On top of nearly 20 vacancies we are currently seeking to fill with top talent, Playtech is looking for people to fill five important manager or product-related positions within our Live unit. The head of the Live Delivery unit, Ori Hartstein, explains in an interview to Geenius.ee technology portal what makes Playtech’s Live product special within the online gaming industry and what Playtech has to offer to its prospective employees.
Playtech's Live Unit is behind what is described as a one-of-a-kind high-end product. What makes the live casino so special in the gaming industry?
Looking back 5 or 10 years, the gaming industry has evolved quite a bit since then. The industry is much more about gaming and entertainment now than just gambling. Playtech is where gaming meets entertainment and community. Playtech’s priority is to ensure premium user experience and offer players a chance to come together, socialize and collaborate.
Our games today look exactly like any high-end video game you could find on retail stores. We put a lot of effort into creating variations and different versions of games to suit everyone’s preferences.We build classic casino games as well as new games and create software for them.
The gaming industry has made huge progress in quality but the Live vertical has perhaps evolved the most over time. This is evident in Playtech’s market-leading Live product.The key to our success is putting the needs and expectations of the players first because live services are all about the player experience.
For the players, online live casino means seeing a real dealer deal the cards in real time. How much work goes into setting up such a system?
For our Live Unit, this entails the work that has been put into creating our live casino studios which surpass any real world casino in Vegas in quality. Located in both Europe (the biggest one in Riga) and Asia, our studios are cutting-edge television studios with broadcasting equipment of the highest quality. Complex camera set-ups with multiple viewing angles are designed to engage the player and offer absolute best user experience. The player will see exactly what he or she needs to see during the games as the cameras switch between the dealer and the game itself. This enables the player to focus on what is important and be offered top entertainment of the sort you would receive in any high-end casino.
Our aim is to use the best advanced technology that suits our solutions. We make sure to build the right software to any solution, a software that scales well and is entirely fault-tolerant so that we remain untouched by outside issues with, for example, internet connectivity or data warehouses.
As a leading software vendor, we keep our code standards very high. We carefully choose our architecture and technologies. We do not keep legacy codes - although we are a 17 years old product, all our code base is less than 3 years old. In that sense, we are a mix between durable and innovative. We constantly renew things so that we are not constrained by older technologies and software. This also enables us to think like a young and innovative start-up.
Your team is located in Playtech’s office in Tallinn, Ülemiste City, and it is said to function as a kind of start-up within a big company. Does the Live Unit have a start-up vibe?
When people look in on big companies like Playtech from the outside, they might think that because we are big, we must also be slow and rigidly organized. We have 6000 employees and while our units are large, some bigger than others, none are so large as to be overly slow. We are efficient and fast in our work and we do not get stuck on lengthy and slow processes. We do long term planning but our execution is focused on efficient delivery here and now.
Similarly to start-ups, we run and feel like small and agile units which deliver their tasks with the same creativity, pace and commitment as, let’s say, a start-up employing just 15 people. We have systematic and organized processes to develop a new product or a technology but we are also creative and highly innovative.
Unlike start-ups, we have enough capacity and resources, and less financial constraints. Different from new companies, we have structured testing procedures, automation tests with large coverage to validate the quality of our products. We run a pace that feels like a start-up but function as a strong solid company with plenty of delivery resources. Our size gives us stability and a great variety of company benefits offered to the team. We are the best of both worlds.
We've finally started easing COVID-19 restrictions and people are seeing sunlight again. How did Playtech cope with the pandemic? Was there a noticeable spike in live gaming?
Playtech as a very flexible company fared well during the pandemic and the quarantine. We saw a significant increase in our online gaming services being used but this has not been only because of the pandemic.
During the pandemic our end users had more free time and spent more time at home which enabled them to play more. But the growth and increase in revenue has been steady since 2019 and it is hard to differentiate between the effect of the pandemic and the overall trend of natural growth. Live gaming is going strong and business is going up even during these extraordinary times.
We did see a temporary shift in popular gaming hours as people could play any time of the day now that they worked from home and also a shift from playing on their mobile phones to playing on desktop computers.
