Jokes aside, we always love an honest insightful chat and Vladyslav Garanko, CBDO of Platipus Gaming did not shy away from our questions.
You’re saying that you are “creators with a difference.” But everybody says that, so we would like to know what actually makes you stand out among other game providers?
Yes, every game provider wants to stand out. Lately, there have been a lot of new providers, and with the amount of them increasing, it’s hard to tell the difference between each other.
I will tell you a bit about ourselves. In Platipus, we do things differently. We started way back in 2014, and since then, all of our games were initially planned for mobile devices. So all of the developments that we have made so far were to adapt our games from the very beginning to the digital era that is now. Most of our games are exceptionally lightweight and compared to other providers, they are loading very swiftly. That helps us to work in the areas with poor network connection.
So what makes us special is that we are one of the few providers that are specifically developing games so that they are exceptionally easy and smooth to play in markets where players prefer to use their mobile devices or their tablets.
Are there any specific markets where this is not the case? Seems like everybody is on their mobile phones these days.
To be fair, there are a few locations that we have of note. And to be completely clear, it’s actually more about games than it is about the locations. Interestingly, we have done quite an extensive research into our player base, and I can assure you that actually, if we’re talking about table games such as poker or blackjack or other types of games, players actually use their laptops, which is unusual in comparison to other games.
So if I give you a split, I would say in terms of the table games, you would see a 50-50 split. But in terms of a slot games, the mobile usage soars up to 80 %, 90 %. I think it’s more interesting to look into the game rather than the geography itself. Mobile device usage is prevalent starting in 2018 I think. Now it’s only going higher and higher.
Let’s talk about your games. What are you most proud of developing and why? I’m seeing that you have a new game coming out soon. It’s called Ultra Disco. Can you tell us more about that?
First of all, the game that we are most proud of developing is Wild Spin. It has been a major hit. It has been on the market for well over two years, and we had already a re-release, called Wild Spin Delux.
The core idea here is that we tried to create a concept that would be successful worldwide, and I think this is exactly where it has succeeded. So if you will look at the game itself, it has a combination of bright neon lights or fairly familiar and simple symbols that are known to players worldwide. And when you say Vegas, this is exactly what you’re going to imagine – the classic slots, the neon lights, the bright spinning jackpots and the jackpot wheel … Now, the trick here is that we used a lot of fine details to make it customizable for everyone.
These small things might seem insignificant, but they have significantly contributed to the popularity of the game and to the interest of the players. Of course, there are a lot of other interesting features such as free spins, such as the jackpot wheel that hitting five of a kind will trigger this jackpot wheel. The game itself is quite beautiful. It is quite simple to understand, and it can be specifically catering to each individual player, or well, so we hope.
Moving on to the Ultra Disco, this is one of the releases still being developed. This game is similar to the MegaWays game. It’s having the cascades and the classic mechanics. It also features the free spins feature, which is going to be cascading, adding the multipliers in there. So all the finest aspects of classical gaming gathered with the same neon theme that we decided to follow from the Wild Spin.
In Platipus, we experiment a lot. We find things that work and things that don’t necessarily work. We try to fine-tune a game that is relevant to the players, not only now, but in the future, and picking up those things that we know succeeded in the past.
You mentioned you are applying what’s been working in the past and you mentioned features that were not working. Could you give us an example?
This is not something a typical game provider will tell you, but everybody has unsuccessful games. It’s just a matter of fact. They are either old in terms of graphics or in terms of mechanics, or they were originally planned with a mistake. The problem is if you only realize that you made a mistake when you released the game. And we do not talk about the game being bugged or a feature not working correctly, but when the game is just exceptionally hard for players to understand.
And when it is hard for the player to understand, it is not going to be very popular.
So we had a game which in theory, is absolutely amazing. It has quite high volatility. It has five different features. It has extremely complicated mechanics of wild multipliers, counter multipliers, and two types of free spins. One goes after another, including re-spins and re-triggers. So on paper, you have a lot of different bonuses that make the game interesting. Now that you’ve jumbled them all together, it does not make the game proportionately more interesting. It actually makes it more complicated, hard to understand, and in some cases, very hard to play.
