An inside scoop with Head of Marketing at Endorphina
What is the atmosphere in Endorphina’s office? What is their unique selling point? And how does their development process look like? Our Maria, Head of Marketing, answered these and other questions in her very miscellaneous interview with CASINO.RU. The full version in Russian can be found here - https://casino.ru/intervyu-s-glavoj-otdela-marketinga-endorphina/, but the most interesting answers we’ve translated for you below ☺
About Endorphina and it’s history and plans
Endorphina was founded in 2012, how did everything start and what does the team look like right now?
Endorphina first started out as a company with less than 10 passionate people who already had experience within the gambling industry. But now, we've got 60+ employees in an office in the center of Prague. We're a rapidly developing startup that's becoming a mid-size enterprise, but still holding onto that fresh spirit.
We have quite a mixed team inside our office – full of different cultures, ages, and experiences, which also comes to our advantage when it comes to the creative process. As we create everything in-house, we have various specialists that needed to cover the whole game creation process, as well as its promotion and sale.
At what stage is Endorphina at right now?
I would say Endorphina is now at its growing point. There are still many new markets to enter, new games to release, new players to conquer, new ideas to implement, and many more promos to make. I believe that we did not even touch our potential yet.
What are your main achievements?
I think the best achievement is that we grew from a small group of passionate people and became a well-known mid-sized company with 700+ loyal customers and thousands of players all over the world, regardless of the high competition in the market.
And of course, that didn’t go unnoticed. We obtained several rewards – our slots The Ninja, Satoshi's Secret, Mystery of Eldorado, Kamchatka, and some others ranked as the product of the year award several times. Also, we had the BEST ONLINE SLOT DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR award from Slot's Guide. This year, we already have several nominations, so I hope next time I'll add some nice and glossy awards to this list ☺
Do you have in plans creating something different from slots? For example, roulette or poker?
We are still focusing on the slots and considering that to be our bread and butter. And I don't think that the main focus will change. However, we have long-term plans to deliver to our players an Endorphina quality level video poker and roulette.
If someone decides to buy Endorphina, what would be the price for you to agree?
We are proud of our independence, and l don't think that there will be a price to sell it. We've noticed the amount of M&A lately, and we are expecting more of them in 2020, as we can see the overwhelming supply on the market. But I can say that Endorphina plans to stay true to its independence.
About the slots’ creation
What is different in your approach in creating slots compared to others?
From my point of view, it's a combination of several things.
First, for us, quality is more important than quantity. Our aim is not to release 10+ games per month, risking its quality. No, we want to create games that will fit the market, which will entertain the players and give them the best gambling experience.
And here is a second point - we are listening to the players. Sometimes providers are so focused on operators that they forget about the players and their needs. All of our games are created with our players in mind. With our approach of listening to the players' needs, studying their background, and unique cultural aspects, we are creating a portfolio that fits different markets according to cultures, history, mentalities, and even current popular social phenomenons.
There are more reasons for our success, but to not kill the readers with the amount of information, I'll just stop it here.
How have trends been changing in the last 3-5 years? What themes and genres were popular before and what should we expect in 2020?
The majority of players are conservative. The trends in the past for huge public companies were to get popular culture IP, like superheroes, movies, comics, music. This trend is still here. This can create short-term spikes, but if the math of the game does not keep the players paying, it can be wasted investment. Don't get me wrong, a properly done licensed game can become a huge hit.
Another trend of the past – VR. It gained significant popularity, but it was a very short-term trend.
One more trend – gamification. Even though a lot of experts from the industry are not sharing my excitement, I think it might be interesting for the new generation of the players, as they were raised on computer games. But the question here is in the wat of implementation of that idea.
You are experimenting a lot with cultural and ethnic slots. Are you happy with the results?
We like ethnic slots, as we are enjoying the process of creation – the opportunity to dive into different cultures and explore different historical aspects of different regions. The main goal is to show the unique culture of the region, but here we should be very gentle and careful - not to make fun of it, not to hurt feelings, but instead to let players feel the atmosphere and the essence of the region.
With all this attention to the details, with deep diving through books and articles, with proper attention to the math, we are creating slots that players really like. So, answering your question, yes, we are happy with the results. And yes, we are not planning to stop ☺
Tell us a bit about the creation process. How long does it take? What are the main steps?
It's a long and complex process, but it's very exciting to see how the idea comes to life.
First, it's choosing the theme. Our team is analyzing the market, the trends, the feedback from clients and players, and picking the theme. Each team member has an opportunity to suggest a game theme.
Once this specific theme is chosen for a new game, we started building the whole concept around the idea – the story, the math, design, and so on.
Afterwards, we then focus on creating the art. Our animation and audio team takes over and then is handed off to our technical assembly team once it’s all ready to be put together. This is the stage when we can first see how our game comes to life when its new look and feel.
Once we’re satisfied, we finalize the designs and sounds. Then we focus on the mathematics of the slot. Once that is perfected, we pass the game onto the QA team to double-check and confirm everything works and to make sure our text is great.
Then the exciting part – we choose the release date! Our marketing and account department take over and create a promo campaign. There are a lot of things that go into this, but in the end it is always worth it.
About working in Marketing at Endorphina
What are you personally doing at Endorphina? How does your standard working day look like?
Oh, our marketing department is kind of busy. We are taking care of preparing the releases, its promotions, our appearance at expos, our brand reputation, awareness, and media coverage. We are constantly working with affiliates, streamers, clients and other partners, along with social media (btw don't forget to follow us there), where we create graphics and video materials to entertain our followers.
And if we are talking about my basic working day, it's tough to describe. It's always not the same as the day before, but there is one thing that always stays the same – coffee!
What are the main pluses and minuses in your profession? What drives you the most? And what challenges are you facing?
If you check our promotions, you'll see that we are famous for being able to think outside of the box. And as the marketing department, we've set the standards pretty high for ourselves, as sometimes it's very complicated to keep it at the same level or to overcome it. So, I'd say it's the most complicated part to compete against yourself. For example, this year at ICE, we had a TANK – a huge real TANK. So, you can imagine how challenging it will be for our next year at ICE.
But from this, the main advantages come. First, its challenges and great opportunities for creativity. Second, there is a massive range of themes that we are working on ☺
As for the drive, I'm getting it when I can see that this crazy work that we are doing unfolds and leads to the achievement of goals. In the end, it is really about bringing people endorphins. I can see it from the positive feedback at expos, from nice comments and likes in social media, and kind words from clients, streamers, and players. All these give me the constant force and the motivation, the crazy energy to keep on working.
Do you have more routine or creative tasks? Stress or positive emotions?
As I'm working in marketing – I have A LOT OF creative tasks. As our portfolio is very diversified – all the time, these tasks are very different. Once I was looking for BDSM toys to support the TABOO release at ICE 2018, and two years later, I was looking for a TANK and the tank shaped promo items for ICE 2020. One day I am reading about troy history for the social media campaign, and the next second I am writing the game description about the beauty of Kamchatka, and next day I am already preparing the press-release about the AML (anti-money laundering) or for responsible gambling. I think, for creative people, who are hungry for new challenges and trying to run away from routine – it's the ideal place. And we have an absolutely incredible team – with vast experience and knowledge, a fantastic sense of humor, crazy creativity, and great personalities. So the amount of positive emotions is insane ☺