Meet the Slots Creators – All41 Studio’s Julia Saburova Interview

Posted by: John
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Tell us a bit about yourself. What makes you; and why have you chosen to work at ALL41?

Hi, my name is Julia Saburova, Head of All41 Studios. I really like new challenges and setting up a studio was a very attractive and at the same time challenging initiative. Growing from a very small team to where we are now is a very interesting experience and one that I really enjoy every day. It’s exciting talking about the talent that you have on the team and talking about the results that you are achieving. All41 is a data-led studio; in all our decision-making we look to data. This is very exciting for me from a decision-making point of view – I really enjoy learning together with the team and seeing how we develop, learn and grow.

What do you think are the best three slots ever released by All41?

Arena of Gold is the first one… then 6 Tokens of Gold… and our Megaways™ games (if I can cheat and combine them!) – we have Shamrock Holmes being the first Megaways™ game from All41 and Forgotten Island as well. My favourite recent game is Gold Collector.

Which slot takes the 2020 title of the best All41release?

That would be easy: Arena of Gold. This game was very well received by the players and can be called a cult game for All41 Studios.

Looking to the future, what is the next big release All41 is planning?

I would like to keep it secret for now as we are now working on quite a few exciting titles that we plan to release already this fall.

In a market with hundreds of game studios, what would you say is All41’s biggest differentiator?

All41 is following a data-led approach, and I think that this is one of our biggest strengths. We are not afraid of trying to build something new whether it comes to game mechanics or game theme. Every released game title brings us lots of new learnings that we apply to our next games. This allows us to deliver the very best gaming experiences to our players.

We would love to hear more about the slot creation process. Can you let us know which is the most exciting part of the entire process when creating a new slot?

For me, it’s when I can play the game very first time. We have multiple playability rounds where all our teams work very closely with each other in order to craft something ‘best of the best’. This is where people brainstorm most and generate ideas on how to make gameplay even more exciting and engaging.

What about any inside funny stories, do you have something to share with us?

Recently – with Gold Collector – one of the artists who created the graphics for the game made the main digger character and it actually looks a lot like our Head of Game Design, Bradley Johnson. When I was looking at the game I said, “Bradley, it’s you when you’ve retired and are going out digging for gold!” It’s quite funny, but when we asked the designer ‘where you’re looking to create Bradley there?’ they said “No. Really not” so it was completely a funny accident. Bradley should be proud that he is now immortalised forever in the game!

How can you tell if an online slot is going to be a hit or not?

It’s very hard to say. It’s a very creative field and if we knew whether a game would be a hit or not then, you know, there wouldn’t be so many competitors out there! So it’s very hard to tell, but if you know, for example, what players are expecting, what they’re looking for and what the market trends are plus where the data leads you in decision-making during the game creation process, then you should be fine. You should be stable enough to feel that the game will perform.

  1. What are your hobbies?

I like photography, and every spare minute I have I try to spend with my family, with my two kids. I enjoy every minute spent with them.  

  1. What has been your biggest challenge and your most significant success in the gambling industry?

The biggest challenge was to set up the studio itself – to start from scratch and become one of the leading studios on the Microgaming platform. The biggest success is to be where we are now and being able to look to the future and do even better stuff.

  1. If you weren’t in the gambling industry, what other industry would you want to work in?

A very natural choice for me would be Product Development in the I.T. field. I have extensive experience setting up software development teams and leading I.T. companies. I’m a graduate of a technical university and have a degree in computer science, so it’s something that really speaks to me.