Set in Ancient Greece, Lightning Box's latest release starts life as a LLeoVegas exclusive before a wider release. We spoke to Ops Manager Michael Maokhamphiou about the new release, and where it came from…
BonusFinder: Ancient and historical themes don't really age - do online slots have a life-span usually? And is that longer if you use a timeless theme such as ancient Greece?
Michael Maokhamphiou: I see what you've done there! I'd like to say yes, particularly after the release of Phoenix Coins, but generally it's the mechanics and playability of a game that lend it longevity. Clearly players fall in love with the graphics, imagery and sounds of a game. But, like a good marriage, they stay for an awful lot more. If you're going to play a game over and over again, and not just drop it when the next shiny alternative comes along, it needs to be great fun to play. Whilst the theme is the shop window that draws you in, therefore, the maths is the goods behind the counter. Not that a retail metaphor is great when we've all been in lockdown!
BonusFinder: What are the benefits of releasing a game exclusively with one supplier?
Michael Maokhamphiou: Operators are looking for an edge in a crowded marketplace and having unique content, even if it's for a limited amount of time, is very beneficial. Once they have that content, they're going to give it a good push, otherwise what's the point of having it? When home pages and placement are at a premium that is beneficial to us as a smaller studio. We're always confident that our games will be popular with players and produce good commercial returns for our operator partners, but a little extra marketing push never hurts.
BonusFinder: Who comes up with the theme and game ideas at Lightning Box, what's the development process?
Michael Maokhamphiou: We all do, to be honest. We're a small team at Lightning Box and so we all chip in. Whilst one person is coming up with game mechanics and maths another will be thinking about the best theme in which to house them. Sometimes we get inspiration from past success, as players like that mixture of familiarity and innovation, or from popular culture. Fans of ours will know that wildlife – and African wildlife and their environment in particular – have been a feature in recent years – but there is no real rhyme or reason to it quite honestly. We pick stuff between us that we like and, more importantly what we think players will like.