Meet The Slots Creators – Shacks Evolution Studios’ Founder & CEO Akinlaja Ayofemi Interview!

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Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what is your role at Shacks Evolution Studios?

My name is Akinlaja Ayofemi and I am the Founder & CEO of Shacks Evolution Studios, Africa’s first iGaming Studio. I am a Nigerian with a background in management sciences and gaming. I am responsible for the growth and commercialization of Shacks Evolution Studios.

How did you first start in the gambling industry? What were the initial challenges?

Started in mid 2020 during the pandemic where there was a halt in sports worldwide for about 3 months. I used to work as the Marketing lead for one of Nigerians top bookmaker Merrybet. We faced challenges of getting an alternative product to offer to our customers at that time. My friend Wale and I decided to build a virtual soccer game called Next Evolution Soccer. We weren’t able to scale it with our then company Paper & Spades Gaming. But towards the end of the year,I decided to make my own crash game titled BUSLY. This was Shacks Evolution Studios flagship product. It was however difficult to sell in Africa because crash games were so relatively new in early 2021. Some of the initial challenges we faced was acceptance. No one makes igaming content in Africa, it was strange to see a Nigerian trying to do the unthinkable. We had to cross hurdles of trust and recognition before we finally got to where we are now.

With so many game studios on the market, what do you think is the biggest differentiator for Shacks Evolution Studios?

We are focused solely on creating playable content for the African market. We understand what works here and have factored all the limitations into the content we produce. We also make sure to localize these content to be relatable to the players. Being the first igaming studio in Africa puts a lot of pressure on our shoulders to perform and create that enabling environment for more studios to come up and thrive.

Can you please tell us what is the slot with the Biggest Wins from Shacks Evolution Studios? We are sure our readers would like to give it a spin, if they haven’t already.

We focus on making instant games so i wouldn’t exactly call them slots haha. But yes our games with the biggest wins would be the Crash games (Crashlite & Busly) and then Reelwheel which is a spinning wheel game where you can win a jackpot amount each round.

What are your top 3 favorite slots from Shacks Evolution Studios? Can you please tell us the reasons behind your choices?

From our product portfolio I would pick Penaldo as my first. This is me being biased lol. I am a Messi fan and I adapted the name Penaldo for our penalty shootout game as a banter to Cristiano Ronaldo. This is a name he was called for scoring majorly penalty goals in matches. However, I agree that he is a fantastic player.

Second would be Busly, being the first major game we produced. I am attached to it emotionally. It is a one of a kind crash game and no one has been able to make anything similar to it. Asides the multiplier, it features additional events players can wager on.

Third would be one of our last 3 releases, hard to choose but i will go with Coin Toss, it’s a simple Head or Tails coin flip game. What we did with it is what makes it unique for me. The Head has a Nelson Mandela figurine, while the Tails has the Map of Africa. Very unique.

What is the most important aspect of a slot from your perspective?

I think the ease of playing a game is key. Players now do not want to have to study a game for a long time to understand and then play it. They want something pretty simple and direct. Especially in Africa.

Is there any way to predict if a slot is going to be a hit or not? 

We use provably fair algorithms, so it is difficult to tell.

Looking to the future, what is the next big release Shacks Evolution Studios is planning?

For our online games, more easy to play style of games. But we are going to major into retail games this year. You should watch out for that.

Do you have any advice for those who would like to work in the gambling/ e-gaming industry?

Yea a word for founders like myself, things would not exactly be a piece of cake or a walk in the park. You will need persistence, resilience and patience.

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

I am an all round business man who likes to build things. So I have other ventures I am generally interested in, such as Advertising and Fintech.

Is there anything you would like to transmit to those who support Shacks Evolution Studios, before we say goodbye?

I would like to appreciate everyone for the support, those who cheered us on, those who clapped for us and patted us on the back, those who picked us up when we fell. We do not take you for granted. God bless you.

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