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PROFILE WHO’S WHO | Simon Lidzén This month: FAST TRACK’s CEO & Co-founder


How/when did you first get involved with the gaming industry?


My father was involved in the land-based scene long before I was born. I still remember attending my first ATEI/ICE, I could not have been more than 13 years old. They used to have the 1st floor in Earls Court full of all the latest Arcades. It was like a dream. I used to sneak up to the 2nd floor to see the ICE exhibition as well though. I think I have only missed two or three events since it started.


What attracted you to this sector? This sector has an incredible atmosphere and community.


What were you doing prior to the gaming industry?


Most of my career has been spent in the gaming industry, however, in 2007 I took a break for a few years working with a company specialising in customer and employee feedback solutions. I was looking after the technical integrations for larger clients with a focus on automating the survey and feedback process. I learnt a lot during these years and it was healthy to step out before stepping back in.


What are you responsible for in your current position?


As the CEO and co-founder of a company that is going through a rapid growth phase, naturally my main priority is to guide the team and ensure we maintain focus – to provide clear strategic direction, prioritisation and product vision to ensure time is spent in the right place.


In the coming 12 months we are looking to double in size, both in number of employees and partners; it’s an exciting time and I love my job.


FAVOURITE…


What have been the biggest industry changes you’ve seen in your time? There are so many! I started quite early at the time when brands had exclusive license agreements with game providers – they even provided the platform. Today the landscape is completely different: the platforms are about game aggregation. This brought another massive change, which was access to the market through white label licences. Experience-wise I have come to think of mobile adoption over the last five years and how the regulatory landscape has changed. One thing is for sure: the key to survival is a business’ ability to adapt to change.


What are the biggest positive factors for your sector right now?


The fact that the industry is so competitive, especially in the Nordics. This has been a core driver for innovation and created great customer experience at a super high pace.


And what are the negatives ones – the obstacles to growth?


There are so many great ideas and opportunities, but no one has access to unlimited resources. Most businesses in the gaming industry had to switch focus from innovation to work on the changes in the regulatory landscape. I truly believe it’s for the better though, the industry just has to catch up with stuff that should’ve been dealt with a long time ago.


Looking at your entire career, what do you think was your smartest move? Partnering up with Chris and Hans. My learning  work out what to do. We are the three partners that founded FAST TRACK and we have an incredible dynamic. It was not necessarily about what we did, but that we work really well together, that has made us successful.


And dumbest one?


I developed a game for the AppStore in 2011 – Jungle Word. This was some type of a cross-breed between one of my all-time favourite casino games, Gonzo’s Quest, and a popular word game called Razzle. God, that was an expensive experience. It was a great game and we managed to build a decent active base, but it was not very successful; I think the project generated €74 in revenue. It was an incredible experience though, and it taught me the importance of working with the right team and what to look for when doing your research in a new field.


 TV Show: Entourage Food: Asian (Dim Sum!) 90 FEBRUARY 2019 CIO


Location: Cape Town, South Africa


What do you think the egaming space will look like in ten years’ time? Technology will enable games to be more immersive, we will have figured out how we can come together and play in groups, esports will represent a major share of revenue in sports, more countries will have introduced local licenses and as a result brands, platforms and services will target specific markets. There will be established central organs and vaults for electronic identification, managing limits, KYC and player information, and we are no longer using cards to make transactions. I am getting carried away here.


If you’d never embarked on this career, what other line of work would you have liked to pursue?


I would have been a fighter pilot.


Movie: Catch me if you can


Band: Abba


Book: Blue ocean strategy


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