Nathan Howes, co-founder of Black Pudding Games, says that to truly stand out in a crowded market, game studios should not be afraid to be bold and do things differently
With myriads of developers launching a tsunami of titles into the online casino game market every year, there’s an increasing sense that players are being flooded with choice, but little actual differentiation between new releases from studios. Whilst most new developers routinely claim to be ‘pushing boundaries’, ‘changing the game’ and ‘moving the needle’, more critical observers would argue that the reality is the majority of these new entrants are simply adding minor twists to well-worn themes and mechanics. Do players seriously want or need another Egyptian-themed, 5×3, twenty-payline slot?
The reasons for this orthodoxy aren’t unequivocal, but we would posit that the gambling industry is surprisingly risk-averse, leading new studios to fear that something too out-there is doomed to fail and so play it safe with formats and features that have worked in the past for the big name developers they aspire to be. At Black Pudding games we think that is a shame, since there are plenty of creatives, designers and developers in the industry who, like us, are chomping at the bit to experiment with what’s possible with random event generating contraptions and give flight to genuinely new games for players.
We would argue that embracing real – indeed reel – innovation can only be a good thing for operators and players alike. The staggering success of Big Time Gaming’s Megaways format since it debuted in 2016 is a valuable paradigm. Players got to experience a notably different spin on the traditional video slot gameplay, building a fan base that has now exploded to make ‘Megaways Slots’ a whole distinct, and very profitable, genre today.
Black Pudding Games also embraces the notion that there’s plenty of untapped potential from online citizens yet to discover the fun of online casino games because the current choice of entertainment doesn’t float their boat. Why just play to the gallery, ignoring untapped potential from Millennials who want something a bit more 21st century from real-money gaming?
Being true to our motto of ‘do different’, and putting our money where our mouth is, has happily brought Black Pudding Games to the recent release of our first tilt for gaming fame with Aeterna. We have always been curious to explore if it is possible to do something different with dice, cards and reels without losing the crowd, and Aeterna is our initial spacy exploration of what’s possible in the slot gaming universe.
Invented in collaboration with Dr Fintan Coyle – the co-creator of hugely popular TV quiz show, The Weakest Link – Aeterna is the debut game built on our striking and (we believe) highly compelling Orbital Reactor slot format. And what makes it different? Well, ‘show don’t tell’ is a good maxim in this instance so, like the little teases we are, we’d urge readers to take the demo for a spin and experience it for themselves with our distinguished distribution partner 1x2Network [http://www.1x2gaming.com/#/products/aeterna]. Try it . . . we think you’ll like it.
Moreover, Aeterna has also been deliberately conceived with our ‘Tube Test’ principle in mind. Mobile play in portrait mode is hugely important to us, since it means you can hang onto a strap in a crowded tube carriage on the London underground and still enjoy a few cheeky spins with one hand to liven up a dispiriting commute!
We believe that Aeterna is not only a debut we can be proud of, but also a bold statement of Black Pudding’s intent to avoid making ‘landfill slots’ and ‘instantly forgettable wins’. We are also delighted that a platform as prestigious as 1x2Network has endorsed our curious behaviour, providing invaluable advice, development support and industry-wide distribution to commercially realise our ambitions.
Being acutely aware of avoiding hubris, we aren’t expecting overnight success with our games, but we do hope our willingness to do different will win us fans amongst players and with it stimulate interest from many operators seeking to grow revenues through innovative new formats, or collaborate on unique exclusives with us. Ultimately we expect to be judged on meeting our credo of being purveyors of playful ideas for the casino curious, and we salute all the industry mavericks that are willing to have a crack at entertaining players with something really out-of-the-ordinary.
About SiGMA’s revamped website:
SiGMA Group is excited to announce the launch of its newly revamped website. The website is currently available in 5 languages, English, Russian, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish with plans to add another 5 languages over the coming months – namely French, Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Hindi.