The “gamification” of online casino games has been a popular topic at online gambling industry conferences for the past year or so. While most of us agree that social gamers are not the same as real money gamblers and therefore the crossover is minimal, we also recognize that adding social elements to traditional casino games could appeal to a wider audience than traditional casino games alone.
The team behind Casino Saga identified the features of popular social games that make them so sticky and have created proprietary casino software that blends these features in, providing a unique experience for their customers. Here are a few words from the Casino Saga Founder and CEO Georg Westin on his journey from idea to launch and why its important for innovation to remain at the forefront of his organization.
Becky Liggero: Thank you for joining me today, Georg. Can you tell me about your experience in the online gambling industry prior to founding Casino Saga?
Georg Westin: I founded the company about a year ago but we are already 10 bright minds working with Casino Saga day and night. I have previously worked over 10 years in this industry and been working at several gaming companies as for example CTO of Betsson and Betsafe as well as co-founder of Casumo.
BL: How did the concept of Casino Saga come to fruition?
GW: After having a holiday and finally some days off I started thinking of where the gambling industry was heading. I started thinking of the gamefication features I had used before, why the social casinos were getting so popular and why all of my friends were obsessed with Candy Crush. I came to the conclusion that we should create a casino site where a lot of the focus would be on story telling and game design, the entire journey should be engaged and trigger the intrinsic motivation factors!
BL: Ah, yes- the infamous Candy Crush. How long did it take to take the idea to the product that you are close to launching today and what were some of the challenges along the way?
GW: It has taken about a years time and the biggest challenge has been building our own gaming platform from scratch. It is easy to setup a new casino site today by just buying a standard platform but to do something really creative you need more control than that. We have that now and can continue to deliver innovation together with our players.
BL: I love that continuously delivering innovation is at the core of your company’s values. The innovative games available at Casino Saga are more then just “casino games”- can you elaborate?
GW: Yes, at Casino Saga you become a Casino Hero. You select to play one out of 10 avatars and starts off in the lovely village Sagaville. Your job as a Casino Hero is to set things straight in the Saga Islands by getting back the golden crown stolen by the biggest boss, Betser. You move forward on the map by playing great casino games and when you reach one of the 40 regions, you have to fight a new boss in games we have built ourselves. Beating a boss unlocks games, machines and gives you money, free spins and other things. Also the journey changes as you come further, with missions, surprises and other fun stuff for the player to find.
BL: What are some of the other social features that you offer players?
GW: At Casino Saga you have your own profile called ”My Saga” that also can be seen by others. By looking at the beautiful map you can see all the activities that are created by other Casino Heroes. As a player you can like and follow other players and get all information in the notification center we call ”The Eye”.
BL: Very social indeed. Exactly what kind of player are you looking to target, then?
GW: We believe we can both attract hard core casino gamers that want a deeper and more exciting game play as well as beginners that never have played casino before. Finally they can get the thrill of real money casino in an environment that resembles and uses a lot of fun features from other type of games.
BL: Thank you for your time today, Georg and we look forward to more innovation from the bright minds at Casino Saga.