Let’s delve into the innovative world of Popiplay, a trailblazing slots provider that’s been making waves in the iGaming industry. In this exclusive interview you get a rare glimpse into the minds of the company’s key figures: Nikola Teofilovic, the Chairman of the Board, and Denis Ristic, the CEO. Together, these leaders have propelled Popiplay to new heights, and in this interview, they share insights into their journey, the challenges they’ve overcome, and their vision for the future of gaming. The blend of business acumen, creative process, and an unwavering commitment to innovation needed in the process of creating games is truly fascinating. Whether you’re a gaming enthusiast, an aspiring entrepreneur, or simply curious about the inner workings of a successful tech company, this interview promises to enlighten and inspire.
- What’s the Popiplay’s story, and how did you get started?
Nikola Teofilovic: I like numbers but I’m also a creative person, and I met some other likely-minded people and we decided to build a game provider together. Why? Because, as an investor you’re always looking for a value play with potentially high multiples, but, it’s also great to work with people that are creative and smart and that can challenge you everyday.
- Can you give an overview of your experience in the iGaming industry and your previous leadership roles?
Denis Ristic: I joined Popiplay after a very successful period at AskGamblers which was initially owned by Catena Media, and later by GiG Media, where I started by leading product team, and then I lead both product and tech teams, and previous 4 years I spent by leading the whole team and the whole division consisting of multiple brands and employing people worldwide.
- What inspired you to start a career in the casino game industry?
Nikola Teofilovic: I made my first iGaming investment a long time ago, and what I like about the industry is that it is both fun, creative, and I like to gamble, i mean responsibly, myself. I like to play Texas Hold ‘Em, and also Blackjack, and it’s a good industry where if you work hard you can create profitable businesses. So, this was one of the main drivers why I chose to focus on the iGaming tech entertainment.
- What role do player feedback and community suggestions play in developing your slot games?
Denis Ristic: We try to implement this in our processes as much as possible. Our marketing department is out there in the market on an everyday basis, they listen to players, they listen to streamers, read comments, and we try to take all of that into consideration when we develop our next games.
- How do you plan to differentiate yourself from competitors and stay ahead of the market?
Nikola Teofilovic: We always plan on being one step ahead, we follow the market leaders, and, of course, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Some things that we see are amazing and that they’re doing, we try to apply ourselves, but we try to be creative and one step ahead.
- How would you describe Popiplay’s success so far?
Nikola Restic: We are happy with the growth, we went live during Sigma last year, and we’re pushing hard to exceed numbers for each month and have double digit growth, so I would say that my partners and I are happy with the success so far.
- How would you optimize slot game distribution through partnerships with online casinos and gaming platforms?
Denis Ristic: I actually believe this should be my strong side coming from the affiliate space. I’ve joined Popi and moved to Popi from a leading world’s biggest affiliate site, AskGamblers, which has been owned by power houses such as Catena Media and GiG, so I would say that market connection and market penetration are something that we have high expectations on.
- What’s your biggest challenge while building and growing your slot game development studio?
Nikola Teofilovic: Both my partners and myself don’t have the best patience, and we always want to move fast forward, even though we know that it’s usually better to do things thoroughly and do them right. So that can be a challenge – to balance between the speed and doing it properly.
- How do you motivate your team?
Nikola Teofilovic: I always try to be a good role model for people, because I think that by the end of the day people do what you do, and not what you tell them to do.
- Can you share a behind-the-scenes secret about the creation of one of your most popular games?
Denis Ristic: Unfortunately, I can not. Not that I don’t want to, but the truth is that I have only recently joined the company so I’m still figuring out the whole process. Luckily, the team is amazing, and this secret is very safe in their hands.
- What game release makes you very proud?
Nikola Teofilovic: Nikola Tesla (Master of Lightning) game release made me super proud, because Nikola Tesla was one of the greatest minds ever, and he’s Serbian, so it’s great.
- Is there any way to predict if a slot is going to be a hit or not?
Denis Ristic: Obviously, as in any production company, there are products that are considered and intended to be flagships, while some are not, and this exists here as well. For some slots we have higher hopes, and some slots are pretty much regular, but we’re not always right. Sometimes what we expect to be big doesn’t turn out to be, and something else maybe does.
- What’s your recipe to create a successful slot?
Denis Ristic: For me, it’s a combination of three things. One is definitely an interesting team, second one is great visuals or great design, whatever we call it, and then there is good mechanics. I believe that if you have a good match between the three, then there is a good chance that the game will be a success.
- What is your vision for the future of slot gaming, and how would you lead your company towards that vision?
Denis Ristic: My vision for us is to become a leading slot provider in the world, and we will achieve this by getting the best people in the market, and by facilitating for them to do their best work. Pretty much as simple as that. But first, we need you to come to the site, check out the slots, play them, and you will see – it’s love at first spin!