Wrapping up 2020 & Talking Casino 2021 with Play'n GO
Although it feels like 2020 has dragged on for an eternity, 2021 is approaching fast. To wrap up the year we decided to contact one of the UK’s most popular game developers: Play’n GO. You know, the studio behind casino classics like Book of Dead and Reactoonz.
We got the pleasure to have a chat with Tommy Adolfsson Saarela, Affiliate Manager at Play’n GO. So, in case you suspect you might have missed anything Play’n GO from this year, and what to expect of UK casinos 2021, this is your chance to get back up to speed. Let us get to it!
You seem to have already taken care of Christmas (Holiday Spirits) and New Years (New Year Riches), what are the plans for the rest of December?
We promised 52 top-quality games this year, and so we will finish delivering on that promise. Our first game of the month is Ice Joker, a new addition to our Joker family series of games.
It features a new Joker character Iceilia, who can use her icy powers to freeze the reels and grant the players re-spins. It’s a lot of fun, and we think people will enjoy it just as much as the other games in the series.
Aside from that, we have another wintry game called Frozen Gems, then two more fun slots to round off the year. You’ll see them when they come out ha ha ha!
You have released a number of sequels this year, do you have plans to release any more?
Never say never! When it comes to sequels, it’s all about making sure everything is right. The market has to want it, and we have to be able to create a game that we think is worth bringing out under the same name.
The easy route would be to create a game, slap a name like ‘Dawn of Egypt 2’ onto it, and let the reputation of the first one do all the work to bring players in. But that’s just a lazy cash grab, and that’s not what we’re about.
The sequels we have released only went ahead because people wanted to see them, and we felt we could give something new to the characters’ adventures. If you look at Reactoonz 2, Troll Hunters 2 or any other sequel game, you can see we bring the elements people love about the first game, and fuse it with new ideas, and new features to create a new experience.
Which game from 2020 are you most proud of?
That’s like asking us to choose which one of our children is our favourite! We’re proud of all of our games, a lot of hard work and effort goes into each title from people across the business.
Of course, there are games that we have released this year that have gone on to do exceptionally well; titles like Reactoonz 2, Riches of Robin or Diamond Vortex have all performed very admirably in the markets, better than we even hoped.
It’s always nice to see a game that we have crafted go on to do well but choosing the best one? Can’t do it!
Let us rephrase: Which has been the most commercially successful then?
I don’t think anyone will be surprised when we say that our biggest success has been Reactoonz 2.
The release of Reactoonz 2 has been years in the making really. Even though the slot has only been around for three years, the anticipation for this sequel began almost as soon as it had been released. If you couple that with the continued high performance of the first one, we always expected it to be one of our top titles for the year.
But, even with that expectation, we still didn’t anticipate the amount of love it would receive around the world. People have really connected with the game, and their love for these crazy little aliens knows no bounds!
You must put your name on one 2020 game from your competitors, which and why?
There’s no game we could name that we would want to add into our portfolio. While we respect our competitors and their outputs, we do things differently.
Play’n GO games have a recognisable style that we have built up over the years, and that blueprint is fundamental to anything we do.
Our competitors have some great titles in their own right, but I don’t think any of them fit in with the Play’n GO way of doing things.
You are one of a handful big studios steering clear of the recent Megaways trend, how come?
The Megaways trend is very popular, and it would be easy for us to try and churn out a title to capitalise on that popularity, but that’s not how we do things.
If we were ever to put a Megaways title in the market, we’d have to make sure it was the right idea, at the right time; we wouldn’t ever want to force something just for the sake of doing it.
We’ve never said that we wouldn’t make a Megaways game, but if we do, it has to be right.
We totally dig your music slots (especially Twisted Sister and the Sabaton slot) – will there be more in the series?
Yes, for sure we’ll have more music games for the market in 2021. Over the past 18 months, the music portion of our portfolio has become increasingly popular, and we always want to give the market what they want, alongside innovating and bringing new ideas to the table.
We like creating the music slots because, while they give music fans a chance to hear some of their favourite bands and songs, the games also appeal to fans of slot games in general with some great features and gameplay everyone can enjoy.
What are your plans for 2021, any one project you are extra excited about?
2020 was big, but 2021 will be even bigger! We have plans to continue innovating in the industry and releasing more top tier content, which will allow our operators to keep providing top-quality entertainment to players. That’s what it’s all about.
We can’t give away any secrets just yet, but watch this space!
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