BC’s Slots Festival this week has plenty of anticipation around it – how key would you say digital events are proving right now for the industry given the lack of live events?
Without a doubt – for us, the Slots Festival comes at the perfect time. Usually around now we’d be ready to showcase our latest and greatest at a certain live event in London – so this is certainly a great chance to find out more about the latest the industry has to offer, as well as introducing everybody to the wonderful world of Habanero!
While I’ve certainly got my fingers crossed for conferences to return for LatAm during summer, given the present lockdowns and other COVID-related restrictions, I definitely see digital events as more important to business development than ever before – and I commend SBC on their pro-active efforts to bring everyone together.
What games is Habanero looking to showcase at its virtual showroom? Which should be of particular interest to our LatAm readers?
Choosing what to showcase was certainly the hardest part! We’ve got so many outstanding games that have proven themselves with our partners over the past year. After a rigorous internal selection process, we’ve gone for the titles that are proving to be real hits across both LatAm and Europe.
First up are our high-performing classics, which have proven themselves as stable performers with a loyal player base. Totaling Hot Hot Fruit, Five Lucky Lions, 5 Mariachis and Wild Trucks – which I’m sure many of our existing operator partners would be more than happy to endorse when it comes to gameplay.
I’m also very excited to be unveiling our latest jungle adventure – which we’ve timed especially for the Slots Festival, Totem Towers. It offers a feature-filled adventure through mysterious Mayan jungles, with multipliers, free games and Habanero’s eye-catching, signature graphics to be enjoyed along the way.
Looking to 2021 – what’s going to be hot in gaming development this year? What kind of experience are LatAm players looking for right now, and how do your games cater to current demand?
There has undoubtedly been an acceleration from land-based to online. This has perhaps most frequently been the case for sports bettors enjoying casino games for the first time. If you want your games to appeal to new players, you need to ensure your games are easy to understand, straightforward to play, and most importantly – fun.
In line with this, mobile orientated content is key given the present situation – the spread of internet access and increased smartphone adoption is enabling many players to get online for the first time, a process which in itself has no doubt been sped up given last year’s events.
When we begin to see a return to normality, and players begin to demand content that can be enjoyed on the commute or anywhere else on the move, this trend will no doubt become even more pronounced. As a result - I’d certainly advise my fellow suppliers to look at promotional tools and gamified ways of engaging players – as after all, entertainment has never been more important as it is now.
Habanero’s Totem Towers is set to offer players a real piece of Mayan action with its latest slot – do you design such games with LatAm players in mind?
Yes and no! LatAm is certainly a continent that is of great interest to Habanero, although I’m sure we’d still be incorporating Central and Latin American themes into our games regardless of whether we were live in markets there. For us, a great game should work anywhere, no matter what the provenance. We live in a wonderfully connected world, and from my experience, it’s more often than not that players like the incorporation of other cultures into their games.
To give you an example, our all-Italian hit Scopa, based on Italy’s favourite card game and a tour through the country’s best-known locations has proven a real hit across LatAm markets. Classic slots themes, such as fruits, Ancient Egypt and East Asia are also proving very popular right now in Colombia and Mexico – and I’d argue that a diverse portfolio that incorporates the best of what the world has to offer is definitely a route that should gain you plenty of local players.
Habanero is set to showcase a number of its titles during the Slots Festival on February 4th, including Hot Hot Fruit, Five Lucky Lions, 5 Mariachis, Wild Trucks, Totem Towers and Scopa. Attendees will be able to participate in a unique Habanero tournament featuring the studio’s games that will be running at the event with prizes to be won. Passes are available free of charge at the official website.