of iGB L!VE, the last to be held in Amsterdam prior to its 2025 relocation to London, opened today (17 July) with attendees participating in the biggest edition of the show on record.

A sustained level of international interest has seen iGB L!VE registrations increase 40% year-on-year with industry professionals from 121 nations heading for Amsterdam.

Delegates will have access to 300+ exhibitors and sponsors occupying over 21,000 square metres of gross space, up 35% on the 2023 figure.

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The iGB L!VE Conference Program features 50+ speakers across 21 sessions. Built around four core themes of: Markets and Convergence, Player Engagement, Building for the Future and Protecting Your Business – headline sessions include a live masterclass on ways to engage players in the world’s hottest online casino markets, innovation in slot game design, navigating cyber threats in the aftermath of an attack, the role of ESG in boosting M&A valuations, parasite SEO, surviving the search bar squeeze, link localisation in Spain and LatAm, and how affiliates should respond on player protection.

iGB L!VE got off to a dynamic start with Michel Groothuizen, the chair of the Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) making the opening address. The appearance was Michel Groothuizen’s first in front of an international igaming audience following his appointment as Chair of the KSA effective 1 July.

This was followed by a Keynote delivered by Sam Sadi, CEO of LiveScore Group. Sadi who has worked across the sports media and betting industries for more than 25-years presented how to drive growth through media partnerships and convergence.

In a number of ‘firsts’ iGB L!VE is hosting the ASCEND Women & Allyship Meet-Up, a new year-round mentoring and leadership initiative aimed at supporting women early in their gaming careers. The show will also witness the launch of the iGB LaunchPad which provides a platform for five trailblazing start-up businesses and the first Sustainable Gambling Zone showcasing the industry’s latest thinking and approach to safer gambling.

 

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PayKings Introduces Premier High-Risk Merchant Processing Solutions for Seamless Approval

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PayKings, a payment processing service, has introduced products aimed at businesses needing assistance to obtain standard merchant accounts. The company’s new solutions target enterprises in industries that many financial institutions consider high risk.

Established in 2011, PayKings has since expanded its sales in the merchant processing sector and proudly earned a place on the Inc. 5000 list. The company’s team boasts over 50 years of experience in payment solutions, specializing in assisting businesses that might face challenges in obtaining credit card processing services.

“We’ve seen how many legitimate businesses struggle to find reliable payment processing. Our expanded services are a direct response to the gaps we’ve observed in the market,” said Kyle Hall, Chief Executive Officer at PayKings.

A high risk merchant account is generally required for businesses engaged in industries such as online gambling, dietary supplements, vitamins, subscription businesses, and travel-related industries. These sectors often face challenges when obtaining credit card processing functionality due to elevated chargeback risk or compliance concerns.

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PayKings’ new products include organic underwriting strategies tailored to the specific needs of high-risk businesses. The company has also developed advanced fraud identification measures and chargeback prevention methods to deliver better results for clients.

“Every business deserves a fair shot at growth. We’re not here to judge industries. Our job is to facilitate secure, efficient payment processing for legitimate businesses, regardless of their risk classification,” Hall added.

The application process for PayKings’ high risk merchant account involves a detailed review of each business. While this process is thorough, the company aims to make it as straightforward and seamless as possible for applicants who often see same or next day approvals.

Connor Haynes, owner of an online vape shop, said: “I was really impressed with how quick and easy it was to get started with PayKings. The approval process was straightforward, and their support team was very helpful in answering all my questions. Now, I can focus on growing my business without worrying about payment processing issues.”

PayKings emphasises its commitment to compliance with all relevant regulations in the payment processing industry. The company maintains relationships with multiple banking partners, allowing it to offer diverse solutions for different business needs.

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In addition to its core services, PayKings has expanded its educational resources. The company’s website now features a series of articles and guides about high risk merchant accounts, credit card processing, and the broader landscape of payment solutions for challenging industries.

“We would like our clients to take charge and be more in control. People who created these industries have insights that make it invaluable to them to know the nuances of payment processing, particularly in such a risky business,” said Kara Hall, PayKings’ Vice President of Operations.

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QCI’s Andrew Cardno to Speak at the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference

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Andrew Cardno, the Chief Technology Officer of Quick Custom Intelligence, will be a featured speaker at the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference, taking place at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, Nevada. On July 17, 2024, Cardno will present an engaging session focused on strategies for casino marketing during these unpredictable times.

In his session titled “Effective Marketing Strategies for Casino Operators in a Volatile Economic Landscape,” Cardno will delve into innovative marketing tactics that can help casino operators navigate and thrive amid economic uncertainty. Drawing inspiration from Nassim Taleb’s groundbreaking work “The Black Swan,” Cardno will explore how leveraging unpredictability can become a powerful tool for casino marketers.

Attendees will gain insights into long algorithmic gaming tactics and how to adapt to the evolving convergence of entertainment and gambling. Cardno’s approach emphasizes agility and responsiveness, enabling marketers to stay ahead of sudden market changes and maintain sustained engagement and profitability.

“In these unpredictable times, it’s crucial for casino operators to embrace volatility and turn it into an advantage. By leveraging advanced marketing strategies and long algorithmic gaming tactics, we can create a more resilient and adaptive approach to casino marketing. This session will provide actionable insights to help marketers navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” Andrew Cardno, CTO of Quick Custom Intelligence, said.

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“We are thrilled to have Andrew Cardno speak at this year’s conference. His expertise in data-driven marketing strategies and his ability to draw on concepts from thought leaders like Nassim Taleb will provide invaluable perspectives for our attendees. This session promises to equip casino operators with the tools they need to thrive in today’s dynamic economic landscape,” Deana Scott, CEO of Raving, said.

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