With the coronavirus pandemic impacting many companies in the iGaming industry, GamblersPick took some time to speak with Jan Urbanec, the CEO of Endorphina. We talked to Mr. Urbanec about the company's experience with the current situation, their upcoming game releases and the future of Endorphina as a whole. We bring you the interview in full, with several important and interesting topics covered.
GP: Hello and thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Things must be pretty hectic right now so we really appreciate it and I'm sure our readers will as well. Can you tell us to what extent has your company experienced the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jan: The Endorphina team was aware that something was coming. The week before ICE, we bought several boxes of respirators and the whole crew traveling to London was wearing them.
At our stand, we were giving them out as gifts to our partners. If we knew that the respirators would become such a "hot commodity", we would have kept more.
GP: Many companies are adjusting to the new situation by having their staff work from home as much as possible. Is this a viable approach for Endorphina as well? Were you able to restructure your workflow on such short notice and have you been able to keep things going as planned thus far?
Jan: Since Endorphina is a technology company, the transition to working remotely was fluent and we retained the same momentum that we had before the pandemic measures were implemented here in Prague.
We are a flexible company and we can react fast in the face of new challenges.
GP: Looking forward, how much of an impact do you feel this whole situation will have on the gambling industry in general and the iGaming sector specifically? Do you expect things to change a lot for companies like Endorphina moving forward?
Jan: The industry as a whole seems to be managing quite well. The unfortunate cancelation of most sports events had an obvious effect on betting operators, however, the companies that diversified with their product offerings did manage to mitigate losses.
Endorphina is in a privileged position. We have a digital product that is not affected by external events and we control the delivery as long as the internet is working.
GP: Moving on to brighter topics. You were present at this year's ICE and you've made quite an impression there, bringing a real-life tank! You also gave away quite a bit of cash in the process, if I'm not mistaken. How did this idea come about and, more importantly, where did you get the tank to bring to the expo?
Jan: Our Marketing team is like a hive of crazy and impressive ideas. The ideas come from their brainstorming sessions that are now legendary inside of Endorphina.
The Marketing team not only thinks of these amazing stunts, but they also execute them. So what you see at the expo is 100% done by us. Outsourcing is not an option for us unless we need a tank delivered to our stand – then we might have gotten a British company that provided the same tank to “Top Gear” to rent us one.
GP: It seems like you like to take on challenges and do things differently than most developers out there. What is the secret behind the scenes? Is there a team of people dedicated to coming up with these out-of-the-box ideas or is it more of a collective effort?
Jan: There are several individuals in the company that like to think differently and bring ideas that have never been done before. They do it all for our audience, players, and customers.
However, the execution of those ideas is a big team effort where everyone plays either a big or small role. These ideas drive the team to engage and deliver more than their standard duties.
GP: Do you have any plans for the immediate future that you'd like to share with our readers? Are there any upcoming releases that you're particularly excited about or any other surprises we can expect from Endorphina in the coming weeks and months?
Jan: For 2020, Endorphina has planned to bring a series of games that will be connected by a common theme that is trending in the pop-culture.
However, we will not be disappointing our base audience of players that want classical games. We will have at least one game that goes to the roots of gambling machines.
Stay tuned to our PR releases for these planned newcomers.
GP: Recently, you've been working towards entering some new markets as well. How's that effort gone so far and what was the response from the players and the operators? Do you believe you'll be able to achieve your goals in this area despite recent developments?
Jan: For the compliance team, this is a challenge since governments are in a semi-dormant state when it comes to the gaming regulation processes and applications. But we do not let the current circumstances stop our efforts.
There is a demand in regulated markets for our content and players are writing us on our website where the games demos are.
They're asking us when our games will be present in their favorite casinos and that we need to come to their jurisdiction the proper way.
To learn more about Endorphina visit their website at endorphina.com.