So this is one game that unfortunately did not perform well. And we learned from that, if players do not see a clear pattern of how the game should be played, they’re not going to play it.
Which crypto do you support and which is most played besides obviously Bitcoin and Ethereum?
We support pretty much anything that is openly traded. So if it is on CoinMarketCap, it’s been on the market for a couple of years, so we know it’s a stable currency. We can basically add it to our supported currencies. What is the most played apart from Bitcoin and Ethereum, I think it’s Thronecoin at the top of my head.
There are, however, a lot of local currencies that are developed by big casinos, and they try to push players into playing with that currency. For example, Betfury, they have, I think, Fury coins. So that also pushes their players into not just mining, but into playing.
What about the games that are preferred among crypto players?
I can’t say that the crypto demographic prefers different types of games. Now, unfortunately, we don’t have all the data to know who exactly our players are, but by the pattern that we see, we can determine that these players prefer faster-paced games. That, however, doesn’t mean they’re not playing table games like Blackjack or BlackRock. They still do. It’s just that it’s an absolutely different category of the players. Their bets tend to be higher, their play time tends to be shorter, and their lifespan is shorter as well. So, if you have a casino that has options for fiat and for crypto, crypto players are more lucrative for that casino.
However, they are also less healthy because, well, the turn rate is much higher.
Can you name a game that you would recommend to high rollers?
There are a number of games that I can intuitively suggest after playing for so long. So when we are talking about high rollers, we have the whales, and they are the regular high rollers. The Whales are able to spend astronomical amounts of money. For those types of players, I would suggest a Diamond Hunt, because the multiplier is enormous. On the top of my head, it’s over 40,000. This game has these huge winnings with absolutely insane volatility, and to be fair, the last time I played it, it was dozens and dozens of spins before it started hitting big, even at all. So yeah, this is definitely a game for them, despite the RTPs on all games being 95% across our portfolio, the volatility makes a huge difference.
For the players who tend to play a bit safer, but still want big wins, we have Seven & Hot Fruits with a very high volatility and very high winnings.
Apart from that, there are other games that are slower in pace, such as Little Witch, but they still have very nice multipliers with slightly less volatility. It is not going to be as insane as in a Diamond Hunt.
What about if I want to play it really safe?
If you want to play it truly safe, I would recommend the classic, Wild Spin. Everybody wants to win, obviously. The volatility there is slightly above average, which makes it a nice game for the casual audience. On average, you would trigger a bonus in somewhere around 30 to 50 spins. Well, in theory. Math is a very complicated part of gaming after all, but on average, that’s how it works. The winnings in the bonus game are going to exceed the winnings in the standard game, which is classic for these types of volatility.
If you want to be a little bit more on the dangerous side, we have Wild Spin Delux with Buy Feature such as a jackpot feature, which means you can buy it instead of spinning around to get it.
Do you have any data on which game brought the biggest wins so far?Yes, we do. This is why we have the antifraud department that is monitoring our games 24-7 alongside our support team.
The largest win in my memory was a session that snatched some lucky player a total of 200,000 and the highest individual win in that session was around 40,000. The game that was played was Dragon’s Element. It is also a high-volatility game. Some casinos prefer it over Wild Spin. It is a bit of an unusual game because it has six reels, not five, so it’s a bit of a bigger field. And yeah, since it’s a bigger field, there are more combinations that you can build, so you understand that the winning there can be high as well. The player was a high roller. The bet per spin was around $80. So it multiplied by … five hundred, if my math is correct, which is clearly not the highest multiplier, but given the bet size, the sheer amount of readings was extraordinary.
You also mentioned that you have 24/7 technical support. What can go wrong?
Well, the short answer is life. The long answer is a little bit more complicated. First of all, is a player who didn’t read the rules. They think they should be given a bonus and this is really the saddest request, because the player is unhappy, feels stupid, and support can’t help.
The other type are, let’s call them want-to-be fraudulent players. And it’s hilarious from the provider’s standpoint. So what they do is they take a screenshot, they use photo editing software, to make it seem as if the game malfunctioned. And why I’m saying it’s very funny, is because all the game outcomes that you see, the visuals, they are generated post-result.
