Golden Rock Studios is anticipating a crucial year ahead, as the relatively young online slot developer continues to roll out various offerings as part of an ambitious roadmap.

Acknowledging the difficulties in ensuring that online casino games stand out from the crowd, confidence is assured through a belief that “we know what the customer and operator wants”.

James Curwen, CEO & founder of Golden Rock Studios, has been speaking to CasinoBeats about differentiation, challenges of a saturated igaming environment and pushing the boundaries.

CB: With so many new game studios opening their doors, what makes Golden Rock different?

James Curwen: First of all, we are experienced and proven. We have a great track record of launching successful games before we launched Golden Rock Studios, therefore we are confident that we know what the customer and operator wants. Secondly, we have put together a great team and I am confident in their ability to deliver the highest quality games needed to succeed in this space. 

CB: Why is experience so important when it comes to starting a game studio and creating your first run of games?

JC: We know what the industry is missing when it comes to innovative features that engage the gambler, and we have worked tirelessly to create emotive bonuses that constantly surprise and delight the customer. We also understand what the operators need, which is why we created our very own Golden Rock Studios periodic table, so they can use our games to target different markets, from low volatile entertainment games, to high volatile simple high roller games. 

CB: What challenges do new game studios face? How can these challenges be overcome?

JC: Customer reach is very important, especially in this overcrowded space. That is why we teamed up with Microgaming who have the largest aggregator platform out there. The other challenges are financial. While everyone hopes that every game will be a huge hit, you need income to keep going if you don’t have one in the beginning.

Therefore as a young studio, you experience a period of learning, where you will make mistakes and aim to do better next time. In the meantime, you have to ensure that you don’t compromise on quality and embrace the changes as you go – tweaking the games in development with your experience from the past. 

CB: How hard is it to design and develop games that truly stand out from the crowd?

JC: Very hard which is why you need a very strong roadmap! It’s imperative to test the market with different game mechanics until you find your hit. It’s also important to be collaborative, by listening to the operators you are working with and also affiliates, to ensure you are up to speed on market demand and appetite when it comes to different game play. 

CB: And how do you ensure operators know about you and your games? Is this where experience also comes in?

JC: Yes, absolutely. At the time of launch, Golden Rock Studios had a very strong network of contacts and we immediately hired one of the best commercial managers in the business. This is key to ensure you can get your games in front of the right people. But then the games have to be not just good, but great, and our team is known within the industry for bringing enormous talent and experience to the Golden Rock Studios team. 

CB: Slots seem to be the main focus at the moment – do operators need to refocus on table games?

JC: Slots will always be a driver for the online industry with customers hungry for new games and we aim to provide for those customers. However innovation is at the heart of what we do which is why we are launching our own table games, full of features. We have seen that this area of the industry is lacking any form of innovation in recent times with regards to RNG content and we are really excited to unveil our games in the next few weeks. 

CB: How are you pushing boundaries with the table games you are launching?

JC: First of all, we are launching two highly immersive table games with never seen before features. Roulette X2 is the first of its kind, by awarding customers ‘double payout’ chances with every winning spin without taking anything off the player.

Back Blackjack is a super slick game with a new side bet, which awards payouts of up to 264/1 for a blackjack, not only on the players hand but the dealers hand too!