Interview with Andrzej Hyla, Head of Sales at Wazdan
It is no news to the industry that G2E Asia is growing in importance and is a must-attend event in the gaming calendar. What do you hope for at G2E Asia 2018 and when do you expect to reap the benefits of your participation in the exhibition?
Wazdan’s goal is to become one of the world leading games suppliers, we strive to participate in expos all over the world. We are going to exhibit at G2E Asia 2018 with a willingness to present our product to a broader audience and to reach Asian partners. We had fantastic feedback from Asian operators and aggregators after ICE London 2018, so now we attempt to visit them personally, feel the business environment by ourselves and listen to the market needs and expectations. If we listen and react adequately and if we add our passion for games to that, the benefits will undoubtedly come. It is not so important when precisely, but it is important to be sure they will come. And I’m sure!
Wazdan has been making announcements in the international media almost every week since the start of the year, what is driving the rapid progress you are making?
Wazdan’s primary goal is to deliver an excellent product to the market (and have fun doing it!). And the market's fundamental need is to find a supplier who provides a good product. So our goals are perfectly aligned. Therefore, we need to show our product to potential customers, discuss a few details in the contract, and we are ready to go! That is why we have plenty of new partners on board!
Wazdan has just launched new games developed specifically for the Asian market, like Double Tigers and 9 Lions. These games are graphically very rich, with superb animations and beautifully crafted ambient sounds. How do you go about developing games for the various global regions?
At Wazdan we believe that there is only one boss for all of us – the customer. So we need to make everything match their expectations, their taste and to give them some fun! We also know that all those factors differ for every person in the world. But, as we are not able to make a specified game for every player in the world (for now!), we are trying to find some factors which are common to groups of players. And, one of the ways to group them is through the regional division. That is why we are trying to create games dedicated to certain regions - but, of course, not limited only to them. Apart from the Asian games, we also have, for example, a Valhalla video slot for Nordic players and a great Book of Magic Deluxe for Germans, to list just a few of them.
As a Malta-based company, what took you to the jurisdiction and why do you remain there?
Malta is a well established, professional and friendly environment when it comes to running a company in the iGaming sector. That is what Wazdan is looking for, and as long as Malta’s authorities provide those facilities, we are happy to be a part of it! Of course, we also love the weather there and people around us. Everything mentioned makes us feel at home in Malta.
As a technology company, do you anticipate any major changes or hope to see any changes to the gaming industry in 2018 that are going to have an effect on Wazdan’s operations?
To be honest, in this business the changes come rapidly and frequently. We expect the development of network infrastructure to bring faster Internet connection to players so that we would be able to offer a higher quality of graphics and new features in our games. We also noticed that regulation of markets is progressing, which means we need to match all the requirements for producers of games in order to get there. That situation gives us a challenge but also brings a lot of new opportunities! Wazdan will be present in 2018 on a few new, regulated markets, as we want to be a part of every regulated market in the world. We are also looking for “single wallet” regulations which will allow connecting retail and online markets into one regulated market.
It’s become a rule that slot producers have to launch new games and features, every few months. Is Wazdan in this ‘crazy race’ and how is it influencing the market?
Yes of course we are! I would even say that we are one of the leaders here. Since 2017 we have been releasing on average two games per month, and we will continue this trend this year. We have 10 brand new games ready for release, and we will do it very soon! Also, we are working on more Wazdan unique features, which besides Volatility Levels, Unique Gambling Feature, Energy Saving Mode and Double Screen Mode will hopefully make our trademark in the slot games!
You certainly invest a lot of money and effort in R&D. What can both operators and players alike expect to see from Wazdan in terms of product development?
We are putting a lot of effort into making players’ game sessions longer and to delivering our customers tools which will allow them to attract players with our games. Wazdan also aspires to give them "The Freedom of Choice”, so operators and players can expect some features which will bring this feeling.
What is the industry lacking today and what can companies do to fill that void? Will the industry see a shift in focus from major casinos and platforms over the next year?
I think that with the fierce competition we have now, in both operators and suppliers sectors, there do not exist things which we are lacking, as everytime the market has some requirements, there is someone who immediately brings a solution. I would even say that market is offering a lot of features for players which they have not expected or asked for yet, but after a short time, they are becoming the standard. That is good, as the development race is exciting and it is looking at how the iGaming sector is growing and how advanced it is, which makes working in that sector very fascinating.
What are your aims for the year and how do you intend to achieve them? Are you on-track as we approach the mid-way point?
Wazdan wants to deliver great games to players. That is our goal. Are we on track? You need to ask players and operators, as I believe they already know the answer to this question. We are doing our best to achieve this goal. We have a very passionate team behind this product, we believe in what we are producing and selling, we are listening to the market feedback to constantly make our product better. We are also looking for new partners who will allow us to reach a bigger amount of players by offering our games. This is something that is also going well, as our games are appearing in new brands almost every day. So, yes, we are on track!
What is Wazdan's 'Passion for Games' and how is that reflected in your game development process?
Passion for Games is hard to describe in words, it is much easier when you feel it by yourself. Come and play one of our games, visit our stand at G2E Asia 2018, in Macau next week or at iGB Live in Amsterdam this summer. You will see it, you will feel it. Our Passion for Games is present in the whole production process, from the scratches of every game, through to our graphic designers, sound makers, developers, sales team and even in the Board of Directors. We just love to make games, and we want to put a small part of us in every game we are releasing, and hopefully at the end, be proud that we contributed to the creation of this product.