Evolution targets 90 new game launches in one year as door slams shut on “intense” 2021

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As many of us fight to maintain our New Year’s resolutions, Evolution has set itself an extremely ambitious target for 2022 – to launch 90 new games in just 12 months.

For Evolution, last year was about getting its house in order according to CEO Martin Carlesund, who first revealed the 90-game pledge to Swedish newswire Nyhetsbyrån Direkt.

The Stockholm-listed supplier spent much of 2021 on integrations by bringing the acquired NetEnt, Red Tiger and Big Time Gaming businesses up to standard.

Later in the year, Evolution’s laser-like business focus was temporarily derailed after a controversial report alleged it engaged in illegal activity in markets subject to US sanctions.

New year, new me

At the time, reaction to the report wiped out nearly €5bn of Evolution’s stock market value.

Carlesund admits 2021 was an “intense” period for the business, but he is confident the controversy will be confined to the history books and has plans to bounce back in style.

After laying the distractions of the last 12 months to rest, Evolution intends to pump up production in 2022 with the launch of 90 new games by year end.

The 90-game pledge would mean an average of 7.5 titles released per month.

The company previously pledged to recruit 1,000 new developers for 2022 and originally planned to unveil its first tranche of 25 new games at ICE London in February.

The exhibition has now been pushed back to April due to Covid, but Evolution still plans to reveal the products next month alongside a Q4 trading update (9 February).

On reflection

Despite the distractions, Evolution still executed some interesting innovation last year. In June, it utilised NetEnt’s IP to launch Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt, described as the world’s first live casino game to combine live and slots-style gameplay, including virtual reality mode.

Starburst XXXtreme, the highly volatile sequel to the classic NetEnt title went live shortly afterwards, while in September, Evolution’s Red Tiger subsidiary released a new slot called NFT Megaways.

The game tapped into the digital artwork trend by showcasing four unique CryptoPunks previously purchased by the live casino giant.

Evolution CPO Todd Haushalter (pictured) said at the time: “At Evolution we have a long record of innovation and being first with distinctively different new ideas.

“With all of our group brands, our goal is always to offer players the most feature-rich and vivid gameplay possible.

“In essence, it’s all about creativity and originality and that is why the CryptoPunks were such a great fit for us,” he added.

Do you think Evolution can meet the 90-game target? And what type of innovation would you like to see from the business in 2022? Let us know on Twitter @iGamingNEXT.

About the author

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Jake Evans

Jake Evans is an NCTJ-accredited journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and sports betting industry since 2017. He is the managing editor of iGaming NEXT and has previously worked in both content and data for EGR, Stats Perform and Football Radar.

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