Interview with Vasily Polynov, Chief Business Developer at TrueLab Games.
This week, we’ve had a chat with Vasily Polynov from TrueLab Games, who shared valuable knowledge about modern trends in the iGambling sector, as well as gave us an insight into the studio’s roadmap and plans for 2021.
Interview with Vasily Polynov, Chief Business Developer at True Lab studio.
Welcome! We’re glad to have you and TrueLab Games in the SlotCatalog interview series. First of all, please introduce yourself to our readers and describe how your path in the iGambling sector has been so far.
My name is Vasily Polynov, I’ve been with the True Flip Group since its first days in 2017, and currently I’m a chief business developer at True Lab studio. I’m responsible for the studio’s game suite distribution and a range of marketing projects.
What is it like working at TrueLab?
Honestly, our business has never been a quiet harbour, but this is still a very attractive story to partake. True Lab established itself as a separate brand just a few years ago, and we’ve all been really involved to ensure its proper takeoff. Initially we had just a few Bitcoin games, so it took a while to pick up our current top talents, acquire a solid legal setup and agree on the development pipelines. With our latest titles and distribution deals in place, I’m really happy to move further now.
TrueLab Games brought 2020 to an end with the release of the Christmas Tree slot, which was received fairly well by punters all over the globe, according to its SlotRank. Why do you think that was? (What steps have you taken to assure its success?)
This game arrived as an exclusive to our YG Masters’ programme partnership. The opportunity to release a Masters’ title during the holiday season seemed very exciting from the beginning.
While most of the holiday titles are normally re-skins, our idea was bringing the Christmas spirit all the way into the game design and mechanics.
The сluster Tree seemed risky at first, but it’s brimming with potential, given the game’s extra high volatility and the variety of bonus features. So eventually, the game appears very cosy, and at the same time has many engaging features and great winning potential.
How has the competition in the gambling market changed in the previous year and what opportunities do you see in 2021?
The market was packed already by the time we arrived, and obviously it got even more saturated. The competition now surrounds a few directions: while regulation in the well-established markets gets tougher making them even more competitive, lots of companies focus on completely new and alternative markets i.e. new regions, cryptocurrencies, and freeplay. At the same time there’s a certain challenge between the bigger players regarding their release frequency. This results in more partnerships with the successful independent vendors, looking for shortcuts and acceleration in change for a share of profits, or even equity. And I assume this year we should see more M&A’s, similar to the landmark deals of 2020.
Are there any specific competitors you’ve been impressed by in the last year?
Well given our growth throughout the last year, it’s hard to emphasize any certain group as our competitors now. We’re pretty much impressed with the rest of the YG Masters’ studios, and there are plenty of smaller studios around trying to carve out their own piece of the pie. This to add to the rising frequency of releases by the top providers - though some of these games slightly disappoint, the quantity clearly has become the driver. Generally I would say it’s not a certain game producer, but mostly the rising trends that help out with gaining competitive advantage these days. You can say that BTG were really successful with their Megaways licensing, but that is also true for all the studios that were quick enough to handle the fresh opportunity and ride this wave.
Imagine you could play only 2 slots a week. Choose one of yours and one developed by your competitors.
If I cannot jump between games like I always do, I would go for something well-known to me and engaging, for example the first Reactoonz, or maybe the Yggdrasil’s Multifly! When it comes to the True Lab suite, I should probably name Victoria Wild, our flagship game, packed with so many features and thus enabling more gameplay variations. I can play it for hours, as it grants this feeling of “luck around the corner”. But I should better choose our upcoming Siren Song - the game having the coolest visual setup I’ve seen. You can talk a lot about the math, but visuals still rule for me.
Could you share some thoughts about your upcoming release, Viking Runes? What was the thinking behind it and what are players going to love about it?
Our first Viking game, our second cluster game, our third release with Yggdrasil. Catchy visuals, great sounds, and the Lightning Wilds that make this game stand out. We believe that many players love it when their game session becomes a story in progress, an evolving plot, and for the sake of that, you bring in the game’s cornerstone features. Viking Runes is The game for all the scandi-loving folks, and with its x25 000 potential, it’s absolutely the choice for big win hunters.
Speaking of your future games, we’re extremely excited to know what’s next to fly off your assembly line. Could you give us a snapshot of TrueLab’s roadmap for the next few months?
True Lab will make titles both exclusively for our Masters’ partnership and for the rest of our partner network which keeps growing. We have secured five new release dates with Yggdrasil throughout this year.
I cannot speak much on the games yet, but I can say that we really put lots of effort into these concepts, willing to stand out from the smaller studios crowd. Meanwhile we work on a set of games intended for distribution via our aggregation partners. All in all, the new games will look familiar to the players who already tried our previous titles, and we’re spicing up the 2021 titles with some new bonus features, and also polishing the UI to deliver a smoother player experience.
Are there any trends in the market that you find interesting and how is our industry likely to change in the future?
Together with a notable rise of licensed game mechanics and a few other trends that I mentioned earlier, I would point out bespoke content reaching new heights. Dedicating a title or two to the best performing casino partners sounds like an option for more and more studios now. Another trend is teaming up with celebrity casino streamers, who obviously know their business when it comes to game promotion. Fairly speaking, we like this concept and hopefully it works out for True Lab this year too.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Before we say goodbye, is there anything you would like to say to both True Lab fans and to those who haven’t yet tried your games?
I would firstly tell everyone to take care and cheer up in these tough times. And with no doubt we’ll see lots of great new games in the following months, and I hope that True Lab makes a notable contribution to this flow. Please check us out if you haven’t yet, and stay tuned as we are showing lots of proper stuff this year!