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GOODBYE 2019...


Andrey Kuznetsov CEO, KamaGames


What was the most important occurrence for you in 2019?


One notable occurrence we recognized


in 2019 is that a growing number of companies are now relying less on their internal growth and instead focusing their resources in the area of acquisitions. It’s commonplace now for companies of all sizes within the industry to have M&A managers in-house, raising or freeing up additional capital for prospective deals. Another prevalent trend


throughout 2019 was that established games companies continued to become significantly bigger and yet, smaller companies or start-ups found it increasingly more difficult to obtain a meaningful market share of the social gaming market. This excludes the genre of hyper-casual gaming however, which is far removed from our area of concern. Trends like this will more than likely shape the future of the industry as smaller developers are now met with stronger barriers to entry and will have to innovate at a greater level if


they can ever hope to compete with more established operations. One positive that the social casino industry can take away from 2019 is that the rest of the online video games industry has begun to take notice of its appeal. In the latter half of 2019, Rockstar introduced social casino elements to two of its titles, Red Dead Online and GTA. Red Dead Online introduced blackjack and poker to the game while the new Diamond Casino in GTA saw a host of casino-style games, including slots, cards, horse racing, roulette, and craps, enter the online world. Since launch, the Diamond Casino has proved nothing less than a phenomenon with players flocking to the online space to embrace the elements of social casino. Apple has also recently revived its original Texas Hold’em poker game in celebration of the app store’s 11th year anniversary. This move to renew the classic game is more than likely due to the renewed interest from audiences for this genre of free-to-play social games.


112 JANUARY 2020 GIO In regard to KamaGames specifically,


we experienced our fifth consecutive year of growth in 2019 with Q3 revenue standing at 28% higher than in the same period of 2018. Obviously, this continued and


impressive growth is, for us as a company, one of the most significant occurrences in 2019. This has come as a result of hard work and innovation from core KamaGames team members who were responsible for the launch of two new titles in 2019 which we intend to establish as category leaders in the near future. Along with the launch of two new


titles in 2019, we also introduced our fresh new Social Sports Betting product. Players are able to engage with Social sports betting using their previously earned in-game chips making the new feature as accessible as possible. Other important features that have contributed to the success of Social Sports Betting include the ability to check odds on games both before and during a specific sporting event. Live odds are designed to keep players engaged throughout the game and allow them to continue betting as the game unfolds.


The launch and success of this new


product have certainly been a 2019 highlight for KamaGames.


What are you most excited about for yourselves in 2020?


As always, we are looking to further


expand into new markets in 2020. This will see us once again offer premium quality products with the aim of obtaining a fresh, untapped audience. KamaGames will also place a strong focus on partnerships in 2020 as we intend to release a number of engaging new games in conjunction with several substantial multinational companies. We are very much looking forward to announcing more specific details in the new year but it’s safe to say that these ventures will make for a very exciting 2020 at KamaGames. We will also be launching a number of


new updates to our existing portfolio of social casino games. This will include further growth and refinement of our Social Sports Betting offering, along with the introduction of intriguing new titles and features within our already expansive social casino product range. KamaGames continuously strives to provide added value to our players and


this will remain a core element of our company ethos in 2020.


What are you looking predicting for the iGaming sector in 2020?


In 2019, we’ve witnessed several companies within the gaming industry consider IPOs and we know that other companies within the industry may consider this route in the near future. As such, we expect there to be quite a number of large IPOs in the gaming industry throughout the coming year. In addition to IPOs, we think there will be more consolidation in the industry in 2020 as we witness PE funds acquiring notable gaming companies. This occurred already in 2019 when Blackstone acquired Murka. In 2019, we witnessed the seeds of


traditional online games publishers taking an interest in social casino. Thanks to the resounding success of these ventures, I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll see other publishers follow suit in 2020 and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how that plays out for the social casino industry as a whole.


I think the legalization of online sports


betting across the US will continue to be a talking point as we move into 2020. Approximately 13 states have implemented legal sports betting in some form to date and it would be logical to assume that its user base will grow as more states legalize sports betting. That said, it may still be too early to predict the full impact that these changes will have on the industry. I would also predict that smartphone


manufacturers, such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Samsung and Oppo will grow their international app store offerings. Just recently, our flagship Pokerist app successfully launched onto the Huawei platform and we are excited to see how the platform grows further in 2020. We also hope to soon announce the launch of our titles on other widely popular platforms in the New Year. Finally, a recently released report from


analytics provider Newzoo has predicted that the gaming industry will increase to no less than $148 billion in 2020, a 7.2% YoY increase. As the industry moves forward and becomes even more profitable in 2020, we’re anticipating that competition among publishers in the area of employee talent and user acquisition will become even more intense.


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