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Meet the Slots Creators – Light & Wonder’s EU Creative Director, Mats Andersson Interview

Posted by: George
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Tell us a bit about yourself. What makes you, you; and why have you chosen to be a part of Light & Wonder?

I’m Mats Andersson, EU Creative Director. I’m a slots fanatic. Before joining Light & Wonder I was on the operator side for many years. Since my introduction into the industry, I wanted to be on the creative side and work with slots – to see behind the scenes and see what works.

You have an impressive portfolio; can you name what you see as the best three games you’ve released?

Rise of the Mountain King, Invaders Megaways… and I guess I’m going to have to say Disco Dawgs!

Looking to that latest release, what can you tell us about Disco Dawgs? 

It’s a simple 5×3 20-line game that comes packed with wild modifiers, set in a ‘Saturday Night Fever’-type disco era theme. And then, when we go into free spins, we combine base game wilds into walking multiply wilds that are multiplicative with each other. So you have that high-end win potential increased.

Can we expect anything in Disco Dawgs we’ve not seen before?

 Animated dancing dogs popping up from the screen!      

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

 

Our data capacity: we have land-based, we have social, we have iGaming, and we’re an aggregator as well, so we get an influx of data that we can read from various jurisdictions that we then implement that into our game design. What’s working in the US might not be what’s going to work in Europe, so to have that from a data perspective is invaluable; we can work and tweak between them compared to a company that’s solely targeted in a single market.

 

For you, which is the most exciting part of the entire process when creating a new slot?

 

The first math demo. You don’t have pretty designs, you don’t have any flash animation, you have X’s and O’s, and you just play that time and time again, over and over and over. That’s where you know if you really have something you consider a great game or not. In my opinion, everything should come from math upwards. Everybody can make something look pretty but having the foundation behind it is the key.

How (if you can) can you tell if a game is going to be a hit or not?

It ties into the previous answer: if I’m excited playing X’s and O’s on a screen, or just seeing numbers appearing, that for me tells me straightaway that it has a good, good chance.

What are your own hobbies?

I’m massively into video games. FPS, MMORPGs, indie games… a mixture of everything!

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

Biggest challenge? Speaking English every day! Joking aside, the challenge is to find something that fits everyone. I know what I like to play, but that doesn’t mean other people might like what I like. So you’re trying to create something that fits all types of players, because there’s more than one type of player. That’s the biggest challenge, I would say. As for my most significant success… seeing my first slot – Rise of the Mountain King – go live.

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

I’m going to say the restaurant industry on the management side. When I was still living in Sweden I worked in restaurants a lot. I make a mean Pizza!

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