Evoplay rebrands: interview
Ivan Kravchuk, Evoplay CEO explains the thinking behind the company's recent rebranding
GIO: Why has Evoplay rebranded?
IK: The last three years were phenomenal for Evoplay Entertainment – huge growth (both in terms of revenue and our staff, where we now have over 100 team members), some truly amazing games, and some very special partnerships.
Last year, we started to formulate solid ideas about our direction and how we wanted to shape it. Brands are, in short, perceptions. We talked to our senior stakeholders, our staff, our partners and with players, and reviewed their perception of Evoplay Entertainment. We aligned that with our plans, and our brand started to take shape.
Our look, our voice, and our direction are now uniting as we meet (and plan to help create) audience needs. We are positioning ourselves to be the very best iGaming developer in the business. This means that we want users, stakeholders, partners and media channels to have a seamless brand experience with us.
We knew immediately that Evoplay today is more than just a company. It’s a brand that stands for great gaming, progressive ideas, industry-leading tech, and market firsts. We’re a prime mover. We do things now that no one else is doing – but those will become the things that everyone else is doing in the future.
GIO: What is the objective for the new branding?
IK: The objective is to reflect our insights and plans in a way that sets the tone and future-proofs our messaging – as much as that is ever possible. Or, in other words, to represent how Evoplay will be perceived in and outside of the gaming industry.
Now it’s time to really show the world of entertainment our technological capabilities, our art, and that we’re mature enough to set our name in stone.
We’re bringing our business to a completely new level, shaking up iGaming and making a strong statement to the industry. One of the objectives of our rebrand is to start showing that. We think of our brand as, essentially, a platform for reaching and tapping into the wider world of entertainment.
GIO: Was this all done in-house or did you use an outside agency? If you used an agency, how did you select them and what was their brief?
IK: All of our rebranding work was done in-house, and this was possible because we’re actually structured like a creative agency. We have the capacity for market research and analytics; and have the brand, communications, graphic design and marketing expertise that many agencies would themselves be proud of.
Indeed, some of our staff have agency backgrounds. Our marketing and communications team, for example, are an incredible mix of talents. Some have worked in gaming before, and some come from outside our industry and have worked with some of the biggest brands on the planet – from Red Bull to Audi, from Nike to HBO.
Collectively, our team is brimming with ideas and the ability to execute on them. What you see from our rebranding is really just the start – the beginning of our journey as we move onwards and upwards. And all of that is based around the games, and more, that we’re creating.
GIO: This coincides with your updated website – how has that changed?
IK: Cosmetically, we cleaned up the design and applied various new branding elements including a logo that playfully represents the letter ‘E’ but also a wing (a motif that will become clearer in the coming months, because it is tied to our new mascot).
Visually on the site, we wanted to represent our games in a clearer way, and showcase our various channels – including social media – more comprehensively.
In overall approach, we streamlined our messaging and put an emphasis on how partnering with Evoplay is a win-win for operators. Our games have incredible acquisition and retention numbers, and deliver what online casino operators want and need – engaged players who will keep returning to games they love playing. Our website now better reflects that.
It will also develop further this year – we have some great ideas for adding innovative features. Plus, some of the site’s under-the-hood components will be made more visible. These will offer incredible benefits to our partners when they log in. Once those changes are activated, I’ll be happy to tell you more.
GIO: Take us through the new brand values and what they really mean for the company’s workforce going forward?
IK: We have several sets of values that help to drive our workforce. Some are corporate brand values that speak about how we work and why we work that way, and set the agenda for who we hire into our teams.
Within the iGaming world, we want to be the employer of choice. The company you want to work for if you love gaming and gambling. But beyond that, we see our brand as something much bigger. That means it doesn’t matter what industry you’ve worked in – even if it’s not iGaming, you’ll know the name Evoplay and will want to work with us.
Then we have the values that focus on our Brand Mission, our Brand Vision, and our Brand Promise – which of course is a promise to both our partners and our games’ players. All of these values are the drivers behind our 10-year business plan.
Publicly, we don’t talk in detail about the values, slogans, methodology, etc., behind our work. It’s no special secret, we just prefer to show the results – the games and partner support that come from our approach.
But in very simple terms, our brand values are there to motivate us and to make us question what we offer the industry, how and what we deliver to our various audiences, how we influence, how we work together, how we inspire, and how we always keep moving forward. Everything starts with brand!
GIO: Will this change your plans for upcoming game development?
IK: Our game development is central to our brand and business plans. In just three years we went from a handful of people to over 100 talents – and game development has always been at the heart of that growth.
That’s why we have dedicated teams for each genre/type of game. From video slots to table to instants. Each team has a roadmap, but collectively they share information and insights about game development and user trends.
Game creation is therefore about giving operators and players the games we know that they want and need, but also about creating the new types of games that we know they are going to want and need.
GIO: Can you tell us about your 10-year plan for the business?
IK: We can’t openly talk about the collaborations yet to be signed, or the new tech we’ll introduce. But I can say it involves new types of games, how we’ll use new technology, how that crosses over with gaming in a broader sense, and how we’ll attract new audiences to iGaming for the benefit of our partners.
At Evoplay we talk a lot about iGaming and mainstream entertainment. There are certainly a few video slots that most adults are already familiar with. But mainstream, for us, has another meaning. Our plans involve how iGaming can align with current and future mainstream entertainment trends.
That’s why we were the first company to release a ‘hack and slash’ RPG (role playing game) slot. It’s also why we released the first mass market 3D/VR slot, and why we are so dedicated to producing games that play blindingly-fast (and seamlessly) on mobile devices – whatever the device. Always, we aim to lead, embracing new technologies and entertainment trends.
And this year we have something even bigger coming, so stay tuned. It’s gonna be out of this world!
Earlier, I spoke about our diverse staff and the talent they bring from other industries – and this fits within our 10-year plan. We look to other industries for inspiration in what we create, how we create it, how it can inspire others, how it can be branded, and how it can transform not just our company, but the industry itself.
What we offer today is truly an integrated approach that combines game development with branding, marketing and communications, and our sales and key account support.
I think that our Chief Commercial Officer, Vladimir (Malakchi), recently said it best:
“The next decade of the Evoplay journey will be a well thought out plan of action – rather like a game of chess. Planned, but adaptive. If our pawn’s opening move was made three years ago when we founded the company, 2021 is when we start truly dominating the board.”