Going from Clicks to Bricks with skill games: Georg Washington

Skill based games are still a relatively new phenomena, and the industry is learning how to apply them correctly to attract a customer base. Georg Washington, CEO of Synergy Blue, has been doing his level best to discover how this type of game can convert online and video game players into casino visiting patrons. He spoke with our Stephanie Tower at G2E Asia @ The Philippines on the topic.

But first, just to ensure we’re all on the same page, Washington explained what skill games are, and why they attract a different kind of player. “We are in the skill influenced arena, how well the player does in a game affects obviously they’re wagering or their return to player,” he said. “So we try to stay in front of actual videogame world and sort of see what’s out there, what will work and convert it into the gambling world.”

While some skill games have proven popular, companies like Synergy Blue are still trying many different approaches to see what works best. “We’ve been doing a sort of a gamut of different games, because it is a niche market for us and it’s a new market, providing all styles of games, no different to the slot arena, where you’ve got to have a different mixture of different games for the slot floor, it’s the same with us,” Washington said. “We have mobile games, arcade style games and traditional PC style games.”

The key is, whatever new games Synergy Blue and companies like it produce, they have to be strong enough to leave a lasting impression, and get customers flocking to the casino. “It’s a Clicks to Brick’s types of scenario where you’re trying to move those mobile style players into the casino,” he said. “Our style of games, we have those style games of mobile style games, of you know match three or joystick or arcade-style games. We do have that, so that hopefully will entice a new style of demographics to come into the casino, or even catch the eye when they’re coming into, you know, if going for a meal or going to the bar, they can see something new and go, ‘Oh look, that’s something that I might play.’”

Tower then asked what Washington’s company strategy is to bring new players in, and build the brand. “You know, of course, getting our product out there is number one,” he responded. “Building our distribution network, we just announced distribution deal for the Asia-PAC region with Jade [Entertainment]. And so getting our distribution out there, but also testing each market is different. What works in, you know, the Philippines may not work in Oklahoma, or work in Germany. So we have to evolve that as we move forward, because at the end of the day the slot markets about a hundred years old and for us, we’re about four.”

Synergy Blue began as an Asian focused company, and Washington ended by telling us that the company is looking to return to that origin. “When we started Synergy Blue about eight, nine years ago, we actually were doing a lot of our content for the Asia market,” he noted. “So we had partnerships with IGT, etc, and we pushed out, most of our work was done in the Asia market. So for us it’s a natural evolution to sort of come back here, we’re not back but continue doing business out here, and evolving the product.”