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Kim Rogers’ Successes In The Online Gaming Industry Add Up To Wins For Anaxi

Written By Derek Helling on March 20, 2024
math equations on blackboard

According to the American Gaming Association’s latest diversity report, women account for just 30% of people who work as executive or senior-level officials and managers in the US gaming industry. That disparity continues to limit women’s earning power and influence in the industry and as a whole.

It also makes women who are in such positions vital to efforts to address that disparity. Among them is Anaxi Head of Studio and Content Kim Rogers.

Rogers has shared her belief that the gaming industry is where women can conquer obstacles to claim leadership positions. Her career trajectory and the company’s success under her guidance make it difficult for anyone to argue against that premise.

Anaxi builds on Aristocrat’s success with online gaming

kim rogers headshotIn October 2022, Aristocrat Gaming announced it had rebranded its online real-money gaming division to Anaxi. Throughout 2023, that division executed many initiatives. According to Aristocrat’s fiscal year 2023 earnings report:

“Anaxi delivered on its initial market entry commitments and continued to establish solid foundations for growth. At period end, Anaxi had signed content agreements with partners representing over 80% of the US iGaming market, and had live content placed with seven operators in six countries across eight jurisdictions. The acquisition of Roxor completed during the year. Roxor was successfully integrated into Anaxi as a core product technology, accelerating delivery of our market entry commitments and supporting our broader online RMG strategy.”

The report also states that Anaxi saw a 3% terminal growth rate in 2023. Among the most notable accomplishments when it came to content was the introduction of Aristocrat’s popular Buffalo slot franchise to online casino platforms.

While Anaxi was enjoying a successful launch and first year of operation, there was a part of the story that can’t be ignored. In May 2023, Rogers was promoted to her current position as the studio’s head of content.

While Rogers assigns credit for Anaxi’s success to her entire team, her current role is one that she unwittingly prepared for over the years.

Chance encounter propels Rogers into gaming industry

Rogers explains that while she was a student at the University of Nevada-Reno, she worked as a bank teller. While performing her duties, she processed a check for International Game Technology (IGT). She describes that as a light bulb moment when she realized that math was a crucial gaming component.

“I went home and looked online at IGT,” Rogers recounts. ”There was an opening for a math internship. I applied and was hired within a week. That was my foot in the door for what math could be in the gaming industry.”

Roger explains that the internship involved verifying the math in games that IGT was developing. That also verified her interest in building a career in the industry.

“It [the internship] was great but I wanted more,” Roger adds. “I wanted to define the rules of the games. I wanted to evoke the art of math. Math is an objective thing but you can be creative with it. I call it being objectively subjective.”

Rogers fulfilled her desires by becoming a game designer for IGT in 2015, then progressing to a senior game design manager by the time she left the company in 2021. She joined Aristocrat in a similar role, initiating her ascent to her current position with Anaxi.

In her different positions, Rogers gleaned a lot of insight into the current landscape of online casino play. Her adeptness with math also makes her an expert on the topic.

Following the money math

For players, every play of an online casino game affords some entertainment. For companies like Anaxi, every play represents numerous data points.

For example, each play builds a data reservoir on users’ game choices, demographics for titles, and how players respond to different game features. That data can inform the decisions of studios like Anaxi, but only if the human intelligence analyzing that data is evaluating it correctly.

“Data is at the forefront of everything we do, again, being objectively subjective,” Rogers says. “When it comes to design in terms of learning and understanding what data is saying, we also have to understand where data is coming from. Clients have differences in how they promote products and the kind of casino they are building for their players. All those choices influence the data we receive.”

Building out content for those various clients in diverse jurisdictions is a task that Rogers and Anaxi take on regularly. Rogers states that the diversity at Anaxi that she is a part of is paramount to success in that endeavor.

Creating content on a global scale

Navigating cultural variances and diverse regulatory frameworks of clients’ bases of operation is paramount to the success of a global gaming company. Such aspects dictate decisions in content production as much as data analysis does.

“That’s a challenge in the industry creatively period,” Rogers comments. “The size of Aristocrat, with strongholds in Australia, Europe, India, and the United States is an asset in that regard. Our workforce is so diverse across regions that the best way is to lean on each other, not be afraid to be vulnerable, and ask questions. We strive to do right by players and the market but to do that we have to hold each other accountable to being curious.”

Rogers’ success in her career is an example of companies being held accountable for giving women the resources they need to succeed. Such success does not happen by accident.

Rogers gives credit and issues call

As part of that 30% of women in senior leadership positions in the gaming industry, Rogers explains that her position is the result of intention.

“It’s remarkable what Aristocrat has done in this industry, specifically in terms of highlighting key initiatives to evolve,” Rogers says. “The commitment to diversity is higher than any other place I have been. There are advocates and allies here that understand the importance of being able to see people like yourself succeeding and it goes beyond gender and race within the roles of life. I am a mom and sometimes, the corporate world can expect you to work like you don’t have kids and parent like you don’t have to work. Women who have pushed boundaries and challenge norms make you believe that you can do it too.”

While Rogers benefits from the efforts of the women who have come before her, she also pushes to rectify gender disparity in the gaming industry.

“The gaming industry is fun,” Rogers elaborated.”We make games for a living. It’s important because we do bring people joy through the power of play. We are here to entertain and have fun doing it. These opportunities exist, including a lot of opportunities that are not necessarily math- or tech-driven. It’s about making people believe that they can do it. My parents never made me feel like I couldn’t do anything. My mom was told no and did it anyway. We are always saying yes to opportunities, always feeling comfortably uncomfortable, and challenging ourselves.”

Rogers has brought success to Anaxi worldwide in her term as the studio’s head of content. Due to her stellar combination of leadership and technical skills, the world is Anaxi’s oyster.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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