Unity PlatForce Customer Success Case
PlatForce partnered with the Unity Accelerate Solutions team to quickly build an easy-to-use, robust platform service for developers to power growth and brand.
How do creators efficiently build games and applications that invoke ever-increasing and complex compliance requirements, all while increasing player engagement with features that may use highly regulated personal identifiable information (PII) data?
The PlatForce team understood that integrating compliance and privacy management in games and applications requires significant development resources. They wanted to devise a best-in-class compliance platform that would free creators from that burden and let them focus their efforts on what makes their products special.
Bringing a compliance and privacy management solution to market quickly across several platforms for 30+ staff spanning North America and Europe
Delivering compliance by design
With considerable experience in games-of-chance and lotteries, PlatForce knew what it took to reliably govern data and keep current with national licensing, industry certification and audits. Their solution would be a back-end SaaS platform delivering compliance by design, player management, and user engagement for games of chance and in the health, travel, entertainment, and other verticals. To build XtendGame, they combined their highly specialized knowledge with the expert development skills of the Unity Accelerate Solutions team.
• Shortened certification processes that otherwise could take up to a year and upward of $2M for certification of a single new game
• Reduced headcount to integrate and manage compliance by 4–5 developers
• Eliminated considerable administrative and coding overhead for reporting and data governance
• Enabled deployment and management of user engagement campaigns from a single dashboard
Coping with Pervasive Compliance Challenges
It’s easy to understand why governments regulate games-of-chance so extensively – since 1999, lotteries worldwide have raised an estimated $1.3T to fund social welfare and other common good causes. U.S. state and local agencies collected over $30B in wagering taxes in 2021.
Yet, downloading, registering, and playing even the simplest application involves a surprising number of compliance concerns as well. Beyond sharing your name, email address, and credit card info, you’re likely letting the app track web journeys and physical locations. According to PlatForce CEO Petter Danbolt, “Every app user is potentially providing a staggering amount of personal data, most of it subject to some form of regulation.”
Meeting the Standards Isn’t Easy
The core premise of a game-of-chance application may be as simple as anticipating results from a random number generator. However, integrating that code is just the tip of the iceberg. The application must also securely manage players, wallets, transactions, and license agreements. It often has to be able to prove that the random number generator is indeed random and that certified code, beyond being thoroughly documented, is immutable. Furthermore, it needs to demonstrably meet GDPR and similar standards.
In some highly regulated environments, getting an application completed through compliance and certification processes can take the work of four to five developers and the better part of a year. Some countries require weekly and monthly reports of which games a company is supporting, how many players they have, how much money changes hands just to name a few. All of this results in a huge amount of time and effort for the companies involved.
Letting Creators Offload the Regulatory Burden
PlatForce got its start in 2019 developing IT and tech solutions for games of chance and lottery apps with player engagement features. For example, to build crowd excitement at a sports event, stadium displays ask fans to send selfies as part of a live sweepstakes – the PlatForce solution meticulously tracks entries, manages the data, and eventually rewards and displays the winner on all stadium screens.
“We constantly saw how other companies were struggling to build their own technology pieces to meet compliance needs,” says Tore Sagstuen, PlatForce’s chief commercial officer. PlatForce decided to create a fundamentally different solution – XtendGame, a scalable, comprehensive SaaS compliance by design platform which addresses specific compliance concerns that anyone storing personal data faces from the start. It enables full, secure control of user data at a granular level without affecting performance. And by easing compliance, creators could more easily build games-of-chance as well as add lottery-like features to drive user engagement in any kind of application.
Collaborating with Unity Accelerate Solutions
PlatForce saw no reason to delay getting XtendGame to market, and they knew engineering the actual service would take expertise and effort they didn’t want to spare. “Engaging Unity Accelerate Solutions made sure we’d get the highest-quality results and that XtendGame would work seamlessly in any environment,” says Danbolt.
Accelerate Solutions works with partners like PlatForce to identify key challenges and craft innovative solutions together. In addition to helping game studios achieve ambitious project goals, they also help design and prototype apps and technology components for mobile, AR/VR/mixed reality, industrial integration, and more, validating approaches to business challenges and iterating rapidly to build custom capabilities.
Getting Down to Work
According to Sagstuen, “We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted the platform to do, and we threw a lot of ideas over the fence.” The first step on the Unity side was to bring in a business analyst to parse out the feature set into individual components. Accelerate Solutions engineers then started meeting regularly with the PlatForce team to figure out how to actually architect and build them. As the scope and complexity grew, they prioritized features to set up realistic development timelines and release schedules.
Taking Shape with Shared Limits
Initially targeting games-of-chance developers, XtendGame provides an API with a management console that lets users cherry pick just the services they need, such as player management, wallet management, configurable game rules, reporting, and license services via a developer portal.
For example, Sweden limits how much money a player can risk in online gaming. If a company offers multiple games, Accelerate Solutions devised an innovative way for XtendGame to track individual play across all their games using a unique user identifier. This prevents multiple losses that exceed a limit and also enables reports of repeated attempts to go over a limit.
Streamlining Gift Card Deployment
Offering gift cards and similar transactions typically requires setting up a relationship with a financial service. This means going through the Know Your Client (KYC) process to document a developer’s identity and financial profile. This verification is a standard practice used by virtually all financial institutions, and completing it can take weeks. Developers also have to spend time on the actual technical integration.
XtendGame eliminates this administrative and coding overhead, letting game companies manage single transactions or even bulk purchases. Danbolt says, “XtendGame makes it easy to deploy and manage user-engagement campaigns from a single dashboard.”
Calculating Good Odds on PlatForce Success
All applications are increasingly subject to regulation with new privacy and other standards. For all developers, the burden of compliance can be crushing. The volume of simple reporting requirements is huge, and it all needs to be verifiable with secure, high-quality data.
According to Sagstuen, “We’re developing the XtendGame platform as a long-term, fundamental solution for a pervasive challenge facing all developers.” So far, they’re on a winning streak – the team is innovating new services, and PlatForce has enthusiastically extended their engagement with Accelerate Solutions.