A chat between Nick Barr, Managing Director of Red Rake Gaming Malta, and SlotCatalog
We’ve met with Nick Barr, Managing Director of Red Rake Gaming Malta to discuss the story behind their success as well as their upcoming releases Mata Hari the Spy and Cai Shen 88.
Nick Barr, Managing Director of Red Rake Gaming Malta
Welcome Nick! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us at SlotCatalog. Could you give the readers an introduction to the history behind Red Rake Gaming and how you came to join the company?
Thanks, it’s a pleasure to be here! Basically, the parent company of Red Rake Gaming was created back in 2006 and started a casual games business in 2008, focusing on the social casino sector since 2010. Red Rake Gaming, the B2B real money brand, started its operations in late 2015 and while its co-founders Javier and Carlos Fernández and their team had no experience or contacts in the real money industry, they had been developing online casino years for many years.
So the aim of the company from the beginning was to create the best casino games in the market while developing relationships with all the stakeholders in the industry, namely operators, testing houses, platform providers, aggregators and regulators.
I think it’s safe to say that the company has executed the strategy well, as Red Rake has experienced phenomenal progress in our short history. Just in 2019 we have acquired the two most prestigious licenses in the industry, issued from the UK and Malta. We have also entered into some of the most prominent regulated markets, like Portugal, Italy and Romania. We have also exhibited for the first time at the biggest gaming fair in the industry, ICE London, and in the biggest Asian gaming fair, G2E Asia, and we have opened a new office in Malta, so we have now a 50 person team based out of our Valencia (Spain) and Sliema (Malta) offices.
We are happy with our growth but we know the most important thing is to keep our focus in creating the best possible experience for the players, this is our ultimate goal and you could say that’s even our obsession.
As for myself, I joined Red Rake Gaming in August of 2018, and it’s been exciting to join them in this expansion. I have been working in the online gambling industry for more than 10 years, predominantly from a supplier background, and to join such a young and innovative company was an excellent opportunity, and I have not looked back since.
That’s quite a journey. The background in the social casino sector must be a huge asset for Red Rake Gaming. What is your opinion about the reasons for your success?
I think the ultimate reason is that our games are great. Simple as this. With high-end graphics, immersive sound effects and eye catching animations combined with unique and exciting maths models, our games ensure they entertain the players and drive revenues for our partners.
The recipe for our success has much more than one ingredient: high-end graphics, immersive sound effects, eye catching animations, unique and exciting maths models of our games combine with agility and stability of our platform.
Obviously, the recipe for success has much more than one ingredient. I would say that the combination of agility and stability of our platform is another one of the key factors. Our agility allows us to react quickly when some regulated market or some specific partner has new technical demands, so we are very fast on adapting our solution to any new environments required by our clients.
Also worthy of mention is that the stability of our platform has been outstanding from the beginning, with virtually zero downtime, primarily achieved through our vast experience as social casino operators with our platform being tested and proven with more than 100,000 unique users daily.
What’s your vision at Red Rake Gaming?
Our goal is to become one of the primary casino providers in all the regulated markets within the industry, and for this you need a great product, technical excellence, and agility to be able to adapt to every technical requirement of every jurisdiction. Additionally, offering creative promotional tools to our partners, so they can offer a fun experience to their players, is a key focus.
One of our most recent steps has been to sign an agreement with a large US operator to supply them with casino games content for their online social casino business. This agreement isn’t just aimed to increase our social casino revenue, but to help us to make an initial footprint into the US online gambling market, as this client is set to enter the regulated real-money online business very soon.
We at SlotCatalog will follow this progress with excitement. Could you give the reader a quick glance at your corporate culture?
Our corporate values are to work hard while having fun, and to take care of the most valuable assets that we have: our team and our customers. If you focus on getting this right, everything else falls into place.
We have seen a lot of new, innovative studios pop up during the last years. How do you interpret the market today?
The online casino supplier business is highly competitive, with extremely well established brands who have been operating for over 10 years, to the newcomers to the market who have launched in the past 12 months. It is exciting to see all the new concepts coming to life, some of which perform extremely well, which spurs on all providers to keep focusing on new and exciting games, innovation and differentiators.
