David Stoiveld Game Product Owner Yggdrasil

‘Expect to Be Blown Away’ – BestCasinos Chats with Yggdrasil Gaming’s David Stoveld About Innovation, Gamification & 2021 Plans

Staff Writer Editorials 95

Yggdrasil Gaming has always been different from the competition.

Starting out as a small team of online gaming industry enthusiasts, Yggdrasil chose to put a Norse myth built around the holly tree to the test. 

A highly creative company name was just a sign of things to come from a company which went on to become a premium provider of superior online gaming solutions for iGaming operators around the globe.

 

“Yggdrasil is hands down the most creative and best company name in the industry, renowned for its innovation and creativity; it is the perfect fit for the company.”

David Stoveld, Senior Game Product Owner at Yggdrasil Gaming.

 

Having built its glowing reputation with uniquely designed online slots, Yggdrasil Gaming wasted no time into establishing itself into an online gaming force.

From the first moment it stepped onto the iGaming scene in 2013, Yggdrasil never looked back. What followed was a quick succession of innovative game mechanics, eye-catching products and, among other things, one of a kind promotion tools such as iSense 2.0 platform, or recently ‘boosted’ BOOST tools.

Yggdrasil Brag Boost iSense

In a bid to have a look behind the curtains with one of the most innovative casino software providers out there, and to learn more about the Yggdrasil Gaming philosophy, the BestCasinos.com team sat down with David Stoveld, a Senior Game Product Owner at Yggdrasil, to talk about games, awards, plans and future goals in an exclusive interview.

  • From the establishment until the present day, what would you highlight as the company’s biggest successes?

“Yggdrasil has had an incredible journey, from a single pioneer with a team size of 2 or 3 selling a new company at ICE to the massive world-class and arguably the best quality supplier in the industry”, David Stoveld begins his interview, commenting on the latest in line of high-quality slot games adorning the Yggdrasil Gaming portfolio.

“The initial success of games like Jokerizer and Winterberries was crucial. The game quality was already high for such an early release. Holmes and Viking Go Wild were also key milestones for Yggdrasil with back to back successes in 2015, which helped Yggdrasil surge above the competition with the out-of-the-box mechanics and game quality. After the release of Viking Go Bezerk along with Yggdrasil Gaming in-game promotional tools, Boost, Brag, Network Campaigns, and missions, the success just continued to snowball”, he continues.

  • Are you planning to build on the reputation of the industry innovators by releasing more one-of-a-kind games/tools and how challenging is to continually push the envelope in a highly demanding and competitive industry such as online gaming?

“We undoubtedly plan on more industry firsts, and while pushing the envelope is anything but easy, the alternative is just not part of our culture. We thrive on the challenge here at Yggdrasil”, Stoveld continues.

“Vault of Fortune slot game was beautiful production just released with a unique combination of super expanding wilds that expand higher than the reels for more power to win during cascades with increasing multipliers, check it out. Our YG Masters partners 4ThePlayer is introducing Dual SpinTM on dueling reels sets – the first of its kind bet mechanic having the player choose which side he thinks will win every spin for an extra multiplier for choosing the correct side to win. We are also revamping our UI. We plan to become even more mobile-focused from the comfort of play, to screen optimization and new player control intuition, and we will offer turbo mode in available jurisdictions which is beginning to roll out on our new releases. I believe our turbo mode will have an edge on the competition with tailored timing for optimal gameplay.”

  • Yggdrasil Gaming are widely known as slots online specialists. However, so far we’ve seen Yggdrasil perform immaculately through both slot games and other RNG products such as Sonya Blackjack. Can we expect more diversity in the portfolio when it comes to new game types?

“We are looking to expand our product line to more customers but are currently focusing on top slot innovations. But we are quite agile, and if we see a top idea for one of our verticals, you bet we will jump on it. Of our current offering, Golden Chip Roulette is a favourite. The multiplier twist on every straight bet adds a fun level of volatility that’s easy to grasp.