The pandemic was of some concern to the Live Unit, mainly because of the sheer size of our studios which fit several hundred people. Our continuity programs included partitioning the studios to reduce contact between teams, but it did not come to that. Safety measures such as sanitation, breaks between shifts, separate entrances were implemented successfully. We had back-up plans ready for use any time significant changes might occur, we also built solutions for our dealers to work remotely if necessary.
This means we were well prepared, ready and able to provide services to our clients and players even in difficult circumstances. Playtech managed the pandemic well and grew stronger and more efficient than before. We worked to increase capacity to meet the greater demand, adding new functionality and features to games. This was possible because of our excellent coordination and communication which worked even when our employees worked from home.
You're looking for a number of people to join your team. What positions are currently available?
We are indeed currently looking for five people to join our team: Two Product Owners, a Product Manager, a Regulated Markets Project Manager and a Delivery Manager.
The Product Owners would help design and deliver new games, enhance user experience, create and develop market leading products and implement innovative solutions. The job combines several activities, starting with the earliest stages of product design and ending in the launch of a new product to the market.
Playtech values personal growth and development and we welcome talented people to grow with us. However, this position requires some prior experience and a thorough understanding of the market and the domain.
Communication skills are vital as the Product Owners would need to coordinate activities and ensure a steady flow of information between all parties. The Product Owner functions as a kind of bridge between the product team and the development team, the delivery team and the studios.
This is an exceptionally important role in our structure and the journey from concept to product is both challenging as well as highly rewarding. While this position comes with a lot of responsibility, there is plenty of support and guidance from all of the teams and units.
The Product Manager we would like to join our team should have at least 5 years of experience in the gaming industry and ability to design a game from start to end. This position will be focused on delivering the premium player experience and designing innovative game flows.
We are welcoming someone who loves to build big sophisticated products and drive them to production, owning all product phases from concept and design to real world studio design, content on studio side etc.
The position of a Regulated Markets Project Manager specializes in the area of regulations which means working with each region’s or country’s set of laws and regulations to make sure our products are designed to fit all the necessary requirements.
Prior experience in coordinating regulations, requirements and laws is expected because we are a very large company offering services around the globe and must therefore take each and every rule and regulation into account.
Every market has rules that may conflict with the regulations of other countries and the job of this Project Manager is to figure all of this out so that our products operate effectively everywhere. Each party, both inside and outside of our company, must be well coordinated so that development and delivery works unhindered.
This entails lots of communication to help each team to understand each market's requirements and limitations. We are looking for someone who is able to adapt well and cares deeply about our mission and products and is able to work smoothly with great attention to detail.
Last but not least, we are soon to look for a Deployment Manager who works as a bridge between our unit and our customers. Our customers are very big gaming operators serving millions of players and when we deliver our products to them, we must meet their brand requirements and specifications. The role of the Delivery Manager is to make sure each party is well informed of those requirements. The Delivery Manager must coordinate information both outside and inside the company and make sure the delivery of new content goes smoothly.
To all these positions, we welcome smart and dynamic people who learn fast and are eager to do the best they can. The best team members interact with one another, learn from the process as well as each other and always look to do a little something extra.
Playtech as an employer is already highly recognized and valued. What are your reasons for working here and why would you recommend Playtech to someone new?
As a big company we have a lot more to offer. I started working for Playtech about six years ago. I was working in a different country and a different project back when I received the offer to come work in a different role in Estonia. It was a difficult decision to make and I could not have foreseen the support, guidance and opportunities I would be given here. I ended up working on something bigger than I expected and this is something that would apply to anyone thinking of joining us.
The great thing about Playtech is our internal movements and promotions. We employ several team members who joined us as interns or fresh out of university and have moved upwards several times since starting. Offering internal career possibilities is an advantage and a core value at Playtech, we love to see people grow and figure out just what makes their heart tick and what they are best at. This means not only upwards but also horizontal movements - career changes when people grow within the company and realize what they are best suited for.
It is an indescribably thrilling experience to monitor a project from concept to end and see it enter the market. As a market leader, our people have the opportunity to build products that will be number one in the world. Not a lot of companies can offer such reach and scale to handle. This is literally what thinking big and building big is like and if this is what your heart wants, we are the right place for you.
Playtech is actively seeking for new team members to join our ranks! Check out all vacancies on our Career page.
See the gallery for Live unit team events below.