An Interview with Yariv Lissauer, CEO at Leap Gaming
Could you tell us a bit about LEAP Gaming and the history of the company?
Leap Gaming was founded five years ago. From its inception, Leap’s main vision was to improve the user sensation from gaming products to a level which blurs the boundaries between virtual and live sport. Leap has always looked at sport as a source of inspiration and learning. As a part of our mission to deliver innovation that works in this space, we have introduced various new developments into this vertical like on-demand and in-play, which have become the new standards of the vertical
What is the relationship between IMG ARENA and LEAP Gaming?
IMG ARENA and Leap formed a strategic partnership in June 2018, which included IMG Arena taking an equity stake in Leap as well as tight collaboration on sales and product development initiatives. We feel that the partnership provides the platform to generate significant strategic momentum for both businesses. There is a shared strategic vision to unlock further value for both federations and sports fans around the world.
Who are your major customers?
Leap is an “online-first” company, whose mindset is very much focused on online (mobile and desktop) platforms. Therefore, our customers are predominantly online gaming operators from around the world, mainly from Europe whom we serve through direct integrations or through aggregating partners. Examples of the former are bwin/GVC, Bet365, Mansion, Parimatch, LV Bet, Meridianbet, and examples of the latter include 1x2Network, SG DIGITAL, isoftbet, MG, Groove.
How many products and sports do LEAP Gaming offer?
Leap presently offers 13 virtual sports products, with the 14th (golf) looking set to go live within the next month.
On top of Virtual Sports, Leap also offers a suite of 3D Table Games and a continuously growing suite of 3D slots for online deployment.
What are the major selling points of your instant games?
One of our core company values is introducing innovation that transforms the user experience. Our Instant (on-demand) is a great example of this vision in action.
We wanted to challenge one of the perceived “weaknesses” of virtual sports, having to wait for events. By empowering users to create their own experience in their own time we have been able to meet fans need for instant gratification. The ability to play instantly has been a huge success with sales of our instant product increasing by 240% YOY
We also developed a simplified UI, to appeal to both casual and savvy sports fans, and also allowed operators to integrate the content into their casino estates.
The combination of instant gratification and simplified UX, makes our Instant suite the perfect offering for mobile use. In the last year we have seen that mobile has overtaken desktop to account for 62% of transactions.
What methods do you use to create such a lifelike sporting experience via your virtual games?
We use top of the line motion capture technology to create accurate motions of professional sportsmen, and implement this onto state of the art graphics and lifelike models - to bring hyper-realistic and believable imagery. Using the latest physically based rendering techniques (PBR), and subsurface scattering (SSS) we ensure our characters look like they were actually shot with film cameras, as we match them with real footage from actual environments. This, along with special compositing, makes our scenarios feel extremely realistic. Using a professional commentator for our clips is the final lick of paint that we add to the process in order to complete the excitement level generated from our events.
What are the most popular virtual sports you offer?
Best performers vary based on the audience demographic and territories, but overall our most popular product is Instant Football which allows user to select their desired match up and generate football matches on the go. Instant Football had been our latest release and was gaining more and more popularity until it crossed the bar and took the lead of our portfolio in January this year.
What innovations are in the pipeline for IMG ARENA and LEAP Gaming?
The partnership delivers two significant developments for operators.
One is on a service level - it allows operators to have a one-stop shop for their real and Virtual Sports content and products. This way, our sales and customer success managers have a more rounded understanding of our customers’ businesses, and we have the ability to offer better-customised content packages to each customer.
Second, on is on product development, IMG Arena’s close relationships with sports federations puts it in an unmatched position to create official virtual sports products. The vision was to create official products and unlock new revenue streams and forms of fan engagement for our clients. We are working on the final stages of a set of MVP’s that will be live in market within the coming weeks.
What are the benefits of offering official virtual sports?
IMG ARENA, believe that officialised virtual sports are the next major evolution for the virtual sports market, which is one of the main reasons why this partnership works so well. Adding the official layer on top of the great virtual sports game mechanics, features and visuals will massively increase levels of the product’s credibility, authenticity, emotional attachment and fan affinity.
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