We spoke with Megaways Casino, an affiliate site dedicated to providing its users with information on Megaways – a new gaming mechanic which has revolutionised online gaming. The Project Manager at Megaways discusses how the site goes about adhering to players’ needs whilst also ensuring that the Megaways team keep up with the constantly changing online gamblng environment. Within the interview we will take a look at the pioneering Megaways mechanic, the ways in which niche websites are able to compete with the biggest names in the gambling sector and what aspiring website builders may be able to learn from affiliate sites such as Megaways Casino.
What exactly is Megaways and why has it had such an effect on the iGaming industry?
The Megaways mechanic uses a new technology known as a random reel modifier. This technology changes the number of reels on each row with every spin of the slot, making each and every spin both unique and unpredictable. Therefore, when the Megaways mechanic is implemented into a slot game, it suddenly gives players the opportunity to win many more times whilst adding a huge element of excitement to online slot gaming.
The Megaways mechanic revolutionised online slot gaming as we knew it. Prior to Megaways, 99% of slots were played on five reels and 3 rows. 5×3 slot machines offered players a certain number of ‘ways to win’, usually no more than 200. But when the iGaming software provider Big Time Gaming invented the Megaways mechanic, players were given literally hundreds of thousands additional ways to win.
There are now over 100 slot games which have, as we say, been given the Megaways treatment. All modern slots can be implemented with the technology in order to turn them into Megaways games. This is where a site like ours comes in. We can provide our readers with all of the information they need related to each of the individual Megaways slots.
Can people who visit your site play Megaways games on your platform?
Yes, users can play Megaways at Megaways Casino but not for real cash. We offer our users the opportunity to play all Megaways releases but only in demo mode. People who access Megaways Casino can essentially test out the games to see if they like them or not. If they then decide they want to play the game for real money, then we are able to provide them with a list of casinos which they can play the game at for real money. Not all casinos have Megaways games and some have more than others, so our job is to offer our users the ideal location in which they can play.
Our job is to provide players with all the information they need regarding each Megaways game and each Megaways casino. We have expert written reviews of all Megaways releases as well as all of the online casinos that host Megaways slot games. We want to make it as easy as possible for a player to decide which Megaways game is right for them and where they can then play the game.
So, you act as a middleman between slot gamer’s and online casinos?
That is an accurate assessment, yes. Although we have the word casino in our name, we are not a casino, we are an affiliate website. Whereas casinos just want to attract as many gamblers to their site as possible, it is our mission to inform players so that the edge casinos usually have is lowered. We would like our users to be as clued up as possible so that they can then play at casinos with a greater chance of winning. The more informed a player is about a particular slot game, the greater the chance they have of being successful.
The team at Megaways casino is small, but we have years of experience within the iGaming industry. We believe the advice we have given over the years has both increased our users’ winnings and decreased their losses.
We also only promote casinos that we know to be safe. There are casinos out there which are somewhat scrupulous. Again, we use our vast knowledge of the industry to ensure that our users are pointed to fair and regulated online casinos only. Our main content writer is also a former journalist, so her research skills are both excellent and invaluable.
What are the challenges of working as an affiliate in iGaming? Do you have any advice or tips?
The challenging part attracting players to your website before they visit a casino. Although there are many expert slot players out there, we see a lot of players who don’t look before they jump, so to speak. Although winning at online slot games is based mostly on luck, you can increase your winning percentages by informing yourself as much as possible on the game you are playing and the casino you are playing at.
Working within the Megaways niche also provides challenges as there are a few Megaways websites dedicated to providing news and updates about the niche casino game. For the most part, this is good for users, as they are able to look at various information sources, on the other hand, other sites do not always have the user in mind when writing their content, like we do.
Being within the UK gambling industry, we also must adhere to the UK Gambling watchdog which can sometimes be tricky. It did not particularly affect us, but there was for example a recent regulation enforced in the UK which banned credit card gambling. The point of the regulation is to decrease the risk of casino players incurring debt on their credit cards. Whilst we feel this was the right call from the UK Gambling Commission, the regulation has had a large detrimental effect on UK casino profits.
So rather than compete with online casinos you work with them?
Yes, exactly. We attract players by offering them expert written advice and then we give them lots of options of trustworthy online casinos they can play Megaways games from. We do, however, compete with extremely large multi-million-pound affiliate sites which does create some challenges.
With that being said, from an SEO perspective, we are able to compete with these giant sites as we are an extremely niche affiliate site. All our content revolves around Megaways slot games and Google knows this. Although the larger affiliate sites may look better than our own, they have a variety of content meaning that they are not seen as Megaways specialists like we are. This means that for Megaways related content, our site is often seen as superior and will therefore rank higher for Megaways related terms when searched for on Google.
What are the key things users want from an affiliate site and how do you optimise your site for this?
In general, our users are searching for up-to-date information regarding news related to Megaways slots and casinos. This includes reviews of all of the newest Megaways slot games and any online casinos which have added Megaways games to their databases.
We just make sure to have our ears to the ground in relation to anything Megaways related. We have sources at Big Time Gaming who are able to inform us of Megaways related news so that we can give players the news ASAP. We are also in constant contact with new casinos so that we are able to add more and more partners to our lists, giving our users a greater number of options to pick from.
Would you recommend the iGaming as a steppingstone for those interested in a career in video games?
The iGaming industry is not too dissimilar from the video game industry, especially from a developer’s perspective. These days, slot games are developed using state of the art technology that is also used in the development of AAA video games. The pressure of working within the iGaming market is high too which will certainly prepare any would be developer for a career within the video game industry. The skills you can learn working within the iGaming industry are certainly transferable too.
What do you predict for the future of affiliate sites within the iGaming niche?
There is plenty of competition between affiliate sites within the iGaming niche, which is why finding a niche within a niche, so to speak, is becoming more important. One thing we know for sure is that if affiliate sites are to thrive, then they must ensure that their website is friendly for mobile users. Google has already stated that they will be switching to mobile first indexing in 2020 which means websites which are not optimised for mobile visitors will lose out on ranking positions.
In terms of marketing, we are seeing that social media is taking a huge role in all sorts of industries. Whilst it has not had much influence on the affiliate world yet, we are certainly looking at ways in which we can use social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to our advantage.