Yoder, Executive Director Sales at IGT Interactive, is responsible for the expansion of the business in the United States, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region. His work is part sales, long range business development, marketing, technical work and government relations.
A Proven Market Maker
“I have always been a market maker,” he said. “My experience in consulting, my startup and two other companies showed me the how, when and why of targeting a market to plant the seed and make sure the conditions are right for that seed to grow.” Yoder declined to speculate on emerging trends that may affect business at IGT Interactive in the coming years. “If I told you, you would know our super-double-secret strategy for the next two or three years,” he said.
Convergence is Coming
Yoder did suggest that online-to-land convergence could come into play, although IGT Interactive is already involved with that venture. He said he liked the idea of “gamblification” of games and that IGT plans to respond to this trend through figuring out how to work with any third-party game developer. Social Gambling has experienced tremendous growth and increasing intersection with the traditional casino gaming business as detailed in the “Social Casino Gaming Sector Report” from Superdata and the Casual Games Association.
The trend Yoder sees as having the biggest impact on the games industry has already begun in New Jersey and Delaware with legislation legalizing online gambling. “As they go live and take meaningful wagers, actually increasing their states’ coffers without any lawsuits, then the state legislative floodgates will be open,” he said.
The Double-Edged Blade of Entrepreneurialism
The proudest moment of Yoder’s career was also his biggest challenge: being part of the founding team at Veeker. Six years ago, he saw the company as a sort of “Instagram for video,” and he went after marketing deals with Sony Pictures, Columbia Music, MTV and Budweiser. Ultimately, the company failed.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the success of your creation,” he said. “[And] there is nothing more painful than having to close up your shop. It taught me the lesson of trusting your instincts and focusing on one business model. Do one thing, do it well and grow from there.”