Interview with Ebba Arnred
CMO – Play’nGO
EA: Play’n GO is a fast moving, cutting edge company born and raised in the southern part of Sweden, but now found in Malta, Hungary and as far afield as the Philippines. We are a leading developer of smart systems and games for mobile devices, gaming terminals and websites. Operating in the highly competitive gaming industry, Play’n GO has grown from rapidly since the mid-1990s and now hosts close to 100 games in over 30 languages.
Play’n GO is well known for producing games of the highest quality and we strive to be at the forefront of innovation by combining a long history in the gaming industry with some the brightest minds around.
Q: And what is your role with Play’n GO, what does it entail?
EA: As Chief Marketing Officer, my job is to ensure that the entire gaming industry is aware of Play’n GO, and are well versed in our fantastic catalogue of games and products.
On a more granular level, I’m tasked with ensuring the key decision makers at operators around the world offer Play’n GO games to their players. As well as being responsible for market after market organisation and all customer and marketing strategies, I look after our media strategy and organising our presence at ICE, managing our public relations team and deciding upon print and digital advertising strategy.
Q: How long have you been working with Play’n GO?
EA: I’m rapidly approaching my tenth anniversary at Play’n GO, although it feels like I’m only just getting started! We are growing so quickly, and the industry is changing at such a rapid pace, that it almost feels like a brand new job and new company every year.
Play’n GO is a very refreshing and inspiring place to work and as long as you are up for a challenge, the opportunities to grow and broaden your horizons are endless.
Q: You must know the company very well working with them for so long?
EA: I do know the company by heart, but the team is expanding very quickly in response to a growing need for our products and services in new markets. We are in the midst of opening new offices around the world and have made a real push to enter new markets, but the core values that Play’n GO had at the very beginning firmly remain the ethos we live by.
A large part of those core values is that expect nothing but excellence both from yourself and others, and a commitment to giving everyone the opportunity to challenge themselves and grow in the company.
Personally, I’ve had a fabulous ten years at Play’n GO and am now firmly part of the global management team. Being CMO is a responsibility I cherish, and a challenge I relish. It’s a tremendously exciting time for Play’n GO and I can’t wait to see what the next few years will bring.
Q: So is Play’n GO a great company to work for then?
EA: Play’n GO is a great place to be. The entrepreneurial spirit is simply infectious and informs everything that we do. As a company at the forefront of innovation in the industry, we take great pride in producing premium content that is loved by operators and adored by players. Every day is a new challenge that Play’n GO enjoy meeting.
Q: Play’n GO has recently won Best Mobile Product of the Year at the 9th International Gaming Awards, how did it feel to be recognised for all your hard work?
EA: All of Play’n GO rejoiced when we were lucky enough to win Best Mobile Product for the second consecutive year. The International Gaming Awards are always a highlight on our calendars, and it was the perfect start to a fantastic week in London.
We are very proud of our mobile-first mind set, and how we’ve been able to translate that into leading the industry with our mobile offering. As we speak we are looking to push our mobile offering even further by building the next generation of platform that will give players the best game play experience in the industry. Our newest platform will also give our partners the extra tools they need to really stand out from a crowd.
Q: Personally you also won last year Leader of the Year at the Women in Gaming Awards, were you surprised at winning and does it put pressure on you back in the office to inspire your team then?
EA: I was taken completely by surprise with the award and, of course, I felt very humbled and honoured. Although my name might be on the award, it’s really a recognition of the achievements of all of the fantastic team members at Play’n GO. I don’t feel pressure to inspire the team, quite the contrary. I feed off the energy of the wider team and draw inspiration from them on a daily basis.
Q: You are a supporter of the Women in Gaming events both awards and networking, can you tell our readers why you think it is important?
EA: We consider Women in Gaming awards and networking events as a treat for all of the fantastic women we have in the company. It’s important for all of our staff to broaden their networks, and have a little bit of fun from time to time. While it’s true that Play’n GO have a high number of women in senior positions throughout the company, we don’t consider gender at all when it comes to hiring. Play’n GO looks solely for talent, and I’d like to believe that that is the case everywhere in this day and age. If it isn’t, and you are full of energy, ideas, and are prepared to put some hard work in, please do come and join us at Play’n GO.
Q: How long in total have you been involved in the online gaming industry?
EA: I have nearly 20 years in online gaming and there has certainly been a sea-change in the industry in that time. When I started next to nothing was available in Flash, with games having to be fully downloaded to be played.
The pace of change across the industry has, sadly, been variable in terms of getting more women into senior leadership positions. However, I have been lucky enough to have a fantastic inspiring female network as well as a natural mix of genders who are all committed to adding value to the companies I’ve worked for. Play’n GO has been no different in this regard.
I don’t think that being blind to gender is unique to Swedish companies, or Sweden itself, and I know many women in very senior positions in the industry spread right across the globe. However, I would encourage the industry to follow the path of Play’n GO and look only at talent and ability when hiring, it adds to a greater product and a better working environment.
Q: Back to Play’n GO, what does 2016 look like for the future of the company?
EA: The year ahead looks very bright indeed. We kicked 2016 off with a fantastic launch of our latest game Cloud Quest and have a great line up of games in production at the moment. Special localised content will be a big feature of the year as we look to build upon our success in countries like Italy, as well as regions like Asia and Latin America. I have very high expectations for the rest of 2016 and there is one thing I’m certain of – by the end of year more people will have played a Play’n GO game than ever before!
Q: Our final question Ebba, what does the future hold for Ebba Arnred, will it eventually be Chief Executive of Play’n GO?
EA: Who knows what the future will bring, but at the moment I’m truly enjoying life and opportunities I’ve been given. I know that Play’n GO will have a fantastic 2016 and I will do my best to enjoy it every bit of the way.