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On Air Entertainment

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About the Company

Microgaming is getting back into the live dealer casino world in a big way. With the initial launch of On Air Entertainment in June 2021, the Isle of Man company brings all of their power to bear in order for the start-up to compete globally.

The first games launched to market in early 2022.

On Air Entertainment was founded in December 2020 and is headed up by former William Hill Live, NetEnt Live, and Evolution Gaming alum Andres Rengifo. The managing director was head of international operations at Evolution for about five years before starting a two-year tenure as Director at NetEnt in late 2018. These positions followed about two years as head of hosts for live casino at William Hill.

Other top-tier talents at On Air also come from significant careers at Evolution.

The start-up team consisted of over 30 professionals with over a hundred years of combined experience in the industry. That number is expected to grow into the hundreds as the purpose-built platform is readied to carry games for the company's state-of-the-art studios in Riga, Latvia. Developers are located in both Riga and Estonia.

Prior to a market splash, there are several ways to try to predict what a final product will look like and how it might perform in the real virtual world. None of them is an exact science, but they can give us some clues as to what to expect.

The simple fact that Microgaming took them on as partners suggests a great chance of success for several reasons. Not the least of these reasons is simply the reach Microgaming has after building its networks for over two decades. 

The live games are simply pre-destined to reach markets and customers around the globe.

The quality of the offering must be on par with or superior to products from current industry leaders. How they will set themselves apart from other developers in terms of classic floor games is yet to be seen. 

The more exciting possibilities lie in the bespoke games we think will anchor the product. Their newfound ability to recruit the brightest and freshest minds to work alongside storied veterans is a distinct advantage - or it could be, depending on the company culture they intend to grow.

Where could we find clues to On Air Entertainment culture? Let's look at some HR and see what they are offering.

Aha! "Culture" is found in the very first sentence of the first recruitment we find - that bodes well for the prediction method.

■ Start-up culture, allowing for creativity and trying new things;

■ We work in self-organising agile teams;

■ Teams have all the support from infrastructure, business, technology and leadership;

■ We’re open and transparent in decision making: everyone has a voice, new ideas are always welcome;

■ Constant feedback and support to individuals;

■ We value results over process and tools;

■ We value team-work, so the best candidates are team-players ready to own their work from the start to the end.

That sounds like the perfect environment to grow great team members, great games, and great delivery.

Other areas they may excel in to set themselves apart might be divined by looking at areas other providers such as Evolution et al, Pragmatic Play Live, and Playtech might not be keeping up with a thirst for new products and ways to play.

We might find this distinction in more proactive bespoke development for operators large and small. Playtech could keep the advantage of flexibility in this respect relying on their augmented reality capabilities, but so far, we don't see them scaling that bespoke deployment for small groups or individual operators.

A lean, fresh, and flexible newcomer with a similar or greater backbone might be able to be more responsive to those needs with or without virtual game space.

It's probably a dream to imagine they would attempt live virtual reality gameplay - at least until someone other than Facebook provides consumers with an affordable solution equal to the Oculus 2 at such an affordable entry point.

However, smartphone VR gaming, while not as immersive or powerful, could still provide an option. Cellular VR “glasses" are a dime a dozen and could easily fit into a campaign.

The Final Analysis

While we can't know what On Air Entertainment will be until we experience it, the company is well-positioned to provide players with unique gaming.

The metric is saturated and dominated by a scant few providers, and NetEnt/Evolution acts like a hungry behemoth devouring most of the successful small start-ups.

This spawning ground seems to have been an opportunity missed by Playtech's self-feeding start-up acquisition money machine, but they are still contenders in the space, especially since they've finally learned they cannot continue to prosper as an island or law unto themselves. We now see their products being deployed through aggregators and their games sitting alongside all other developer's games.

Microgaming brings the industry heft needed for On Air Entertainment to easily side-step any chance of acquisition along with the need to hit the ground running as a fully bona fide peer at the top tier of the game. 

The known flexibility to provide customizable content along with an entire suite of classic and bespoke live casino games can only mean that On Air Entertainment is soon to be part of the live game players' universe as if it had existed since the Godfather of Slots appeared in the late 1990s.

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  • Address: HEAD OFFICE 9 Empire Stadium Street Gzira, GZR1300 Malta Studio Maskavas Iela 257 Akropole levels 8 & 9 Riga, Latvia
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