How Stormcraft Studios Grow Their Business & Deliver Premium Slots Mines Games Tips
Stormcraft Studios is one of the most famous independent creators in the books of Microgaming. So far, our readers have had many chances to learn about this developer’s slots. But this time around, CasinosOnline got an exclusive!
This is our heart-to-heart interview with Terence Igesund, Executive Producer at Stormcraft
Many thanks Terence for giving up some of your time to allow our readers to find out more about Stormcraft Studios. It is great to meet you!
Great to meet you too and thanks for the opportunity to talk about Stormcraft and our games. Looking forward to the chat.
We are proud to announce Stormcraft as one of the best Microgaming independent studios. In your opinion, is Stormcraft where it wants to be right now or are there always new ambitious sparking in the headquarters?
Wow you went big right out of the gates didn’t you! The short answer is Yes… we are an ambitious studio with big ideas and even bigger dreams. We also have a great deal of industry experience in our ranks, so we understand that success is only achieved through careful planning, hard work and a lot of determination. We are focused on growing our business, our distribution and most importantly our people.
Let’s talk about some well-established gems from your portfolio. Shall we start with Agent Jane Blonde? The 2019 Agent Jane Blonde Returns slot stirred the market. Did it achieve the success you had anticipated?
Yes, Agent Jane Blonde’s return did stir a lot of interest. We showcased the game on the Microgaming stand at the ICE London tradeshow that year, and it was well received.
We had a very specific strategy with that game and long-term plans to iterate on the brand. The fact that the game is still being used by operators as an acquisition and retention game is testament to the success of that strategy.
We will be sending Agent Jane off on another exciting mission in a few months. This time, the game personality and variance will be very different, with the same level of quality and craftsmanship that players expect from a Stormcraft game.
Are you a slot lover? What is your personal favourite Stormcraft Studios slot and why?
A wise man once told me that if you love what you do… you will never work a day in your life. I hope that answers your first question.
As far as my favourite Stormcraft slot is concerned, I would have to go with the game I am currently working on, which is Thunderstruck® Wild Lightning. Having designed the previous two versions of Thunderstruck, there is obviously a special place in my heart for this brand. We have dedicated a considerable amount of time and effort to the creation of a truly special gaming experience that we hope will not disappoint the fans.
Could you pin down what makes Stormcraft slots stand out in the crowd?
What differentiates Stormcraft games from the competition is the extra care and attention we give to the quality and craftsmanship of our products. We go the extra mile when it comes to world and brand building. We build narratives around charming characters and entertain players with engaging feature mechanics and visual dynamics, which are enhanced by captivating musical compositions. At Stormcraft, we don’t just make slot games, we craft memorable gaming experiences.
What is the main driving force in the studios when manufacturing a new online slot?
The main driving force behind the creation of a new online slot is always to deliver a commercially successful product that will grow your business and enhance your brand recall and value proposition in the marketplace.
Stormcraft Studios significantly contributed to the Microgaming jackpot network with Fortunium Gold Mega Moolah. Could you tell us more about that venture?
Fortunium was the first official Stormcraft slot which performed very well for us, so it made sense to extend upon the brand by integrating it with a network progressive. So much has changed since I created and produced Mega Moolah back in 2006, and I had a long list of things I wanted to improve and evolve. So, it was an awesome opportunity to take the visual fidelity of the Fortunium brand and apply it to the design and construction of the Mega Moolah Wheel in Fortunium Gold. The end product was a really spectacular looking jackpot progressive game.
Dragon Shard and Jungle Jim and the Lost Sphinx are also two fan favourites. What is your opinion on them?
My obviously biased opinion of them is that they are awesome slot games! but I think it’s safe to assume that you are hoping for a little more than that. The fantasy theme has made its way into the mainstream in recent years and become universally popular across all forms of entertainment. We embraced that popular appeal with Dragon Shard, once again focused heavily on crafting a deep back story to deliver and all-round entertaining experience, and I’m proud of what we achieved.
Jungle Jim & the Lost Sphinx was a sequel game to Jungle Jim Eldorado, which our team produced for Microgaming back in 2016. This brand is a personal favourite of mine and we had so much fun building the back story and developing Jim as a character. Did you know that Jim has his own Instagram account where he shares pics of his epic treasure hunting adventures from around the globe. Follow him to get updates on where he is going next. We also have a Making of Jungle Jim video on our website which shows what goes on behind the scenes in the studio.
We are utilising social media more and more as a platform to share our craft and give more insight into our game creation process and character backstories.
How do you receive player feedback and how important is it to Stormcraft that players are happy?
Player feedback is so important as it ultimately helps us make better games. Over the years we have built up a good network of industry experts and influencers whose opinion we really value. In collaboration with operators, we have run user experience workshops on our games to get feedback on features and gamification mechanics. We also read online gaming forums, slot review sites as well as keep an eye on social media for feedback on our products.
When designing our games, we always have our player hats on in order to ensure that we create the best possible user experience for the player. If only they knew how much time and consideration we put into carefully balancing all the moving parts that make up a slot game. Well, here’s hoping interviews like this will help shed more light into the world of slot game development, and how much work goes in to creating our slot content.
Other than launching novel titles, Stormcraft seems to be keen on revamping oldies. We’ve heard that a Thunderstruck renewal is about to hit all Microgaming casinos. Could you tell us more about Thunderstruck Wild Lightning?
Our business strategy is more complex that simply the revamping of oldies. As the creator and custodian of many of Microgaming’s legacy titles, there continues to be a huge business demand on us, from operators and players alike, to create sequels and extensions on these popular titles.
Building on the success of a cult classic like Thunderstruck II has been an incredibly intimidating and challenging endeavour. The Stormcraft team and I were determined however to lift this iconic brand to the next level and create a memorable and legendary gaming experience.
Thunderstruck Wild Lightning is a high volatility 40 line, 5×4 slot loaded with collection challenges, feature chases, amazing multipliers, and bonus jackpots. Thor is wild and when substituting can award a 2x or a 5x multiplier to help boost win potential. His hammer is the scatter which awards entry to the feature selection screen where five free spin destinations, with variable volatility, are waiting to be unlocked. Electric blue Thunderball symbols scattered across the base game reels provide clues to the location of the main event, where an impressive jackpot prize of over 15,000x is waiting to be won in the Link&Win bonus feature.
The visual fidelity of the game has been dramatically improved with much of the game including the main character of Thor, fully realised in highly realistic 3D. With the proven success of immersive game experiences like Immortal Romance under our belt, we have similarly created a captivating storyline, supported by several original music compositions. A selectable playlist of five tracks is available in the base game for players to customise their gaming experience.
Thunderstruck Wild Lighting is less of a sequel and more of a reboot of the franchise, which has resulted in the creation of a visually spectacular gaming experience filled with all the innovation, entertainment and craftsmanship that has come to be expected from a Stormcraft game. We are currently designing some of the other iconic characters in 3D and plan to introduce them into new Thunderstruck games in the near future.
How about other plans and releases for the upcoming period?
So, after Thunderstruck Wild Lightning launches in just 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 I can’t discuss just yet… but what I can say is that it’s a high-profile movie brand that Microgaming has previously collaborated on with NBC Universal… more than once.