Sami Kurvinen is Head of Affiliates at Wishmaker.com. He has been working in the iGaming industry since 2009. Previous experience includes working at Betfair, iGame, Casumo and Hero Gaming. Sami is passionate about the iGaming industry and working with talented people.
Can you tell us about Wishmaker Casino?
Our founders, who have many years of experience in the gaming industry, wanted to create a unique casino that is different to all the other propositions available in the market today. This is, of course, easier said than done but I believe that we are on the right track to achieve this.
Wishmaker.com was launched in December 2018 after being worked on for about 1.5 years to set everything up properly. We have all the best performing games from the industry’s leading game providers, and our own in-built proprietary gamification added to the site.
The Swedish version is a BankID casino where players don’t need to create a traditional account but instead register with their BankID. Withdrawals are handled in a smooth way, but the gamification version is not available at the moment because of compliance reasons. We are looking at implementing a gamification version to the Swedish site in the near future so that they also can experience the full capabilities of Wishmaker.
How is the casino different than any other on the market?
What´s different about Wishmaker.com is that we spent about a year developing our own built in gamification to the site. We also went for a modern design, clean look and feel. On top of this, we have the best games from the industry’s leading game providers.
However, what makes us very different from other casinos is our ‘Wish Factory’ that will be launched soon. We’re very excited about this, and hopefully, the players will like it as much as we do.
There are two major buzz words in the industry – Artificial Intelligence and Gamification. You have a strong focus on Gamification. Can you explain to our readers what Gamification is?
At Wishmaker we see gamification as an added experience on top of our casino. It’s about creating a fun and rewarding environment where you can play your favourite casino games, but at the same time, you have the possibility to level up, receiving a virtual currency that you can use to obtain experiences you can´t find anywhere else.
Once you progress through the Wishmaker gamification levels, you are also invited to play our unique side games where you have the possibility to win rewards like free spins, lucky gems, and pure cash.
How important is Gamification to the casino industry? Why is it a hot topic?
It’s important to continually innovate and to create new products and features that players enjoy. There are so many online casinos out there today, and you need to create something unique to be able to stand out from the crowd.
Players want to play their favourite casino games. And if we can create a product where players have even more fun and are entertained, then it is also more rewarding for us as an operator as we know that we have created a good product instead of creating just another casino.
It is a hot topic as there are still only a few casinos that have manged to create a really good gamification product until now. There is still a lot of potential and a lot that can be done, and we want to be the casino that takes gamification to the next level.
How important is Gamification to you?
It is very important to us as we have built our whole product around a gamified experience. It is not only a great looking and user-friendly casino where you find all the best and most popular games, but we also like to give our players an experience that can´t be found at any other casino.
What are the challenges to implementing Gamification in the casino industry?
There is a big challenge in creating a gamified product that is entertaining and rewarding for players but, at the same time, you need to find the balance. It needs to be fair and fun, and that is not an easy thing to implement.
In your opinion, is Gamification a game changer for this particular industry?
I believe it is. We can see that online casinos that first implemented a good version of a gamification product have done well and we now want to take it to the next level.
Does Gamification help increase player retention?
It depends how good the gamification product is, but if you have a good product and players enjoy playing at your casino, it is more likely they will stay for longer instead of going to a rival site.
What are some best practices on how to make Gamification work?
It needs to be fun, rewarding, interesting, fair, and above all, it needs to make sense. Ideally, it also includes some surprise elements which keep layers coming back.
What does the future hold for Gamification from the standpoint of a casino?
Depending how various legislation and laws evolve, I believe we have only seen the start of it so far. As technology progresses, so do the possibilities of what we can create. There is still so much that can be done, and I’m excited about the future of gamification and what we will come up with next.
Let’s talk about Wishmaker! You have Wish Factory, Lucky Gems, what’s the idea behind the Wishmaker Wishing Well?
The Wish Factory is launching very soon, and we believe this is something that players will welcome and really enjoy. There is some big news and even bigger surprises to be announced soon!
Lucky Gems are items that you can collect while advancing through our gamification levels. Once you collect three of the same Lucky Gem, you will receive a reward. The Wishing Well is our unique side game where players can win additional rewards such as Lucky gems, free spins, and cash prizes.
Can you explain the Gamification level-ups idea? How does it work?
The more casino games you play with us, the more you fill up your progress bar. Once the progress bar is complete, you level up. Each time you level up, you are rewarded with a Lucky Gem. Each time you reach your 10th level, you are given a Wishing Well token where you are guaranteed to win a prize every time.
Which games are the most popular at your casino?
A lot of our players prefer high volatile games such as Book of Dead from Play n Go, Extra Chilli and Bonanza from Big Time Gaming, Twin Spin, and Vikings from NetEnt are popular. Then we also have Immortal Romance from Microgaming as well as Starburst from NetEnt that are in the top 10 list of our most popular games.
One thing that stands out about your casino is the Guides you offer with tips and tricks and how to get started. Can you tell us more about that?
We want to be transparent as a casino and help our players with guides and give them all the correct information they need. We’ve received some great feedback from our players about this, and this is something we will continue to develop and look to improve even further.
What’s in the pipeline for Wishmaker casino in 2019?
The Wish Factory is next on our agenda, and it will be a big one! We will continue to develop our gamification and improve it even further. Loads of new games will be added each month from the best game providers, and we are also constantly looking to add new good game providers to our portfolio.
Our mobile product is also gaining a lot of attention, and a bigger update will happen soon which will improve the mobile experience even further. We are also constantly looking at our data and making adjustments to improve the user friendliness of the site as much as we can.
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