Asylum Labs are a fast growing social casino gaming development firm which state that their goal is to reinvent classic casino games for the 21st century. The team is comprised of industry veterans Larry Holland (CCO), Albert Mack (CTO), Chris Turner (Art Director) and Jason Kaehler (CEO) amongst other talented individuals from the casino and video gaming industries
CEO Jason Kaehler has worked for the likes of Disney, Sony and EA in his time, and both started and ran Osiris Studios, which gained significant success in the late 1990s.
Following a 2014 which saw Jason’s newest project, Asylum Labs, achieve their own notable success Team SBC caught up with him to discuss their achievements to date and the start-ups plans for the future.
SBC: Hi Jason, thanks for talking to us and congratulations on a successful 2014. After making it to the final 5 at the EiG Startup Launchpad in Berlin, what are your expectations and intentions for 2015?
Jason: So far 2015 has been, and will continue to be, a very exciting time for us. After a successful launch in Q4 2014 on Android, iOS and Facebook, in Q1 of this year, we launched Wild Party Bingo on both Yahoo Games and Playphone platforms.
Now that we are on our top-5 target platforms, our goal for the next 9 months is to improve our revenue by focusing on a series of exciting features for Wild Party Bingo.
SBC: Wild Party Bingo (WPB) is perhaps your most successful release to date. To what do you attribute its success, and do you have any forthcoming games which you expect to achieve similar results?
Jason: WPB is unique in the Bingo space for being the most social Bingo game to-date. Historically off-line (real world) Bingo is considered ‘the most social’ of casino games, and so it is a great mechanic to build upon.
All of our games will have a strong emphasis on what we call Social 2.0. We use this term to describe a whole host of features that focus on player-to-player interactions, community and emotionally rich moments. Our vision is that this simple idea is what consumers really want and represents the future of the ‘social casino’ category. We have a number of prototypes for other casino games that utilize the same design philosophy.
SBC: What do you think is the key to creating a popular multiplayer social game across devices?
Jason: There’s a lot to it, but it starts with a great game. The core loop has to be perfect. From there we consider what is the state of the best-in-category, and finally we determine what innovations or new features we want to add. For us innovation comes as both gameplay variety/mechanics and on the social side.
From a technical perspective, a cross-device effort that relies heavily on multiplayer must be inter-operable. That means users can access the same game environment and play with each other regardless of their client of choice. When we started, we knew we would have to architect our own server-side platform (we call it ArcLight) to achieve the performance, security and scalability we would need. Since LTV in social is relatively low compared to RMG, we need to plan for massive numbers of users. Our tech allows us to quickly scale with the growth of the game.
SBC: Rewards are naturally a big incentive for gamers, and one issue with social games is the lack of tangible rewards. Can you tell us about Session M?
Jason: Sure, we love SessionM. For those not familiar, the company offers real-world coupons, gift cards and discounts to popular brands like WalMart, Amazon and Best Buy.
We think social casino games are a perfect fit for a kind of rewards program and we are very happy with our partnership so far. We see this relationship as having three benefits; first for our players, imagine winning a $100 Amazon Card, just for playing a game! Second, as our game grows, so do the number of SessionM users so this is a secondary monetization stream for us.
Finally, since they tend to have very loyal and engaged users we have seen a nice uptick in UA from their community.
Jason Kaehler CEO & Co-Founder Asylun Labs