Exclusive Q&A with Play’n GO
“First and foremost, we are entertainers. We aim to make the most engaging and entertaining slots on the market.”
Play’n GO doesn’t need much introduction to slot goers following the success of slots like Book of Dead and Reactoonz. There are, however, many more things that would be great to know, including topics like progressive jackpots and their approach to game development. Representing Play’n GO in an attempt to answer these and other burning questions, their champ of an affiliate manager, Tommy Adolfsson Saarela, also talks which games really showcase their innovation and style as a supplier.
Hope you enjoy this 5-minute’s read below.
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Hi, and thank you for taking the time to do this Q&A with me. First of all, what a year it has been for Play’n GO: so many exciting releases, including a sequel that I’m sure many have been secretly hoping to see, Reactoonz 2. Could you tell what you were trying to achieve with the sequel that the first game didn’t already deliver?
Tommy Adolfsson Saarela (TAS): It’s not so much what we were trying to achieve, but what we were trying to provide. We know players love Reactoonz, it’s been a top performer for a couple of years now, and we felt that we had some ideas that could take that game experience even further.
We were providing a new experience in a familiar setting, and we felt that not only was the time right, but we had the right ideas to do that and create another fantastic game for audiences to enjoy.
So we’ve taken the familiar elements of the game, the grid format, the characters etc and we’ve added some new features that let you enjoy all your favourite parts of Reactoonz in a whole new way.
Reactoonz 2 is just one of the 52 games that you have planned for 2020. What does it take to release one slot per week, considering the fact that it can take over half a year for some developers to produce a licensed product from start to finish? Could you give players a glimpse into how you develop your games at this pace?
TAS: Our games have varied life cycles depending on the complexity of the idea, the art style, the intricacy of the math model a lot of different factors can affect timelines.
For Reactoonz, for example, I believe it may have been roughly six months to a year in the making officially, but there are so many other things around the game, before and after, that it was probably longer than that!
We have a detailed and intensive development process, starting from concept and stretching through to the game’s release. Each stage of development has a milestone where we check and make sure that everything we are doing is the best it can be, and contributing to a high-quality game.
The process encompasses every part of the design; concept, art, math model, graphics, gameplay, user interface, each one is a cog in the final machine of a great slot.
How would you describe Play’n GO slots in a sentence or two? What are the criteria that they have to meet before being published (excluding licensing and regulation)?
TAS: First and foremost, we are entertainers. We aim to make the most engaging and entertaining slots on the market.
We want games that will interest and thrill players, so we want fun, exciting ideas for our slots. We also want to make sure that we’re adding that little bit of Play’n GO magic into everything we do.
Sometimes this means trying something totally new, like the hexagonal grid-slots Diamond Vortex and Honey Rush. Other times it means adding two existing elements together to create a new dimension to a game. Our games Charlie Chance in Hell to Pay and Riddle Reels: A Case of Riches are both more traditional UK fruit machine type games but, respectively, each has more innovative elements added to create a new experience. Charlie Chance, with its feature board and Riddle Reels with its board game feature.
Over the last couple of years, are there any slots that have stood out the most in the way of popularity or production process?
TAS: In terms of popularity, take your pick! As you know, more recently we’ve had Reactoonz 2, along with Rich Wilde and the Shield of Athena and Troll Hunters 2, and innovations like Honey Rush.
Going back further our mythological themed titles like Dawn of Egypt, Viking Runecraft and Rise of Olympus always continue to do well with audiences.
While most of these games are more of a series, linked to earlier titles, there are also a few standalone titles that really caught player’s interest like The Sword and the Grail and Riches of Robin.
With the variety of our portfolio, we find different games become popular in different regions.
Play’n GO progressive jackpot slots – is this something on your roadmap? Your talent for producing popular grid slots with a combination of a progressive jackpot network would sound just great!?
TAS: We currently have a selection of games, our Wealth Series, that feature progressive jackpots. The Wealth Series is a collection of three games; Celebration of Wealth, Beast of Wealth and Temple of Wealth all different games that are linked by a common theme to create an overall gaming experience.
Each of these slots has a progressive jackpot that continues to build while you play. Once triggered, one of four jackpot buckets can be won.
As fast as they change, the year 2021 is just around the corner. Are there any highlights that you want to share with Play’n GO fans beyond your “signature” music slots like the new Helloween?
TAS: Watch this space! There are several weeks to go in the year, and we still have a few titles still to release. We’re not ones to give anything away, but there’s plenty to excite players between now and the end of the year!
Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead is obviously the most popular Play’n GO game of all time. Which of your games have you recommended the most to someone who’s less familiar with your titles and wants to start with the cream of the crop?
TAS: Well… that’s a difficult one!! We have a lot of titles that have done well over the years, and I guess it would depend on what they, as a player, prefer in games.
But it would be hard to go wrong with something like Reactoonz, Legacy of Dead or even Viking Runecraft; these are three games that really showcase our innovation and style as a supplier but, of course, there’s plenty more they can choose from!
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