Let’s admit it, land-based businesses have not had the best start to 2021. Pubs, clubs, AGCs and bingo halls in the UK remain closed for the foreseeable future, and after the challenges of 2020, this is not the news which the leisure industry was hoping for. We chat to Quentin Stott, MD to discuss how Reflex Gaming is dealing with the never-ending changes and what Quentin predicts will be key trends for 2021 and beyond.
How did Reflex Gaming overcome the challenges which 2020 presented?
Managing a business during a global pandemic has been challenging, to say the least. I have learnt that no plans should be set in stone. For companies to survive and thrive, it’s about agility and flexibility. Last year, we laid the foundations for our growth in the online space through forming alliances with both, Yggdrasil and Stakelogic. These strategic partnerships represent our ongoing commitment to innovation in the online sectors and diversification of our portfolio in high-growth markets.
Now that we have the foundations, we can begin to build in this area and focus our experienced team with single mindedness. The other day, I caught sight of our 2021 games launch plan and I can reveal that we have some very exciting releases coming. We are aiming to make ripples in the industry, and you can expect to see some impacting new releases throughout the year.
The benefit of being an omni-channel games supplier is that you learn lessons from land-based game players which can then be applied online, and the reverse is also true. We are in tune with what players like, and we are striving to expand on that. We have amongst the best game development team in the country. In an increasingly congested gaming market, we want to offer players high quality content and we have the pedigree to deliver.
What about your commitment to land-based games?
We remain absolutely committed to further development of our land-based games. These machines have been Reflex Gaming’s core market since we began trading in 2004. We will be ready for when the pubs, clubs and AGCs eventually re-open and already have plans in place to service what we expect will be much pent-up demand for our games! However, now is the time to apply laser-like focus to the opportunities we have online.
What trends do you expect to see in 2021?
I’m not ruling out the possibility that the pandemic may shift some people’s gaming habits permanently. However, in a year or two from now, you’ve got to assume that land-based games will be back to normality, so there’s life in the old dog yet. We are currently in lockdown #3; people have been told to stay at home, so, the only way they can access gaming is through online.
Game developers are increasingly experimenting with new game features and mechanics. A few of these have been hugely successful: we’re expecting a pipeline of never-seen-before game styles coming to market. This will certainly differentiate the games in this crowded market.
We’re also in the process of responding to the Gambling Commission’s review of gambling, so we have to be mindful that some changes will be heading our way. This review could prove quite a challenge for some incumbent game development houses, especially those with a large back catalogue of games. As always, we will remain agile and flexible and deal with the changes.
“We will be ready for when pubs, clubs and AGCs re-open. We have plans in place to service what we expect will be much pent-up demand for our games.”