Case study: Edinburgh games developer provides the perfect Incentive
In 2013, John Gordon was a chemical engineer, living and working in Trinidad and Tobago. Today, he is CEO of Incentive Games, one of the UK’s fastest-growing companies.
Edinburgh-based Incentive Games helps its clients to acquire and retain customers by creating sports and casino-style free-to-play games. Its clients include global gaming companies such as FanDuel, Livescore and bet365, but it is also expanding its portfolio to target and disrupt other sectors such as e-commerce.
Although primarily made up of programmers and developers, at its core is a deep-rooted understanding of human behaviour, consumer psychology and artificial intelligence.
John started Incentive in 2019 having sold his fantasy gaming website, Premier Punt. Using that insight and initial funding, he created Incentive Games and pivoted towards consumer attraction and engagement on a business-to-business basis.
Like many sectors, the covid pandemic impacted Incentive in different ways. With the shutters brought down on global sport, Incentive drew on its innovative roots and created a series of virtual sports games to continue to engage and attract customers for its growing list of clients.
Coming out of the pandemic, Incentive experienced a period of fast growth and threefold increase in headcount and revenue over a three-year period. Incentive currently employs 50 people, and growing, who are all fully remote and work a four-day week, leading to being named as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces in Tech 2023 by Great Place to Work.
Incentive Games is part of the global charge of AI-driven organisations, harnessing data and technical expertise with an understanding of consumer behaviours. It works hard to understand psychology and what makes people do what they do. A motivated group of scientists, engineers and developers are creating products for some of the world’s leading companies in their fields, leading to 10s of millions of game entries per month across its range of apps, with players in 125 countries.
John Gordon said:
“There’s no hidden secret to growing Incentive. We’re building something with a proper engineering mindset and a robust structure as a foundation. At the same time, we know we’re doing something different from a data perspective and have the flexibility and entrepreneurial ethos to make the most of opportunities. We’re big believers in adopting an entrepreneurial mindset. We’re building an amazing business. “We’ve experienced the same sort of challenges any fast-growing company will come up against, and we can thank our loyal clients and advisors for helping us through those times and supporting us to get to where we are today. “Jo and the Harper Macleod team have been great supporters and advisors. They are patient, supportive and understanding of our ambitions to grow something really special. With their background in supporting early stage and fast-growing businesses, they know the challenges and how to work around them.”
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