  • In terms of blackjack, Yggdrasil also launched John Carew Blackjack in 2019. Teaming up with big names from different industries seems to be a great way to expand the footprint outside the iGaming arena. We also remember Nitro Circus slot game as Yggdrasil’s first-ever branded slot game. Branded products proved to be an excellent way for brand recognition, and promotion so are any new characters, perhaps going to host any future RNG-powered games? Can we expect more ‘branded’ content in the future from Yggdrasil?

“Branded games are a fantastic way to reach out to a broader audience, but it also gives an extra incentive for players who are familiar with and enjoy the brand.”

“To stand out from the crowd, we need to catch our players’ attention. Naturally, if a branded game does come out in the future, it should be no surprise. In addition to brands, we have created a lot of our IP, which resonates with our fans, including our Vikings go Wild Series, hot frameworks like GigaBlox, and sequels to our hits.”

  • What’s the company’s view on receiving industry awards at events such as International Gaming Awards (IGAs)? How much do four consecutive Innovator of the Year awards mean to Yggdrasil? Does it raise the bar? Does it bring pressure?

 

“The Innovator of the Year awards means a lot to all of us here at Yggdrasil. We are driven by the passion for creating the next best gaming experience. The pressure is always on, which is excellent.”

 

  • In line with constant innovation, Yggdrasil Gaming also transitioned its platform onto the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to increase efficiency, speed up the growth, and enhance scalability. Are there already differences in performance? Is the company happy with the change?

“Yes, our team is thrilled with the results and the flexibility that has helped us with new initiatives like GATI while lowering overhead and easing integration. We are very fortunate to have proactive tech visionaries to help us stay ahead of the game.”

  • Your new Game Adoption Tools & Interface (GATI) solution seems to have powered up the successful YG Masters Program, another project that keeps you ahead of the competition. Yggdrasil appears to have a great understanding of how hard it can be for small independent studios to gain their footing in this highly competitive industry. Was that the main idea behind the YG Masters Program?

“Absolutely”

“We work hard to partner with only the best, and we want our partners to be able to focus on making great games with great mechanics. Our GATI technology gets rid of a lot of headaches that 3rd parties need to go through, allowing flexibility in coding and expanding into our fast-growing global distribution. It is a great incentive to get the very best to enter our kingdom.”

  • Recently, Yggdrasil also turned its primary focus on gamification as its crucial tool for upcoming releases with magnificent Splitz and GigaBlox mechanics. What kind of inspiration is behind these two ground-breaking concepts?

“While some of our mechanical frameworks have gamification elements such as unlocking free games in Temple Stacks Splitz, our primary focus on gamification has been with our Boost and Brag tools. We have found ways to take online gaming and put another layer of gameplay to engage our fans. One good example is Missions, where players compete for extra prizes. We also find ways to get our fans together in our social Slot Shot tournaments and streamer competitions”, Stoveld continues.

 

“Inspiration comes to the excitement of thinking “what if” every day thousand times alone, with colleagues, and in your sleep, thinking both of your favourite mechanics and how to add enough of each ingredient to create the next ultimate recipe for success.”

 

Splitz Gigablox Slots Mechanics Yggdrasil

  • Can we expect it to evolve and take up another form? Are Splitz and GigaBlox the last we’ll see of Yggdrasil’s innovation in 2020, or do you have something more up your sleeve?

“We are following through with our next Splitz release later this year, and it is going to be the best yet. Our first Gigablox release, Lucky Neko Gigablox slot game is an eye-catcher that has gotten a lot of attention from our players and will pave the way for our next upcoming Gigablox release in October, which will take the mechanic to the next level. Also, don’t forget about MultiMax which debuted with a fan favourite MultiFly.

We do have another innovative game mechanic on the way that has hit potential written all over it this year, a simple concept but its works and is undeniably fun to keep playing. Our last five months of the year are packed with some heavyweight releases, and the start 2021 will offer exciting innovation that should pique your interest.”

  • Finally, can you tell us what’s in store for Yggdrasil fans concerning technical and visionary innovation they are now slowly getting used to seeing from your company?

“2021 can’t come soon enough. We are continuing to accelerate with innovation and designs, tailoring to different audiences, and expanding our talent base. We understand how fast the industry is evolving and plan to stay ahead of the pack.

 

“Expect to be blown away!”, David Stoveld concluded.

 

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