When is the right time to move onto a fully bespoke gaming platform?
11 April 2018
The majority of operators in the gaming industry compete for the same audience. One of the biggest concerns for them is product differentiation, particularly when they establish themselves in the market and need continuous customer flow along with strong retention to maintain profit. As cost per acquisition continues to grow for each operator and customer loyalty becomes more elusive, there needs to be a differentiating element to draw punters in to continue spending with the same brand.
Many operators start off with a platform solution from a third party, heavily relying on someone else’s services and features. This means the experience of using the platform is much the same as many other platforms, leading users to see these brands as interchangeable. For those using third party solutions, it is worth considering taking control over the gaming platform into their own hands in an effort to prolong the maturity phase, introducing custom made product features to address customers’ needs.
Keeping up with demand
By the time an operator reaches product maturity and a steady customer base, it makes sense to move away from a third party supplier solution to an own custom built platform. This enables the product owner to create any features and services they want, tailored specifically to their users. It can also facilitate the roll out of new innovations to the market a lot quicker to stay ahead of the competition.
As there are so many technological advances that operators need to keep up with, using a third party system may not always be the most convenient option. Changes in user behaviours dictate the demand, which means operators must be flexible and reactive to any innovations affecting their trade. For example, the adoption of mobile devices meant that operators had to ensure their services were accessible from a range of remote devices. This was further extended to mobile apps. When live markets became popular, those operators using white label solutions had to wait for their suppliers to add support before they could launch due to everyone else trying to roll this out at the same time.
The advantages of a bespoke gaming platform
Understandably, the decision to move to a new platform is not easy. There is significantly more work involved in setting everything up from scratch, such as investing in resources, building the infrastructure and obtaining the necessary expertise to run the system smoothly. It’s a huge undertaking and may not suit every operator, however, it pays off in the long run.
A third party solution certainly has its advantages, such as the system setup taking much less time than building everything from the bottom up. It would also include all the necessary integrations and technical support that a gaming business might need. It also takes away the need for internal maintenance, saving costs on resources. However, these services can be limited and the operator does not necessarily have the full power over features that go onto the platform. With a fully bespoke system, an operator can have complete control over both back and front end. They can experiment with different features and designs, test which options work best and adapt to the preferences of their customers. This option gives them full creativity and visibility over how their users engage with their services. Having a fully bespoke platform offers more control over price too. Making a big investment in the beginning can cut down operational costs later on. A revenue share and a minimum guarantee may look enticing at first, but once the business takes off, the cost could be big.
Making the right decision
While the operator is growing and building its customer base, an off-the-shelf platform solution from a third party is more than enough to run gaming services. However, there is a time when the operator will need to start thinking about differentiating its services to be a step ahead of the competition. This is when moving onto a fully bespoke platform could be a great solution to tackle this challenge. A bespoke gaming platform can significantly cut down operational costs in the long run and offer more freedom in terms of what the operator can offer to its users. Having a full control over the gaming platform could really help the company grow its services, address customer demand and scale up the business for be able to roll out new features. This decision is not an easy one and needs to be made at the right time, however it could be really beneficial for long term operations.
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