GIO: What player demographic do Asian themes appeal to, is it universal?
Yuriy Muratov: Games influenced by Asian culture have been a staple of online slots since the inception of the digital environment and will continue to be an important element of the product mix for all operators. It’s a classic theme that appeals to many, and while predominantly these types of games are developed with the intention of targeting an Asian audience, they are equally enjoyed by a wide demographic in markets across the globe.
The familiarity of Asian-themed games instantly grabs the attention of players, but crucially it’s the mechanics of the gameplay that will keep them coming back for more. Hold and Win mechanics are a great example of this, with players resonating with the concept of a bonus round where respins are guaranteed for every new symbol depicting a cash value that lands. Our fast-growing portfolio is packed with Asian-themed games as we know there is a strong demand from operators and players alike for this particular type of content.
GIO: Are all of your online slots packed with features and additional gameplay?
YM: Hold and Win mechanics form a strong component of our portfolio, which is why Booongo is considered the leading provider of games within this particular genre. Magic Apple and Super Rich God are the latest hits from us to feature the mechanic, which has grown in popularity considerably in recent times. We’ll continue to develop these kinds of games going forward as demand is still very strong for the mechanic. We’ll never stop experimenting with new concepts that we can look to incorporate within our titles, so watch this space on how we’ll move forward with slot provision.
GIO: Three jackpots is fairly unusual – what’s the difference between the three for the player? Is there a progressive element to the jackpots?
YM: Within our Hold and Win games, the value of the jackpots are fixed in place and are determined by the stake of the spin. The beauty of these jackpots is that they can appear randomly at any given time during the bonus round and players know exactly the amount they have won as the cash value is displayed above the reels. The Mini, Major and Grand jackpots differ in size. Within the Hold and Win respins mode, the Grand jackpot is paid out when the entire grid is filled with bonus symbols.
Previously, we experimented with an individual progressive jackpot within our release 15 Golden Eggs and was part of the game’s RTP. The title’s still popular and is very much built on the Hold and Win mechanics that are prominent within our most recent hits.
GIO: This is a slot with two features, how does this affect a game’s volatility? Also, do the features work together or are they experienced exclusively?
YM: The Hold and Win respins mode is a separate feature to Free Spins and can only be triggered when at least six bonus symbols land on the reels. Within the Bonus Game built on Hold and Win mechanics, only symbols that land are paid out, including the three in-game jackpots. When the entire grid is filled with bonus symbols, players will scoop the Grand Jackpot. This differs from the classic Free Spins offering, where three scatters are required to trigger the round and the arrival of high-paying symbols is key to securing a big pay-out.
Simply adding more features doesn’t result in a game becoming highly volatile, as the overall structure needs adjusting in order for the volatility to change. With Super Rich God, the two features are complementary and can actually work together. For instance, the Bonus Game can still be triggered during Free Spins. This simply makes for a rich and immersive experience, with players knowing they can enjoy more than just the standard base gameplay.
GIO: How does this slot build on the success of Lord Fortune? Do they use similar mathematics? How has does Super Rich God improve on that game’s success?
YM: Lord Fortune proved to be another bit hit with our player base and while it is similar to Super Rich God in being an Asian-themed game with Hold and Win mechanics, it’s slightly more volatile and the features available differ slightly. With Lord Fortune, we offer no less than four in-game jackpots that ramps up the gaming experience, in addition to a classic Free Spins round. The two releases epitomise how we can adapt these types of games for different audiences and ensure they remain fresh and appealing to players.
In addition, with the Super Rich God theme very popular within the land-based community, we wanted to extend our engagement with this particular audience and introduce them to our online offering. We aimed to create a gameplay that would resonate with land-based players and hopefully have secured a few more additions to our thriving fan base.