Videoslots CEO Alexander Stevendahl has perhaps undertaken the most intriguing acquisition of 2017, purchasing bankrupt online poker operator PKR’s technology assets.
Having developed Videoslots into one of the industry’s top innovators, can Stevendahl and his executive team bring life to online poker reviving PKR’s unique 3D poker asset? SBC finds out initial plans…
SBC: Hi Alexander, thanks for the interview. Videoslots has undertaken its first corporate acquisition acquiring PKR technology assets. Why exactly have you acquired an online poker technology, when other choices may be available?
Alexander Stevendahl: The opportunity came to our attention and we saw it as a strong fit for the Videoslots brand and where it’s heading. We already host poker-inspired technology in the form of our Battle of Slots lobbies, and this asset allows us to push our social approach to online gaming even further.
We’ve been discussing in great depth what the next major step is in our development, and this opportunity made perfect sense. We will remain an online casino, but this gives us an extra dimension that we believe our players will enjoy, and we are looking forward to putting our unique Videoslots’ stamp on the world of 3D poker.
SBC: Is your acquisition solely focused on PKR’s technology, or do you plan to maintain the PKR brand? Is there any player loyalty left in the defunct poker room?
AS: We have simply purchased the PKR technology in order to launch our own 3D product. The PKR brand is not owned by us and we have no access to its customer databases. However, we really enjoyed what PKR offered the poker community during its time in operation, and we know many others did too; they will be warmly welcomed to our new platform when its launched.
SBC: You have undertaken the unique initiative by buying a bankrupt technology asset. Prior to your purchase what key factors did you research with regards to PKR in terms of its previous success and failures?
Answer: It was important to look at the background of PKR, its reasons for folding, and also to see of its current commitments with administrators and the like. Fortunately, the purchase of the asset is irrelevant to the brand as a whole and so this shouldn’t have any impact on our poker service when it goes live.
SBC: You are an avid online poker player, where do you feel that the current poker market is being underserved?
AS: It’s not that the poker community is being underserved, but instead that we have a vision for a poker product that we’d like to pursue and believe players will enjoy. Our unique Videoslots proposition has disrupted the slots industry over recent years with its social elements and gamification, originally inspired by online poker. We now hope to turn the tide and bring what we’ve learnt from our casino customers to the poker world.
As a poker fan, I hope I can bring both a player’s point of view to the launch as they will be the focus. Provided players enjoy the experience, we know our results will come on the back of it, and we look forward to getting stuck in.
SBC: Do you worry that this may become simply a ‘passion project’ for your firm?
AS: There are risks associated with all acquisitions. However, the technology is proven and scalable, which takes much of this risk out of the equation. We now have to ensure we shape the final 3D product as best we can. In a sense, the passion is what drives us and our ‘by the players, for the players’ mentality, has worked in a casino and we believe will be successful in poker as well.
SBC: At this initial stage, what do you believe to be the short-term goals for your poker launch?
AS: We’ve thoroughly investigated the technology purchased. It’s been analysed to the bottom line of coding and we’re very happy with what we’ve got. Besides the fact it’s been proven live for many years.
Now our focus must switch to how we turn this platform into a live product that will be enjoyed by current poker players as well as the new kind of player we wish to attract. We’ll be putting together a detailed roadmap, bringing in more poker expertise and ensuring we have the strategic and creative capacity to make our poker product the best it can be.
It’s definitely going to be a very busy but very exciting month for the Videoslots team.
Alexander Stevendahl – CEO – Videoslots