We continually conduct research on new games, concepts, operators and player demands which form the basis of our development which is important to ensure you have your own recognisable identity in the marketplace.
Alright, let’s proceed to one of our favourite parts of an interview. Tell us about your upcoming releases!
Mata Hari delivers two popular features within our games, but this time they have a twist. The “Raining Veils” feature covers a whole reel and gives multiplies that all winning lines in which the covered reel has taken part; the “Mata Hari’s Eyes” is also a randomly triggered feature that puts wilds in the reels, but it displays a block of wilds, so adjacent position on the reels receive the wilds, not just single positions.
These are new features in our portfolio and are aligned with our aim of creating features-rich games that give players something fresh in every new release.
The October release is the first game that we create specifically aimed to the Asian audience.
Looking forward to trying them out! I imagine the story behind each game is unique. Do you have one that you could share with our readers?
Yeah, sure. Our upcoming October release has a curious background. We have been investing resources in the Asian market recently, signing with several Asian focused operators in the last few months and taking part in Asian conferences/exhibitions.
It was back in May in Macau, during our exhibition at G2E Asia, when part of our team spent a night playing in the slots machines across numerous Macau casino resorts (unfortunately no big wins). By spending time reviewing the slot machines, mechanics, graphics, sounds and their popularity, the team managed to gather a myriad of ideas which have formed the basis for our launch in the coming month.
Moving away from the upcoming releases, what is your favourite production already released?
It’s hard to say because we have many great performing, innovative games like Million Sevens, Mystic Mirror or Tiger and Dragon, but my favorite games within our portfolio are probably the Super Stars series.
These are easy-to-play games that give players an action-packed gaming experience, and perform solidly in every market.
This is reflected in our SlotRank. Looking at our data the Super Star series perform exceptionally good in Portugal. What would you say is the most important aspect of a game?
The most important component of any game is the maths model behind the game, because ultimately this will be a crucial part in the players experience and will determine whether they will stay engaged with the game.
The maths model of the game is a crucial part in the players experience and it determine whether they will stay engaged in.
You can have the best graphics but if you do not get the right maths model, players will simply move to another game and you would have no return players to the game. You have one chance to make a good first impression, so all components have to be balanced carefully to create the best experience for the player.
For all of us to love to play slots. Why should we play your games?
Our games are fun, and we have games for all tastes. If you like low or medium volatility games you are going to find them in our portfolio. But you are also going to be able to play games capable of giving regular 1,000x plus wins and even 10,000x (and greater) wins from time to time.
These are also fair and tested games, offered in the most respected regulated markets like UK, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Portugal, Romania and Malta.
Last but not least, we are about to introduce a completely new game in the industry, Frenzy Discs, which is a table game but one never seen before!
Looking forward to it! I hope you’ll tell us more when you’re there. How about the future for the iGaming industry, what are your predictions?
Mobile gaming continues to grow in the industry and currently dominates the channel where the Red Rake Games are being used, 70% - 75% of all wagers being on mobile. We suspect with the introduction of the 5G technology the trend is going to continually rise which forces suppliers to ensure they produce mobile focused games.
Also, in terms of new features or even type of games, I’m sure you are going to find novelties from time to time. There are many great minds in this industry who are constantly trying to find new ways to entertain the players.
The biggest challenge for the industry is adapting the technology and the procedures to accommodate all the various demands from regulated markets.
There are similarities in the reasons for the regulation, although each governing entity implements varied requirements which present challenges in delivery both in terms of timelines and costs. One must maintain a keen eye on compliance matters, and one has to firmly embrace a responsible gaming approach, which will only assist in sustaining the industry. The non-regulated marketplace is continuing to shrink each month with new regulated markets being opened for business.
It seems we have a positive journey in front of us! With that said, I must say that this interview is coming to an end. What would you like to say to our readers before we say goodbye?
We would like to thank SlotCatalog for this interview. We are fans of your work and check your site frequently - it’s a great place to get insights within the industry.
Also, we would like to say to the players that we will continue working extra hard to release fresh and exciting content on a regular basis.
Lastly, we would like to thank all our partners, customers and employees. You are the best!