Chris Dean: Chat engagement declining, but still part of product experience

Yggdrasil’s Chris Dean gives the people what they want’s Becky Liggero recently spoke to Chris Dean on developing Bingo products for iGaming solutions provider Yggdrasil, and how he keeps his finger on the pulse of the market.

Yggdrasil just began its foray into Bingo in 2017, and it’s a product borne of paying attention to trends, as well as to personnel in their 200-strong company.

Chris Dean, who headed the project for Yggdrasil, said, “It kind of starts at the very outset of any new product concepts. Internally, we have our lab where we assess new ideas, investigate all areas—competitor research, market research, looking at new technologies, areas outside our own industry. For example, people are clearly using their mobiles for chat, so we took inspiration from those products as well. We kind of instill [sharing of ideas] through the company by encouraging, incentivizing the entire team, the 200 people we have working for us, to put suggestions forward, to think about coming up [to us] and suggest ideas and not to be afraid. We really encourage that environment.”

Dean emphasized the social component in mobile games, particularly chat. “With bingo, we’ve taken a lot of inspiration from a lot of modern chat applications, because we kind of saw with the current couple of mobile products, chat engagement was declining, but it’s really an essential part of the product experience,” he said.

It all boils down to satisfaction of the consumer, and Yggdrasil makes a point to listen. “We work with a number of companies who help us reach out to find customers and conduct the research. They’re able to distill that and by feedback, give us the essence essentially of what’s right and wrong about the experience on our products. And we do that with every product now on a regular basis. We’ve found it an incredibly valuable and powerful exercise to refine our products prior to going out into the market,” he said.

However, it’s not all about the decisions he and his team have to make. According to Dean, timing in ever-changing business environments will always be a factor. “Maybe it’s a little bit of an unfair advantage with us coming later to bingo than maybe others, in that the technology has improved. Then when the time is right, we can develop a product that does give you a good gaming experience. You’re able to have a very engaging chat and social aspects and many games as well, all in one,” he said.