Innovation vs classics: Interview with Evoplay CEO

31 August 2023

Players in online casino games are drawn to a delicate balance between innovative mechanics and classic gameplay for distinct yet interwoven reasons. Innovative mechanics inject a fresh burst of excitement into the gaming experience, enticing players with novel challenges and unexpected twists. These mechanics often introduce unique features, offering a departure from the predictable and fostering a sense of exploration. 

On the flip side, classic mechanics hold an enduring appeal that resonates with players on a nostalgic level. These timeless elements evoke a sense of familiarity and comfort, reminiscent of the traditional casino atmosphere many have come to know and enjoy. 

In our most recent interview with Ivan Kravchuk, the CEO of Evoplay, we delved deeply into the core aspects of both traditional and innovative game mechanics, exploring the fundamental elements that make them players’ choices.


Classic casino game mechanics often evoke a sense of nostalgia. Can you explain how this sentiment contributes to player engagement? 

Ivan: The main advantage of classic game mechanics is that they feel familiar to players. They understand how everything works, which makes these games feel more relatable. And, of course, we can’t overlook the power of nostalgia. There’s a significant audience that appreciates gameplay they’ve already experienced and isn’t necessarily looking to explore something new.

We can draw a comparison here with McDonald’s. When we catch sight of its iconic golden arches, it triggers memories of the familiar taste of its classic food, transporting us back to simpler times. The same principle applies to the allure of traditional online slots that evoke the gambling experience of players in brick-and-mortar casinos. These elements create a deep emotional connection.

Fundamentally, nostalgia is rooted in the brain’s intricate memory and emotion system. The brain excels at linking sensory cues with emotions and experiences, and these connections are particularly potent when formed during significant life moments. When someone comes across McDonald’s recognisable logo or the distinctive sounds or visuals of classic online slots, the brain retrieves memories associated with those stimuli. These memories are often tinted with positive emotions and feelings, resulting in a wave of nostalgia.

Many times, players have their initial casino gaming encounters at brick-and-mortar casinos. This experience often shapes their decision to continue with similar activities. In response to the demand from this group of players, we create video slots that closely resemble what they’ve had in land-based venues.

We achieve this by not only designing the reel sets accurately but also by creating an overall atmosphere that mirrors offline slot machines. This might incorporate features like neon lights and other effects commonly associated with traditional slots.


Classic mechanics have stood the test of time. How do you infuse these mechanics with a sense of freshness that prevents them from becoming stale for both new and returning players? 

Ivan: Evoplay is known for its bold and pioneering approach, unafraid to delve into experiments. This philosophy extends not only to our incredibly innovative range of products but also to our classic online slots. 

For instance, take our Fruit Super Nova series – these are classic slots that have been given a modern twist. The games boast stunning visuals, impressive sounding, and are perfectly optimised for mobile phones. We designed these games with a strong focus on user interface and experience, featuring a vertically aligned reel set that captures the authentic atmosphere of traditional slot machines. When these games were first released, they brought a fresh perspective to the iGaming market, and this approach significantly contributed to their popularity.


From your perspective, why do players gravitate toward games with innovative mechanics? What psychological factors might drive this attraction? 

Ivan: When we talk about gaming products that feature innovative mechanics, it’s crucial to understand the audience they’re potentially targeting. Let’s consider the 25-35 age group, a significant demographic for us. These individuals have grown up with video games that have essentially become the backdrop for their exploration of more cutting-edge forms of entertainment. They’re drawn to games that offer more than just gambling; they crave gameplay that goes beyond the typical casino experience. They’re after diversity, action, and dynamics – all the elements synonymous with video games.

To cater to this audience, we’ve developed instant games. These games are straightforward yet immensely enjoyable, providing a platform for storytelling that transforms them into products capable of captivating the next generation of iGamers. Take, for example, a game like Goblin Run – an immersive third-person runner crash game featuring 3D graphics, a rich narrative with characters, a skins shop, and five levels with diverse settings.

Speaking of recent releases, I’d like to highlight Penalty Shoot-out: Street. This instant football game has quickly risen to become one of our top 5 games. Its consistent upward trajectory in terms of metrics indicates a solid potential to break into the top 3 soon. What truly sets this game apart from other iGaming products is its seamless fusion of a betting component with an instant format. This fusion resonates strongly with younger audiences who seek quick, engaging online entertainment experiences.


How do player preferences for innovative or classic mechanics influence your development decisions?

Ivan: At Evoplay, our game development process is fueled by the collective creativity of our dedicated team. They are the driving force behind crafting the captivating concepts and innovative ideas that shape our games. 

While our creative minds are busy developing exciting game worlds, we also place a huge emphasis on data and thorough audience research. It’s like having the best of both directions: the imaginative sparks that come from our team’s brainstorming sessions and the solid foundation of insights derived from understanding player behaviour and preferences.

The player profile is a strategic tool that guides our game development process. By having a crystal-clear understanding of the players who will potentially enjoy our games, we can fine-tune every aspect of the gameplay to resonate with their desires. 

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