Inspired Entertainment Q&A: Reel King Megaways & More
This Q&A session involves Claire Osborne, Vice President of Interactive at Inspired Entertainment.
Q&A Session | Inspired Entertainment’s Claire Osborne
Q: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Claire! First of all, tell us a little bit about your role at Inspired Entertainment.
A: I am responsible for spear-heading the strategic efforts of Inspired’s growing, international online and mobile games division. I work closely with the various departments across the organisation to ensure our growth initiatives are aligned to the vision of the company as a whole. I manage a team of account managers who collaborate closely with all our operator partners to communicate game details and ensure seamless technical transitions.
We encourage and endeavour to forge open and honest relationships with our customers, listening to their requirements and thereby deliver a games portfolio that is innovative, graphic-rich, highly engaging and industry leading, while continuing to meet their players’ naturally evolving needs.
Q: How was the summer for Inspired Entertainment?
A: Despite this summer’s catastrophic world-wide outbreak of Covid-19, which has devastated much of the industry and has caused global economic damage, 2020 has been a ground-breaking year for Inspired’s online and mobile games. A number of our headline titles took and are continuing to take increasing international market share.
In fact, Inspired’s total online business has shown a great deal of strength and resilience in the second quarter ending 30th June 2020. We reported increased revenues of $4.9 million (USD) from Q2 2019.
All-in-all, we’ve had a positive summer. I believe that as a team, we are demonstrating the growing presence and popularity of our innovative online offerings, which includes our thriving slots division.
Q: Reel King has been a popular series for a number of years – why do you think that is?
A: After completing the acquisition of the Novomatic Gaming Technology Group (“NTG”) in October 2019, inspired was keen to further strengthen its offerings by converting some of NTG’s most popular themes and titles for online gaming, including Reel King.
The Reel King brand has always had huge success and popularity among players, tallying up more than 3 billion lifetime plays. The characters and backgrounds are so engaging, vibrant and recognisable, that we knew we needed to capture the original spirit of the game while bringing it up-to-speed with the latest in slots innovation.
Q: You recently released Reel King Megaways - why did you want to include the Megaways mechanic in the game?
A: Yes, we launched Reel King Megaways in June of this year. We used the Megaways™ mechanic to create the richest possible player experience while offering players 117,649 ways to win, potentially big cash prizes.
Reel King Megaways consists of the most popular Megaways reel layout: six main reels and an additional “top reel”, contributing to high frequency winning combinations. In addition to its high-spec graphics and latest slot mechanics, Reel King Megaways allows players to choose their volatility and decide whether to turn their cash into free spins. In doing so, we gave players complete control while ensuring gameplay transparency, making the game extremely popular among players and operators alike.
Q: Have you seen renewed interest in the Reel King brand since introducing the version with Megaways?
A: Yes, there’s been a great deal of interest in the Reel King brand since our launch of the Megaways version. I’m delighted to say that, Reel King Megaways was a huge hit for us and continues to be. It achieved record-breaking success with more than 92 million plays from June to August 2020, achieving more than £65 million in stakes throughout that period. The game is now live across approximately 166 online sites throughout regulated jurisdictions.
Q: Are there plans to release more Reel King games down the line?
A: No concrete plans, as of yet. However, our development team is made up of some of the brightest sparks in the industry so that may change depending on new and innovative ideas to push the games’ technical boundaries and take the Reel King brand to new heights.
Q: You did the same thing with popular series Centurion during the summer, releasing Centurion Megaways. Tell us a little bit about how this new version of the game plays.
A: Yes, after the successful launch of Reel King Megaways, came the launch of Centurion Megaways. We paired the highly successful Centurion series, with the latest in slot mechanics to diversify even further our expanding portfolio of highly engaging and innovative online and mobile slot games.
As with Reel King Megaways, Centurion Megaways offers players 117,649 ways to win, in addition to gameplay features such as free spins, mystery symbols and wild multipliers. Three or more scatter symbols trigger the Bonus Wheel, which is a familiar feature to the loyal Centurion fanbase. The Centurion bonus hierarchy complements the Megaways format by allowing the bonus to come in more often than other classic Megaways titles, extending its appeal to players who dislike the tedious wait of triggering a bonus.
Taking three of the original bonus rounds, Inspired’s technical teams added super versions of each. They crafted four-reel modifier bonuses from the popular Centurion bush man and packaged it all up in an enhanced portrait game with a circa 160 bonus hit rate giving players pure joy and entertainment.
With both these games it was important for us to keep the key features of the original games while enhancing the base game play with the Megaways mechanic.
Q: Why do you think that Ancient Rome is such a prevalent theme in slots?
A: Ancient Rome is recognised globally as an important period of global history that went on to form the basis of Western culture. Most people are aware of the impact it had across global civilisations in areas such as government, administration, engineering, architecture, language, literature and more, while ruling across Europe for nearly a thousand years.
Ancient Rome and its unequalled soldiers are therefore distinguishable and provide a familiar setting for many players around the world. Ancient Roman soldiers, known as centurions, are one of the most recognised symbols of Ancient Rome. Their stature coupled with their attire gives them a powerful and bold physical presence, giving an impression of gallantry and bravery. They’ve become extremely popular as stand-out, recognisable characters in slot games.
Q: Do you think that a slot’s theme is important? Or are players simply interested in win potential?
A: A slot’s theme is important in creating engaging gameplay, using rich and high spec graphics for an all-round entertaining player experience. Win potential needs to be there too, of course. Reel King Megaways and Centurion Megaways were successful titles due to their popular themes and rich graphics, in addition to offering players multiple ways to win big – 117,649 to be specific. I believe both are important and a must to win the attention of players within a crowded marketplace.
Q: What three things are required to create a great slot game?
A: The three top requirements for a slot game includes: engaging game play, with the latest in slots mechanics but also the tried and tested features of a game; a great theme that appeals to players; and; an RTP that rewards players so they can extend their game play to an enjoyable length.
Q: What makes Inspired Entertainment games stand out when compared with competitors’ offerings?
A: Inspired has a plethora of rich games content across regulated gaming, betting, lottery, social and leisure operators on retail, online and mobile platforms around the world. We understand that customers on these sites are not all the same and that we need to create games for specific customers, markets and countries. We are experts in what we do. We use our years of gaming know-how to leverage technology and innovation to deliver the most compelling virtual, slot, table and interactive games for our global portfolio of customers and their players.
We invest in multiple initiatives to bring our customers and their players the best brands and the best innovations in slots for their joy and entertainment. We listen carefully to the needs of our customers, and we take the time to understand what works. We’re using our insights and analytical data to expand our roadmap of titles to continue taking market share.
Inspired is made up of extremely creative and intelligent individuals who are passionate about games that push the boundaries of innovation. Our people and games are bold and ambitious and not afraid to challenge conventions, which will ensure our growth and development for years to come.
Q: What’s next for Inspired Entertainment?
A: We will continue doing what we do best; that is, continuing to collaborate closely with our operator partners to create games that are innovative, compelling, robust, rich in graphics and of the highest technological spec. Our aim is to engage and entertain players around the world.
Look out for us this Christmas! With five amazing upcoming games we’ve got this festive season covered, whatever your style of play.
Stay In The Loop With New Casino Sites & Offers!
Free Spins. Exclusive Bonuses. Sent Weekly.