Revamped games studio Chance Interactive released its new online slot Buster Hammer Carnival last week, designed to usher in a new era for the organisation.

David Johnson, the company’s chief commercial officer, has been speaking to CasinoBeats regarding exactly what this is to entail, the impact of blockbuster slots and ambitions looking further forward.

CasinoBeats: Labelled as “our first game of this new era,” what is this to bring for Chance Interactive?

David Johnson: Primarily I’d say the experience to enable the business to build on the solid foundations that our new colleagues and founders have established.

Between Scott & I, we bring significant product, commercial & management know how to add to the existing creative expertise already at Chance. Scott was one of the co-founders of NextGen Gaming, I joined him there about 8-9 years ago.

During that time the creative teams put out some incredibly successful content, whilst the business in different guises experienced huge growth through the NextGen/NYX deal forming NYX Gaming Group; subsequently the Openbet acquisition and latterly Scientific Gaming.

It’s a very crowded market for sure, and in recent times it’s been skewed by the popularity of a certain style of game

CB: Why is Buster Hammer Carnival the perfect introduction to this new beginning? What will make this title appeal to operators and players?

DJ: Buster Hammer Carnival is the second instalment of the Buster series. The game covers lots of bases – players seem to fall for the Buster character and the juxtaposition of his muscular appearance, yet rather camp manner.

I’ve even seen experienced streamers laughing about his ‘chicken legs’ recently! So visually it’s very appealing and there is humour there. Math wise it’s a very strong engine; players can play at entry levels and experience what the game has to offer, but the game also provides the opportunity to ante-up and enable modifiers on 3 of the 5 reels, so it becomes very volatile.

With the base game providing indicators of the potential winnings available, we see more plays per session as players explore it. There is the nice reveal that will catch some by surprise as the reels morph to 8×5 config in the bonus game.

The ante-bet provides for increased investment and indeed returns, per spin, with a huge potential of over 8,000X on offer.

CB: Blockbuster slot titles are becoming increasingly more commonplace, how do you compete with games that users will immediately be able to identify with?

DJ: It’s a very crowded market for sure, and in recent times it’s been skewed by the popularity of a certain style of game. With the plethora of fast followers launching their own versions there is the saturation risk, though in the UK pub market that hasn’t prevented the spread of ‘open the box’ type games; familiarity is certainly a draw.

We don’t ignore what is popular, we’d be nuts to at this infant stage of our business”

In terms of licensed IP, we’re totally open to working with partners in this area. But it has to stack up commercially and with appropriate themes that appeal to players – with a few notable exceptions it often proves a difficult combination to achieve.  

At Chance we’re confident in our math capability and our ability to innovate across different sub-sets of slot games. We don’t ignore what is popular, we’d be nuts to at this infant stage of our business, but we also need to create our own stamp.

CB: How key was the support of CasinoGrounds for this latest launch, and will that be exploited as more launches follow?

DJ: Yes CasinoGrounds certainly helped us in raising the profile of Buster Hammer Carnival and at Chance we’re all about working with like minded partners to achieve mutual ROI over long term partnerships. Props too to LeoVegas for believing in us from the beginning and offering to debut the game exclusively.

CB: What do you hope to achieve with Chance Interactive during the year ahead?

DJ: We have up to half a dozen new games of our own to get to market as well as those of our studio partners whom we build content for. I’d like to see Chance and our studio partners well on the way to being established studios, in the sense that both players and operators are eagerly anticipating our releases.

So expanding the order book to see ever-increasing penetration of content to market, whilst seeding close partnerships with like minded operators that want to achieve that bit more by way of bespoke or exclusive perhaps – that would be a decent result.