ICE 2017 Day 1 & 2 Recap: Big Names and Intriguing IdeasPublished February 9, 2017 by OCR Editor
First two days of ICE 2017 Totally Gaming saw a number of interesting panels, several big announcements, and a couple of celebrities adding some flare to the expo.
The ICE Totally Gaming, taking place at London's ExCel, is one of the biggest yearly events in the gaming industry and every year, the expo seems to attract more industry insiders, legal experts, business representatives, and visitors.
This year's ICE is physically the biggest ever with 5% area increase compared to 2016, and 91 exhibitors from 34 countries around the globe. We are bringing you a recap of the first two days of ICE 2017, highlighting some of the most important speeches, seminars, and interviews.
ICE 2017 Day 1 - Big Playtech Breakthrough & Blockchain Seminar
The beginning of ICE 2017 coincided with Playtech signing one of the biggest deals in the company's history. Namely, Playtech partnered up with Warner Bros Consumer Product, signing a multi-million contract that will see the company produce new games based on some of Warner Bros' biggest film titles like The Dark Knight, Batman vs. Superman, Justice League, etc. Playtech's CEO Mor Weizer took advantage of the opportunity presented by the ICE and announced the big news at the company's booth in London, hinting at a new omni-channel gaming infrastructure that will be developed as a result of the deal.
Future of Blockchain Technology
One of the biggest attractions of the Day 1 was the blockchain panel, drawing in a large number of visitors. The blockchain technology has been one of the greatest hits in the online gaming industry over the last couple of years, and the ICE 2017 panel on this topic served as a further testimony to this fact. The panelists like Patricia Lalanda of LOYRA Abogados, Hans Lombardo from Chain of Things, and Eddy Travia of Coinsilium discussed many opportunities the blockchain brings to the table, emphasizing that those who want to succeed need to be willing to go 'all in' on the technology.
Eddy Travia shared his thoughts that 2017 could be a really big year for the blockchain technology and the underlying supported crypto-currencies. Adam Vaziri of Diacle sent out a clear message to the companies that want to succeed with this concept they need to brave pioneers if they want to reap the benefits of the technology. The panelists also touched upon the matter of local regulations, discussing possibilities of reconciling such a global concept as the blockchain with the localized legislation.
On a less professional and more entertaining note, Authentic Gaming organized two live roulette tournaments, the first of which took place during Day 1, awarding one lucky representative of the media with a few nights stay at the five star Saint Vincent Hotel & Casino.
Day 2 - CEOs, Celebrities & Industry Insiders
Day 2 of the ICE Totally Gaming is traditionally the busiest of the three, and it was no different this year. Day 2 saw several celebrities make their appearances, together with a number of ICE regulars and a few first-timers.
Brazilian soccer star Roberto Carlos was probably the most recognizable face in the crowd. The ICE interviewer caught up with Carlos at planetwin365's booth for a brief chat. The Brazilian star was very impressed with the size of the event, but also with many of the products being exhibited. He also shared his thoughts about common characteristics shared by successful soccer players and business people, emphasizing discipline, training, and perseverance.
Kris Mobayeni of Bounce Exchange was one of the ICE first-timers. In his interview for ICE TV, Mobayeni didn't try to hide how impressed he was with everything, from organization to presentation. He described the whole experience as 'surreal,' comparing the expo to a large, flashy casino. He also briefly discussed the company's activities, emphasizing the importance of customer retention and conversion. Mobayeni explained how modern technologies have opened the door for a completely new, enhanced approach to conversion strategies, where you can use off-site channels to convert your users even after they leave.
Fredrik Elmqvist, Yggdrasil's CEO, was there to present the brand new Jungle Book game, another one in the series of impressive slots developed by the company. Elmqvist was no less impressed with the ICE 2017 than the rest, but he emphasized that all of it was an indicator of very strong competition in the market, where businesses don't only have to worry about big companies, but also smaller undertakings always threatening to come from behind and establish their place.
Visiting ICE for the fourth time, Heathcliff Farrugia, Chief Officer of the Malta Gaming Authority, explained this year's expo was possibly the biggest success so far. With a lot of improvements and new developments, he described ICE 2017 as a really promising one, helping to take the industry to the next level, together with the regulation changes that the MGA plans to implement the next year.
ICE 2017 & Future of Gaming
From everything that we've seen and heard at this year's ICE, and judging by the impressions of those involved, ICE 2017 is an expo that fits perfectly with the new trends in the industry and can help take it to the next level. The expo is an ideal meeting place for the exchange of ideas and presentation of new products and technologies, and the team behind it always does a great job, creating a thoroughly enjoyable and impressive atmosphere.