So, the moment the player hits the spin button, the outcome is already decided. What is going to happen is already recorded. And the casino has access to the backlog that we provide, and they can see the exact combination that the player is supposed to get. And yeah, when it is edited, it is hilarious. I think my best case was actually in World Spin and the player edited that as if they won the jackpot. Now the funny part is they edited the jackpot wheel in a way that simply could not exist. It was impossible to have that exact positioning on the wheel. And it was so blatantly obvious that it was edited. It was the unluckiest attempt ever.
Moving on to the legitimate category. So, there can be a graphic glitch. The outcome of a spin is decided beforehand, before you actually see the graphics. Now, sometimes there are network disruptions, there are some ESP issues that may happen, things are unpredictable, somewhere something might get lost on the way, and the players can see glitches, such as if hitting one symbol, but seeing that it suddenly turns into a different one. It doesn’t change whether the player won or lost. The more tack-heavy issue that may occur is, let’s just say when you have a malfunction on the server side. For example, the data center may have an outage and the game might become unpredictable.
Now that is a terrible, terrible thing, so we always had a different data center and they are backing each other up. Still, for the player, what they’re going to witness is a timeout and and then the bonus game rapidly ending, but it doesn’t mean it’s canceled. It’s just that the player doesn’t see it, but the bonus game has actually finished playing. They are awarded with the payout, and they are generally confused.
In worst-case scenario, if there is a complete crash, the game is going to be canceled and their bet is going to be refunded. Alternatively, we also work with some casinos that have a policy of compensating the player.
So when a player should have won something but did not because of the network error, the operator reaches out to us. We know how high winnings on average are in each game, so this is precisely the sum that they’re going to be compensated.
Let’s briefly return to fraudulent players. How often do you encounter such attempts?
Very often. Extremely often. I would say that 70% of all the support tickets that reach us.
As it’s so common, does that mean that they’re often successful?
I think it used to be successful in the past. The backlog does not necessarily exist at all, it is just our own thing so that we can track each spin.
Some providers may not have it, and it might be possible for the players to cheat them. And if the operator is also inexperienced, they might also get cheated on. So to give you a very brief answer, why are they doing that? I don’t know, because it works sometimes, I guess.
We have two more questions. One is related to your past, and one is related to your future. You guys have been around since 2014 – what changes you’ve seen in those years, how has the iGaming landscape changed, and what can we expect from here, and what is next for you guys?
So, going back into the past, the landscape has changed significantly. There are new types of games. For example, back in 2014, such thing as a crush game didn’t even exist as a concept. It was first appearing in some crypto casinos. Lots of games were fairly new to the gaming landscape back in 2014 – 2018. The market wasn’t as saturated with the providers. They didn’t have hundreds of games released every month, which is true nowadays. Back then it was a little bit, let’s just say, relaxed. The regulations were not as prevalent as well, so the markets was a bit of a Wild Wild West.
Well, the crypto casinos were appearing a bit later. They were forming properly into this casino niche. Don’t get me wrong, the crypto already existed. It’s just that it was not properly formalized. Nowadays you have thousands upon thousands of crypto casinos. Back then it was literally dozen of those. So from the standpoint of the provider, the landscape changed significantly. From the standpoint of the players, it also changed a lot.
The games are much more probably fair now.
A lot of development of games slowed down because of regulations, the gaming taxes generally grew.
A lot of gambling is still made in the gray areas where the regulations are not present, but the white markets, especially European markets, are becoming more and more expensive to penetrate.
Operators are becoming more and more player-oriented because they understand that this is a fight for survival, so to say, with them against the black market or the gray market.
Apart from that, the user interface evolved. The animations and the designs have improved a lot. And the games are becoming more stable because the whole internet infrastructure is becoming more stable, the mobile phones becoming more powerful, so the games no longer need to be as optimized, but we are still believing that this is a key feature. Moving on to the future. I believe that we are going to see the rise of AI-powered games.
It’s hard to imagine right now how exactly it’s going to be, but I think that’s what awaits us.