By Damian Martinez, journalist at G&M News.
Habanero has a wide range of feature-rich and innovative slots. Could you tell us more about the company’s products that will be exhibited at ExCeL during ICE London 2024?
We will once again be returning to ICE to demonstrate the advancements we’ve made to our products over the previous year. The focal point of Habanero’s stand N3-340 will be our two most recent releases, Fruity Mayan and Valentine Monchy, which have already gained significant traction from both operators and players alike thanks to their dynamic gameplay. In addition, we’ll also have two LED showreels, one that proves our promo tools such as our renowned Jackpot Race, and another with highlights from our 2023 slot releases. As this is the final year of ICE being in London, we really want to make this an event to remember. For Habanero, that not only means showcasing our products, but also our brand as a whole. Our team has grown over the previous 12 months, falling in line with the company, and we’re looking forward to demonstrating what this means to both our current and potential clients.
As you said, in the last months, the company introduced its new titles Fruity Mayan and Valentine Monchy. What are the main characteristics of these games?
Fruity Mayan and Valentine Monchy exemplify the future of where we aim to take Habanero this year. With themes that feel both familiar to players yet fresh, these releases have a universal appeal that still stands apart in the market thanks to our bespoke in-game mechanics. Fruity Mayan utilizes a popular Aztec theme, but has a retro twist whilst boasting thrilling gameplay such as splitting symbols and a wheel feature that awards instant cash prizes. Valentine Monchy, our most recent release, is particularly significant in our roadmap. Debuting our powerful Unlock Feature, the mechanic sees two reels hidden atop the board and a random number is unlocked following each spin. What distinguishes these games is the immediate engagement they provide, as their features can be activated right from the start, meaning players aren’t waiting to activate a bonus game to experience enjoyment. This instantly grabs the attention of players, a crucial factor in ensuring the success of a slot game, especially considering the multitude of titles at their disposal. It aligns seamlessly with our overarching philosophy of sheer gaming, where the experience truly commences in the moment a player chooses one of our games.
In December 2023, Habanero was granted a license from the Swedish Gambling Authority (SGA) and now can provide its entire full catalogue of games to operators in that jurisdiction. What are the company’s expectations for this market?
Navigating an established market presents both challenges and opportunities. Given Swedish players’ affinity for online gaming, the market holds significant value for suppliers, and we plan to focus on expansion throughout the year. Our upcoming partnerships with market leaders will grant us immediate access to a sizable player base and well-established distribution channels, accelerating our presence and brand recognition in the territory. As our entry into the Swedish market is still in its early stages, making definitive predictions is challenging. However, we anticipate a strong performance for our games in the country. Our content roadmap incorporates popular themes and mechanics that have proven successful across Europe. Most importantly, we look forward to showcasing our proprietary mathematics and immersing players in Sweden into the wonderful world of Habanero.
The firm has made several deals with operators in different markets of the world. What is the company’s evaluation of 2023?
The preceding year stands out as one of our most commercially impactful periods, marked by our expansion into both new and established markets. Notably, our collaboration with Entain reached fruition, leading to the successful launch of our offerings across thousands of brands worldwide. Additionally, we achieved accreditation in several new markets, including Peru, and the acquisition of the ISO-27001 certificate positioned us to explore opportunities in countries such as Greece and Switzerland. In the realm of logistics, the Habanero team underwent a transformative phase by expanding the design team, fostering greater synergies with our clients, and developing customized content. A noteworthy shift in our content delivery strategy occurred during the year, with the introduction of two new high-quality slots per month, a change that has proven to be of significant value to our operations.
What are the main projects that the company will focus on in the first semester of 2024?
The first half of the year will be of paramount importance to Habanero and lay the foundation for our success in the second half. We were awarded a license in the recently regulated Peruvian market and will be partnering with leading operators in the region, so stay tuned! Looking to other Latin American markets, Brazil is of course on everyone’s mind and remains a top priority for our growth strategy for the year. Habanero went live in Buenos Aires (Argentina), which remains a key territory for expansion. Looking at Europe, the Balkans are a burgeoning market where we’ve recently made some major moves. In Greece, we are poised to launch with Kaizen, providing us access to a considerably enlarged player base. Furthermore, we anticipate unveiling major landmark deals later this year with prominent operators in Romania and Bulgaria, further cementing our position as a leading player in those regions.