The reels will be soon be spinning as the CasinoBeats Slots Festival gets underway – giving a select audience of operators and affiliates access to the latest and upcoming releases from leading developers and emerging studios. 

The festival, which will be the first of four in 2021, sponsored by Groove Gaming, will showcase content from key sponsors such as BetConstruct, Habanero, Microgaming, NetGaming, Play’n Go, ThunderSpin and SG Digital.

Ahead of the slots spectacular, we got the inside scoop from the developers on what exciting things we can expect to see in their virtual showrooms.

Andrew Booth, director of games from Microgaming, expressed his excitement about presenting a ‘diverse’ range of titles from the company’s exclusive independent studios, which includes All41 Studios’ first two Megaway titles, Shamrock Holmes and Forgotten Island. 

Other titles included in Microgaming’s virtual showroom will include Hyper Strike by Gameburger Studio, Assassin Moon from Triple Edge Studios, its third HyperHold release.

“I’m personally most excited to show off mobster-themed Chicago Gold, which launches globally just in time for the Slots Festival,” noted Booth. “Created by one of our newest exclusive studio partners, Montreal-based PearFiction Studios, the game’s packed with features and introduces new cash collection and jackpot reveal bonus features. 

“Graphically stunning with wonderful characterisation, you really feel the 20s gangster vibe shining throughout gameplay. And with some of the strongest retention performance we’ve ever seen during a period of exclusivity, we’re expecting great things when the game drops globally on 4 February.”

Alongside Microgaming will be NetGaming which will be displaying five of its slot titles, including its MTV Pimp My Ride.

Highlighting its 2021 roadmap, Pallavi Deshmukh, CEO of NetGaming, emphasised her belief that its current portfolio and soon-to-be-released titles will ‘resonate with seasoned and casual players alike’.

“Take MTV Pimp My Ride, for example. It’s a game that was designed to appeal to a wide cross-section of players through features that resonate with casual players that are likely fans of the popular brand, provides attractive options for seasoned players who are ‘in it to win it’ and is presented beautifully for semi-casual players, who are playing for entertainment and game mechanics,” commented Deshmukh.

“The Dark Art is another example of a highly immersive slot that connects a game theme that draws players in and provides extremely entertaining mechanics. The theme of Skulls Gone Wild is created for Spanish-speaking markets, however can take any player on a journey of re-spins that will provide an extremely satisfying experience.”

Keeping its content close to its chest, SG Digital will be on hand again following the company’s appearance at our inaugural event.

Speaking to CasinoBeats, Rob Procter, content specialist director of digital, explained that the Slots Festival provides a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for attendees to discover new styles of games on offer from Scientific Games

“Off the back of Cluedo Cash Mystery, which has performed very strongly since its launch this month, delegates can learn more about the next branded instalment that will be released in March, Monopoly Utility Trails,” said Procter. 

“The Hasbro board game continues to prove popular within the slots community with many variants already available online. 

“However, Monopoly Utility Trails offers something truly different and really epitomises the direction we’re heading with regards to our games development. Featuring a solid front-end and quality artwork, the game marks another strong collaboration between Scientific Games and Hasbro. 

“The gameplay is built on cluster mechanics and is primarily focused on the board game’s utilities, Water Works and Electric company. Fifteen bonus symbols will trigger the Water Works Spin Streak or the Electricity Company’s insane cluster pays, Lightning Link bonus round. Watch out for the Wild Rails, which links up wild symbols on the same row or column.”

The latest developer to sign up to the event is Play’n Go who, after an impressive 52-game year, look set to beat their 2020 achievements. Magnus Olsson, leading games developer at the company, noted that the upcoming festival is an opportunity to showcase new plans for 2021.

“We all miss meeting our audience and our customers, and can’t wait to get back on the road again,” he began. “In the meantime, events like the Slots Festival provides a way for us to showcase all the good stuff we’ve been working on. Content is key, and we really appreciate the opportunity to share our contributions with all of you.”

Olsson then discussed Play’n Go’s plans for 2021, which will see the firm release another game in its Cat Wilde series – Cat Wilde in the Eclipse of the Sun God – as well as continuing with the Lord Merlin and the Lady in the Lake franchise.

“Our 2021 roadmap is built on three pillars,” he said. “One – we continue to build out the sagas, or sequels, with a twist. You will see the universes of the Wilde family, the Reactoonz creatures and other well known Play’n Go characters expand and develop in different ways. The Arthurian Legend will get some well deserved air time too. And a few surprises…”

Italian-based developer Habanero will also be making an appearance, with its virtual showroom consisting of eight titles, including this week’s new release Totem Towers.

Commenting on the new title, Arcangelo Lonoce, head of European business development at Habanero, explained: “Totem Towers is a fun-filled adventure inviting curious players to explore a mystical Mayan jungle, complemented by thematic Totem symbols and a serene acoustic soundtrack. Attendees can also learn more about how the game’s Totem Tower and Line Boost features can be deployed to ramp up customer engagement.”

When asked if Lonoce could provide any tips or advice for our readers planning on attending the Slots Festival, he concluded: “Make sure you try out Habanero’s action-packed games! Get involved in our tournament, and you could take home a tasty top prize worth €500. 

“With a prize pool worth a whopping total of €1000 to be claimed, the competition will deliver the goods for entertainment-hungry slot enthusiasts in the mood for action.” 

And last – but certainly not least – Kalamba Games’ head of sales and account management, Tamas Kusztos, highlighted his excitement for the upcoming event. 

He said: “We are really looking forward to showing off a number of our titles including Ducks till Dawn, Sadie Swift, Blazing Bull, Sky Hunters, Joker Max, Goblins & Gemstones, Crystal Cavern and Maui Millions. 

“Attendees will be able to participate in competitions featuring our games that we will be running at the event. It is a great range of titles, and there are prizes to be won so look out for it.”