Pauls Špakovskis, Game Expert at Slotsjudge, shares some thoughts on what’s really behind the games that stand out from the crowd and offers a glimpse into a future where AI will play an integral role in the player experience.

CasinoBeats: You’ve joined Slotsjudge as the company’s new Games Expert. Tell us more about your role and what it entails.

Pauls Špakovskis: Firstly I am thankful for Slotsjudge for this opportunity. As a game expert, my main goal is to do as the title says – analyse games and understand the things that people find most appealing and what works. I’ve spent most of my adult life in the entertainment industry and I’ve developed a knack for identifying attention-grabbing techniques.

CB: What are the advantages for companies like Slotsjudge in having a Game Expert on the team?

My background means I have a unique appreciation of what works in a game, how it works on me and what others may enjoy or not. While relatively new to the sector, I am adept at articulating the best bits about a game thanks to my background in esports commentary. A Game Expert should be able to provide objective and insightful analysis – that will be my goal.

Also, as there are plans to start streaming slot game gameplay, I feel like I can provide a lot of my expertise and entertainment value.

CB: What are your thoughts on the esports genre and how do you identify the best games?

PS: I think a common misconception is that esports games are difficult to understand and only people who want gore or action play it. But if we look around the world, esports is one of the biggest markets right now. And that is because game developers understand that if you want to make a competitive game, you need not only make it a working product, but also an immersive story with great visuals. Some of the biggest titles even make accompanying content, such as animated TV series, to create extra lore around its characters, making it a comprehensive esports experience.

CB: And similarly for slots. What’s the hot theme right now and what are you looking for when seeking out the best new products?

PS: With my background in esports, I look for slots that find the balance between gameplay and volatility – neither should compromise the other. In recent years, we have seen a tilt towards highly volatile slots – that means games that pay out less frequently than slots with medium volatility classification but have much bigger win potential.

One such theme that’s becoming ever-present is prize multipliers combined with in-game multipliers as part of bonus rounds or base game features. In slots like Push Gaming’s Big Bamboo, for example, there is a prize multiplier worth up to 5,000x that can be won on any random spin. What is more, this prize multiplier can be multiplied by up to 10x in any random spin. That means in one single spin, a player can win 50,000x the stake – that is the meaning of true volatility.

CB: Finally, what are your predictions for the rest of the year for both esports and slots?

PS: The word on the lips of the igaming industry is Virtual Reality! At some point in the near future, a developer will figure out how to combine an authentic casino experience with computer-generated simulation in a safe and responsible way. One can very well imagine an esports enthusiast betting on an ongoing tournament while wearing a VR headset, for example.

How such a platform can be integrated with existing betting sites is anyone’s guess, especially in maturing markets with healthy regulatory processes. But we can certainly expect esports to receive a VR makeover in the betting sphere at some point in the coming months or years.