“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
The global betting market is worth $3 trillion, with up to 90% of that generated by illegal gambling, much of it in Asia. A common driving factor for illegal betting is simply the time zone: international sporting events occur at inconvenient hours, so are recorded and then played at the most opportune time for punters.
While illegal gambling is a far more complex issue, this titbit of information shines a light on a strength of virtual gaming: by creating innovative solutions which combine realistic virtuals or real, pre-recorded videos with easy scheduling and manageability, and by working with authorities to deliver them fully licensed, we can begin to lead the industry to legal and ethical profits, and as an added benefit we avoid doping, match-fixing, and all the other scandals which sadly exist across all sports.
Innovation is vital to industry growth. Every provider has more or less the same offerings: Hundreds of thousands of variations of slots, poker games of all types, everyone has a virtual soccer offering, on and on, ad nauseam. When everyone thinks alike, no-one is thinking.
The peculiar thing about innovation is that, once it is recognised as innovation, it has already become imitation. If you want to drive industry growth and lead the industry, you must be dynamic and develop solutions for existing problems, and create winning products before customers even demand them. You must utilise industry expertise and experience, as well as an awareness of the greater consumer world. To be successful, you must try what others do not.
While most companies churn out entirely virtual products which are all but indistinguishable from each other, Golden Race have recently released our revolutionary Real Fighting product, blending HD video with virtual worlds. Authenticity and realism abound – the fighters featured are real MMA champions, filmed in real combat. The odds are created by real bookmakers, and involved voiceovers come from professional commentators.
What makes it so different (apart from the fact that there is no other fighting game for the betting market) is that the fights take place in completely digital worlds, enabling our customers to create their own locations, arenas, complete with interactive and animated branding to fuse the real footage with market-relevant features, company branding, promotions – whatever is needed.
Furthermore, existing locations can all be completely branded in depth and the game is immersive and exciting for players, yet can be controlled, managed, and tweaked to best maximise profits based on operator preferences and local regulations.
At Golden Race we also do things differently in the over-crowded realm of virtual football, with great success. Instead of following the industry trend of concentrating on only a pretty representation of the beautiful game like other companies, we instead worked on how to deliver live-rendered games on various devices, including our incredibly low-cost Android based solution.
No one else can do that. While competitors pre-render every match for every team in every league, using as much as 5TB of storage space for a single league, and requiring complete re-rendering and updating for every promotion or relegation or even kit change, Golden Race updates whole teams and entirely new leagues in minutes for a few megabytes, with more than 15 custom leagues all making use of the same 500MB core files. Our virtual football league is now the most played in the whole world, because ours is different and accessible.
Innovation is not a random act; it is a habit created by passionate motivation. Regardless of what has already been done, there can be a better way to do it. The companies that find the better way become the leaders, leaving others to play catch up. Innovation distinguishes you as a leader, and it’s the only way to win.
Martin Wachter is CEO and Founder of Golden Race. For over 15 years, Martin has spread innovative, exciting games that attract and retain players worldwide. He provides tailored solutions to over 30,000 outlets and hundreds of on-line partners. Golden Race is the global leader for pre-recorded virtual sports, who continue to create a real sportsbook of high quality virtual events.