Matsell (Leander): “We have expanded production three fold in the last two years and now create over 20 games a year”

In this exclusive interview with Steven Matsell, CEO, Leander, the executive highlights the company's significant presence in Europe and Latin America, with new products, features, and a number of deals in the pipeline for those regions, as well as for the USA. Besides, he announces the company started a project to be ISO 27001 certified.

Matsell states that Leander will keep on aggregating content from LatAm game developers.
Matsell states that Leander will keep on aggregating content from LatAm game developers.

The company has many years of experience generating quality content for online gaming operators. What is your position in Europe and Latin America? What kind of games are the most attractive on each continent?

In Europe, we have a very strong position. We are certified in 11 regulated markets and licensed in the UK and Malta via our Recognition Notice. We are also integrated to many of the main operators and aggregators. Our key focus are slots and we have all the varieties of jackpots and mechanics: daily, weekly, by value, times, progressive and multilevel jackpots, alongside Dynamic Ways functionality. Besides, we have a selection of table games, fixed odds games and instant wins. About Latin America, the territory is developing. We are live in most countries and business is growing. Alongside our international games offering, we are expanding our range of Video Bingos, LatAm orientated slots and Video Poker styled games. We announced an important deal with Salsa Technology, which will help us to quickly advance our position there.

Along with Salsa deal, the company has closed an important amount of partnerships in the industry. How did you advance with these associations and what were the initial results in terms of business?

As a company, we have been around for some years now, and I would like to think we are trusted and so often receive approaches to supply games or collaborate on projects. We have a number of deals in the pipeline and are about to announce a major one in the USA. Where we have tapped into a partner’s network and launched with new operators, the results have been instant. Where we are working with a new operator directly, it takes time to get integrated and live, especially when, in Europe, we are all dealing with the constant regulatory changes. At the moment, its Germany. 

How valuable is to have your own creative games studio? How does this help Leander to work faster and closely with your clients?

Incredibly, as it accounts for over 50% of our revenues and its growing! We have expanded production three fold in the last two years and now create over 20 games a year. We have also invested in new features, such as our range of jackpot options and in Dynamic Ways. The Dynamic Ways slot gaming engine has a pay mechanic that creates multiple paylines on any spin that run to over a hundred thousand. We are hoping to have as much success with Dynamic Ways as Big Time Gaming (BTG) has had with the highly popular Megaways engine.

With the global COVID-19 quarantine, many more people have turned to playing remotely. How has this context specifically benefited your company? Which game genres in your portfolio do you notice are being chosen the most by players?

Initially, there was a significant 60% upturn, due to the combination of the removal of sports betting and live casino alongside the lockdown. Subsequently, levels of activity have returned to normal. The increase in play was across all types of games, with slots benefiting the most. I think a lot of land-based casinos realized that they should have a strong online presence. I am sure we will see a number of tie ups and deals in the coming months. 

Your games are currently available in 31 languages and certified for most major markets. What are the future plans to continue strengthening and increasing the brand and its contents worldwide? How will Leander anticipate the new directions the industry is taking by creating fascinating content for next generations of players?

We have games in 31 languages, but we are live in a lot more countries, as many use Spanish and English as a default. Going forward, we will split our new game creation efforts geographically. Those in Argentina will focus on building games for LatAm, and those in Europe, for Europe. We will also aggregate content from LatAm game developers and European ones as well. This way, we will have localized focus. Due to the fast-changing regulatory landscape, we will have to be very careful on developing new technological driven features, as regulators are rightly cautious about anything that makes a game stickier. We need to focus on what works and is core. Good solid maths profiles, game themes with some entertaining features. However, we will broaden the number of games we make with our Dynamic Ways games engine. Moreover, we have commenced a project to be ISO 27001 certified, which will allow us to launch in Switzerland and, once regulated, Holland. Whilst this is a massive project, we feel that this will become a requirement in many regulated markets, so well worth the investment.