The utilisation of multiple studios in content development is becoming increasingly more commonplace, with one example of such being gaming software giant Playtech.
Most recently the company released Sky Queen, which is the brainchild of Australian studio Rarestone Gaming, who also are the latest addition to the Playtech stable.
Forming the newest entry into the Fire Blaze series, Anthony Evans, vice president of product strategy at Playtech, spoke to CasinoBeats about its multi-studio strategy and the plus points of releasing titles as part of a series, as well as taking a deeper look into Sky Queen.
CasinoBeats: Why does Playtech utilise a multi-studio strategy? What benefits are felt by the company?
Anthony Evans: Each of our nine studios worldwide brings its own creativity, style, and approach to game development. This keeps Playtech at the cutting edge of game design, and means we can cater to the wide variety of content needs of our players.
With studios in different jurisdictions across the world, we can offer a greater range of titles, mechanics, themes and maths that appeal to audiences worldwide.
“Each of our nine studios worldwide brings its own creativity, style, and approach”
Collaboration is a big thing in terms of our content aspirations too. We deliver games based on research, data and experienced intuition, and we share that information across the group.
The experience within the studios is also different. For example, some are more land-based orientated, while others have purely digital expertise. This can all help in the decision-making process when choosing which gaming concept is developed by which studio.
This significant variety of content we offer, combined with the knowledge and data we have, enhances the games we are developing and fundamentally helps the game performance.
CB: It is stated that Sky Queen will bring a “new level of jackpot excitement,” how is this to be achieved?
AE: The jackpots in Sky Queen offer something very different to the progressive jackpots we’ve already seen in previous games. They are localised to the game but offer the flexibility to fuse with progressives.
We have introduced triggers by the hold and re-spin feature, which go off randomly and regularly to maximise player anticipation. This feature is adapted from based mechanics which we have now fully leveraged for online games.
The hold and re-spin feature also delivers a heightened level of excitement within the reels and can even trigger in the free spins bonus round. Essentially a player can trigger a jackpot at any point which is unlike many other.
“The average number of games played is a core KPI for the majority of operators”
CB: Selecting a theme from which to base a title is vitally important, why do you believe that of ancient culture will resonate with players?
AE: Through our extensive research, combined with the data we have available, we can see that the theme of ancient culture has proven popular over time and is recognised across all jurisdictions. It is also graphically rich and frequently associated with slots, which makes it popular with players.
CB: What is the benefit to releasing titles as part of a series, as opposed to introducing a number of stand-alone games?
AE: The average number of games played is a core KPI for the majority of operators. We are able to help them achieve these targets by having another game in the suite on offer when loyal players return to the games they love.
Releasing the games as part of a series also helps to drive continued popularity over time while simultaneously building the Fire Blaze brand. This brand resonance should lead players to start looking for all associated games, which builds a story that the players and operators can be engaged with.
At Playtech we have the opportunity to utilise the brand or theme across more than just the casino vertical. We have the ability to launch cross product titles such as AOTG and Sporting Legends, two suites that we have expanded outside of just the casino vertical. The more we can leverage the asset, the better for both customers and Playtech.
“We also hope to build loyalty through the cross-product elements”
CB: Following on from this, it’s said that via Sky Queen and subsequent releases to follow will create an “excellent opportunity to build player retention and loyalty,” how is this so?
AE: This is primarily based on the suite element combined with the jackpot and bonus mechanics. It’s important that when we hit on a winning formula that really resonates with our player base, we invest in it.
That is what we intend to do with the Fire Blaze brand. We also hope to build loyalty through the cross-product elements and our ability to utilise our CRM tools to enable the best marketing journeys.
Playtech has a hugely sophisticated platform in IMS. Our full engagement platform allows an operator to build automated and data driven CRM journeys, alongside in-game interventions. Of course we need to build games that will be popular, but Fire Blaze, in conjunction with the power of IMS, will allow our customers to really drive player value and loyalty.