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Promoted feature: Eight ways to go above and beyond to put players first

Head of games at iSoftBet Mark Claxton discusses its new brand manifesto focusing on putting players first and why this ethos is central to the sustainability and future success of the igaming industry

It is often thought but rarely ever said, but there is a sea of sameness washing over our industry, alongside an unsustainable ‘churn and burn’ mentality of game development and delivery, with little thought for players. Fortunately, this is changing in some corners of gaming. In line with our new brand manifesto of ‘Serious Fun’ and our values of respect, passion and curiosity, here are eight ways we are putting players first to create sustainable entertainment products.


Listen and learn

Absorbing and using player feedback to create and improve content is vital. We take on board every comment. This influences future output and has meant our games now perform better than ever. A recent example was on Aztec Gold Megaways™ where players identified a win presentation within the feature to be too slow. We agreed. Fast forward to the next iteration: Aztec Gold Extra Gold Megaways™, we updated the speed and players have instantly noticed the difference. It has also significantly boosted performance attracting an average 25% more bets and 8% more spins than the original.

iSoftBet Aztec Gold Extra Gold

Build instant trust

Gaining consumers’ immediate trust is essential. We have long held this belief, but this is now at the forefront of our content. Within our upcoming Royale with Cheese Megaways™ game, for example, we want to empower players to make informed decisions so we designed an area where they can see exactly their chances of hitting the bonus. This adds an additional layer of transparency, and they really appreciate it. By including these features we put our cards on the table and gain their trust for the right reasons.

Never ignore your responsibilities

We are committed to responsible gaming and consumer protection and comply with multiple jurisdictions and the most stringent global regulatory bodies, but to truly put players first we must ALL play our part. Bonus buys, if being used, should be limited to appropriate levels, for example. Finding the right balance is essential and we must never ignore our responsibilities to those who enjoy our content.


Made by players for players

To make games players love, you must live and breathe and play them yourself. Every one of our expert game producers are players. If we have players designing, delivering and playing our content we know every high, mid and low point that exists and eliminate as many bad experiences as we can. During development a producer will share the game link to other producers, and each one will undertake extensive math and statistical analysis. The combined ‘player power’ and passion of the entire team can shape a game for the better and we’ve seen negative feedback reduce with every subsequent release. You can tell when a game hasn’t been created by someone who is passionate. Slots are multi-layered with every element all needing to be in perfect harmony to create the ultimate entertainment product.

Big win potential

For many, the reason they enjoy slots is the prospect of winning mammoth cash prizes, and the appetite for ‘more ways’-style content shows no signs of slowing down. Players who play Megaways™ games, for example, instantly recognise or feel they can win more on these slots than others. They often talk about ‘big win potential’ and are attracted to these products over others because of how familiar they have become and how much they could win. There is a clear demand so, to give those thrill seekers more, the industry will have to continue to push the boundaries and create even more ways to win big.

Feature frequency

Other types of players love features, but there is nothing worse than a feature that is constantly out of reach. Players will simply never come back. Feature frequency is key. Our Hold & Win mechanic, for instance, was introduced last year and, following modifications based on player feedback, has been a huge hit. We deliberately introduced frequent features, more respins and, just when they think they are going to not hit the feature, we give them another chance. This is the magic that makes a game ‘sticky’ and provides players with the entertainment they are looking for.


Know your players

It is often left to operators to understand the players they are marketing to, but it is equally true of suppliers who need to know who they are creating content for. Without research and curiosity to get to know your consumers, games producers will never create quality titles. We instil these values in our team and ensure this is front of mind at every step of the creative process. A common pitfall is for a producer to make a game only they like, but not every player shares the same view. We have an expert data team that pinpoints the player types we should cater to for specific games. If you combine this with player passion from the producers, then you end up with some star performers.

Giving players more

Presenting players with amazing experiences is the core of what we do, so to maintain those excitement levels, the industry must learn to give more. This again plays into giving them the ability to make more informed decisions such as on payouts and volatility. In several of our new games we have included a volatility meter on our ‘splash’ screens, immediately displaying what type of game they are about to play. We want to put players in a safe space. All our future games will have this feature.

Mark Claxton, iSoftBet

Mark Claxton has spent 20 years in the gambling industry, working in a variety of senior positions with some of the industry’s biggest brands such as IGT and Playtech. At iSoftBet, Claxton is responsible for the company’s games roadmap, taking into account organisational goals, target markets, product strategy and prioritisation. 

With a passion for creativity and slots he found his calling during his time as game producer for Ash Gaming. Since then he has continued his upward trajectory into successive ‘head of’ roles. As an avid player himself, Claxton uses this to his advantage by creating best-of-breed slot experiences for players and passing on his knowledge and experience to his team who continue to produce amazing new games for iSoftBet.

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