Robert Filić talks with Gambling News: Plunge into the changing world of gamification

September 8, 2023

Interview with Gambling News: Robert Filić, Director of Player Engagement Platform at Bragg Gaming Group, takes a plunge into the changing world of gamification and how consumer preferences require a re-think of the traditional gaming user experience.

Localization has supplanted the “one-size-fits-all” approach with the onus now on iGaming businesses to provide consumers with excitement and features that cut close to home. Filić offers his insight into the matter as part of the Bragg Gaming Group.

Q: How have engagement products/tools helped drive success for your company? 

Success comes not from the tools themselves, but from knowing the players, tailoring their experience to their tastes and engaging them with their preferred campaigns. Bragg’s Fuze™ is an engagement and gamification toolset that makes these strategies possible. 

Our idea from the beginning was to have a set of tools for operators to use in different ways to improve players’ experience and consequently their business results too. Today, we see customers using tools for different purposes: onboarding campaigns, cross-selling, retention, game discovery etc. Our unique advantage is that we offer cross-product vertical engagement for both casino and sportsbook, allowing for automated and engaging flows to convert players from one vertical to another.

There are several success stories with different goals in mind. We see campaigns boosting the number of players by 280%, others increasing the rounds played by 370% and others increasing the wagering on exposed games by 250% – but it all depends on the campaign goals.

Besides our customers, the efficiency of our tools was recognised by the broader industry, too, as we won the Casino Product of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards in 2022 and Industry Innovator of the Year at the SBC Awards North America in 2023.

Q: How important is UX and UI when looking to increase player engagement?

With most of the players left alone in online casinos and sportsbook game lobbies, what we are aiming for is to provide operators with tools that will help them enhance the player experience and bring a social component to it. 

Visual components play a major role in bringing the online player experience to the next level. We focus both on the on-site experience as well as on the in-game experience by bringing the social dimension to them and encouraging players to compete with each other, explore other games and track their progress while staying in-game. With this in mind, we enable operators to tailor player journeys to their users’ tastes and preferences by offering them tools to create customised missions and quests. These activities drive players to discover different games, master one single game, keep tabs on their progress and compare themselves to other players.

Generally speaking, we try to let players know what they are doing, what they are aiming for and how they progress.

Q: Does your strategy around gamification tools and player engagement differ from region to region? 

Our engagement strategies depend on the specific market and our client as well. In certain jurisdictions, we organize so-called network promotions for which we invite different operators to join a cross-operation campaign. This allows us to reach a broader audience and offer bigger rewards. In most cases, we offer a combination of game discovery features and social components for players by encouraging them to collect something, perhaps take them on several game journeys and finish with a social component such as a tournament.

In other jurisdictions we are doing client-specific campaigns, additionally tailored to individual client needs, and in some cases, we are educating operators on good practices and helping them improve their player experience.

Q: What other tools or solutions can be utilised to increase player retention?

There is no golden rule. We serve different markets and we see different player behaviours across these diverse markets. The key thing to remember is that players are people. They seek a connection with the casino or sportsbook brand and a connection to other players too. As an operator, you want to know your players and create gamified journeys for them that reflect your strategy and identity. 

Successful gamification relies on a strategic way of using engagement tools over longer time periods. As a casino, or as a sportsbook, you want to treat your players as you want to be perceived and think about how you want your voice to be heard and what messages you are sending to players. Our Fuze™ toolset allows operators to be able to efficiently project their brand message and deliver campaigns the way they want it to be delivered.  

Q: Is there a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to player engagement tools or is a more tailored approach needed for your operator partners? 

Flexibility is required across the board as all our operator partners have their own requirements and need a product that works with them and offers solutions to whichever project they are working on. Take for example onboarding: as soon as a player joins, the casino can offer them a quest that requires them to bet with their own money to attain a certain set of achievements over seven days. Then they can get their bonus, so it rewards repeat play and more consistent engagement.

Flexibility is key to automating cross-selling too. If players complete a certain journey or quest while in a casino, the reward can be a free bet on the sportsbook and vice versa. This way, you’re keeping that player within your ecosystem and increasing their time spent on your sites. There is a huge number of operators out there competing for market share and only the richest and most flexible toolset will grant them the opportunity to move forward and stay competitive.

Q: What role does responsible gambling play when it comes to engagement tools? 

Responsible gaming is very important, and we take it very seriously. At Bragg, we have a unique position to cover most of the iGaming ‘supply chain’, be it building games or offering managed services. This helps us decrease the feedback loops from the market and collaborate across different teams. Our responsible gaming team dedicates a substantial amount of time to developing algorithms that identify at-risk behaviour and building them into our engagement tools, starting with restrictions on player engagement and adapting or removing content etc.

Q: What are Bragg’s plans to continue to innovate in this exciting space?

Last year was all about expanding the toolset to sportsbooks. This year we are focusing on adding new products and enhancing the existing ones, such as jackpots, as this is something that we believe almost all casinos need in their armoury. 

In 2024, we will be using our personal experience, analytical approach, and some brilliant insight we are getting from operations to continue upgrading the entire Fuze™ toolset. 

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