Tell us a bit about yourself. What makes you, you; and why have you chosen to work at Stormcraft?
Firstly, just wanted to say thank you so much for the opportunity. So, I have been designing games for Microgaming since the early days of the internet, almost 25 years now. Over the years, my team and I have had the privilege to work with some awesome licensed brands, like Tomb Raider, Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones, to name a few. We have also originated many successful slot brands for Microgaming, like Thunderstruck and Thunderstruck II , Immortal Romance and Mega Moolah. Stormcraft is a multidisciplined, multinational collection of people from around the world, with our HQ located in South Africa. Collectively, we have over 500 years of industry experience within the studio and produce everything in-house.
You have an impressive slots portfolio; can you name the best three slots ever released by Stormcraft?
The first official Stormcraft game was Fortunium, which was a huge commercial success for us. Following on from that, we also had great success with Wild Catch and, more recently, Fire Forge. We’re hugely excited that Fire Forge has been shortlisted for Game of the Year at one of the industry’s top award ceremonies, the EGR Operator Awards
2020 was a challenging year for all of us. Even so, Stormcraft had multiple releases. Which slot takes the 2020 title of the best Stormcraft release?
This past year certainly has been challenging for us as a business. In fact, the studio has been working from home for the past 16 months due to the pandemic and I am so incredibly proud of the team’s professionalism and determination in getting our biggest release of the year, Thunderstruck® Wild Lighting, successfully across the line.
Looking to the future, what is the next big release Stormcraft is planning?
So, after Thunderstruck Wild Lightning launches globally in a few days, we will be sending Agent Jane Blonde out on another exciting mission. After that, we have something really special in the pipeline, which is a high-profile movie brand that Microgaming has previously collaborated on with NBC Universal… more than once. That’s all I can say at this point.
In a market with hundreds of game studios, what would you say is Stormcraft’s biggest differentiator?
Besides the years of industry experience, what differentiates Stormcraft from the competition is the care and attention we give to the quality and craftsmanship of our products. We build narratives around charming characters and entertain players with engaging features and mechanics, supported by captivating music compositions. At Stormcraft, we don’t just make slot games, we craft memorable gaming experiences.
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?
Craftsmanship is one of Stormcraft’s core principles which applies to all aspects of game creation. From the concept sketches and maths modelling, through to development and marketing strategies, all facets of the game are carefully considered with quality assurance done at every point in the process. For me, the most exciting part of the process is always the start of the new project, where my imagination is free to conjure up crazy ideas and scenarios and pitch them to the team.
How can you tell if an online slot is going to be a hit or not?
The factors that signify the potential for a new release to be a success are mainly related to the key performance indicators of the game in the first few weeks of launch. After that, we watch out for return play outside of any promotion period that may have been associated with the release.
Did you use to play slots before entering the iGaming industry?
Yes, I did. In fact, I remember when video slots first appeared in our local land-based casino and how people said that they were too complicated and would never catch on. Boy, were they wrong and am I so grateful they were! 😊
What are your hobbies?
Well besides being an avid PC and console gamer, I try and balance my screen time by spending as much time as possible outdoors getting my hands dirty in the garden. I love the creation process and I am interested in all aspects of design, from landscaping my garden or aqua scaping my aquariums… to pencil illustration or painting fantasy landscapes in oils.
What has been your biggest challenge and your most significant success in the gambling industry?
In the past 25 years we have weathered many industry challenges and always come out of them stronger and more confident. Working in the technology industry is challenging as we always need to be aware and stay aligned to dynamic shifts in the industry. By way of example, the shift away from the PC-based Flash platform towards the emerging and constantly evolving mobile platform was a challenge. I am pleased to say, however, that we are on top of our game when it comes to technology and mobile-centric design.
Looking back at my career in the gambling industry from a product perspective, I would probably have to say that my greatest success has to be Immortal Romance. Even though I created and produced the game more than ten years ago, it continues to be one of the most recognised and popular slot brands in the online gaming industry today. I hope your readers will be pleased to hear that I am busy working on the next chapter of the Immortal Romance saga, so subscribe to our social media platforms and watch out for sneaky Easter eggs and teasers! 😊