CasinoBloke Exclusive Interview with Andrzej Hyla, CCO at Wazdan
Hello, and welcome to Casino Bloke. First of all, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. How about we start with a brief introduction of you and your company?
Hello! Great to be chatting with you today! As Wazdan’s Chief Commercial Officer, I oversee the work of our sales and account management teams to ensure that all clients receive the best possible solutions. I have helped build the company from day one, so I am proud that we’ve managed to get our games licensed and certified in 19 regulated markets. It has been a joy watching both the slots industry and the company evolve since I’ve started working at Wazdan.
All the while, the company has held true to its mantra that quality is preferable to quantity and we’re consistently proud of the games we produce, and that’s saying something, considering our portfolio of games now includes more than 140 titles. This spans classics and popular table games to our brand-new exciting video slots.
Our number one priority when creating these games is our players, which is what gives us the drive to deliver some of the best graphics and concepts in the industry to ensure players remain satisfied and engaged.
Your company has been around since 2010. How would you describe Wazdan’s path so far?
Wazdan’s journey so far has been one of exponential growth. We have released over 140 games and expanded into 19 markets, including the United States and other key regions.
This ensures that all unique and special Wazdan features, such as Volatility Levels™, are available to our customers across the globe. Players can benefit from our Ultra Fast Mode, Energy Saving Mode, and the Buy Feature, allowing players to access desired bonus rounds, including the Hold the Jackpot bonus, at any time. We also offer Cash Drop promotions, allowing players to win instant prizes while playing our games.
On top of that, we won numerous industry awards, including the awards for Slot Game of the Year at the Malta Gaming Awards and Online Casino Innovator at the CEEG Awards, and have recently been shortlisted for the prestigious EGR North America and CasinoBeats Game Developer Awards.
Can you tell us about an achievement you are personally most proud of since working at Wazdan?
The sheer number of markets we have entered in such a short period of time is definitely up there. On top of that, we’ve signed numerous deals with renowned casino operators including Light & Wonder, formerly known as Scientific Games, in the United States.
If you could describe Wazdan games using only three words, what words would you use?
‘Passion for Games’ springs to my mind first. Ensuring the player ends up with the most enjoyable experience possible is always our starting point and that always sees us through to an effective and profitable product. The whole Wazdan team is passionate about creating thrilling games with innovative features, immersive themes, and superb graphics.
More recently I would also say that Freedom of Choice captures the spirit of our games incredibly well too, as they provide players with customisable features, allowing them to adjust the game to their preferences.
Customers are always looking for something new. Do you find it challenging to meet such expectations?
When you have the right team of passionate individuals that live and breathe innovation and always strive to come up with engaging themes, that is half the battle.
Of course, it’s not always easy to create innovative features in such a saturated market, and we work hard to provide our players with new, unique gaming experiences with every new title.
Not only do players want immersive titles, but an ever-increasing number play games on the go via mobile devices. For suppliers, focusing on creating content that is optimised for mobile rather than desktop devices is critical as it allows them to grow and attract a new generation of players. We think the next 12 months will be less about completely out-of-the-box innovation and more about offering players control over their experiences. This is particularly true regarding volatility, so we have made every effort to lean into this thinking to deliver exactly what players need in order to be satisfied.
Your games boast a unique Volatility LevelsTM feature. Can you tell us more about how this feature affects players’ gaming experience? And how does it combine with other Unique Wazdan Features, namely Ultra Fast and Ultra Lite Mode?
Wazdan’s unique and proprietary Volatility Levels™ feature provides players with complete control over their playing experience, allowing them to modify the game volatility across Wazdan titles. Volatility Levels™ also gives partners more control over retention, with one game offering multiple gameplay options through its adjustable volatility, thus appealing to a wider base of players.
Meanwhile, our Ultra Fast Mode allows players to boost the gameplay to some pretty intense speeds. With this feature, the reels spin in a blink of an eye. This doesn’t have an impact on the algorithms or RTP, but if players are willing to forego the animation in favour of saving time they have that option.
We have also catered for the many players with slow internet connections with our Ultra Lite Mode, which significantly decreases the game loading time. In fact, our data shows that players can launch their favourite games a staggering five times faster. And while some more sophisticated animations are omitted, the overall experience and atmosphere of the games remain fantastic, allowing players to enjoy truly seamless gameplay. In our newest games players no longer have to switch this button, since our latest slots are further optimised and load faster.
You have recently launched Magic Eggs, an Easter-themed release made just in time for the holiday. Can you tell us a bit more about the game? What’s your favourite thing about Magic Eggs?
This game was an absolute joy to make, mainly because of its happy theme and gameplay. It’s the perfect way to help players celebrate the holiday season and it has some very exciting features to do just that. For example, the Special symbol is the highest paying symbol in the game and can only appear on top of the four low paying symbols.
The Easter Bunny can bring prizes worth up to 40x the player’s bet, while lucky players can double their wins up to seven times in a row if they manage to choose the right Easter egg in the exciting Gamble feature.
Magic Eggs combines a joyful Easter theme with simple rules and is really egg-citing! Easter might be once a year, but players can enjoy this slot all year round.
The latest game we’ve had the pleasure of seeing from Wazdan is Hot SlotTM: 777 Crown. Please tell us more about this hot new slot.
We’ve just released our new retro slot title, Hot Slot™: 777 Crown. We’re incredibly excited about this title, which promises to provide players with everything they could wish for from a retro slot. It’s a 5-reel, 20-payline slot blending a classic design with decent wins and exciting customisable features.
Players can claim the crown using Scatter symbols with wins up to 305x the player’s bet, while an abundance of fruit symbols makes Hot Slot™: 777 Crown a bright example of how old-fashioned designs can be revitalised.
Are you a player? Do you have a favourite game in your portfolio?
I am an avid player of all kinds of slot games, but my favourite one at the moment is Power of Gods™: Hades. I’m fascinated by Greek mythology and love the dark and mysterious theme of the game. In the thrilling Hold the Jackpot bonus round, the mighty God of the Dead allows us to enter the underworld and collect massive wins up to a whopping 5000x player’s bet.
I’m not the only one who enjoys spinning the burning reels of this superb slot. The game has been one of our top-performing titles since its launch and has been recently shortlisted for EGR North America Awards and CasinoBeats Game Developer Awards.
What’s in the cards for Wazdan in the second half of 2022? Are there any new releases we should get ready for? And what will be your main focus while developing new releases?
Save the date for the release of Magic Spins™ slot, which will appear in online casinos on May 12th. This game showcases all the mathematic prowess we are renowned for. With endless win opportunities and innovative features, we’re sure players are going to find this game hugely engaging.
During the mysterious Hold the Jackpot bonus round, players will collect various Bonus symbols, including the powerful Mega Collector symbol, Mega Increasing Value Cash symbol, and Magic Mystery symbol. The game introduces the new Collect to Infinity™ feature, which will allow players to win huge prizes.
Magic Spins™ is a truly immersive title, offering engaging features and massive Jackpots up to 2500x player’s bet.
On May 25th players will be invited to enter the dragon’s cavern in the exciting 9 Burning Dragons slot. The game combines simple yet engaging mechanics with fiery oriental symbols to guarantee an exceptional gaming experience for all.
Players will be able to win massive Jackpots up to 2,187x their bet in the Hold the Jackpot bonus round, should they gather the courage to collect Bonus symbols.
Finally, we’ll welcome summer with another hot release, Sizzling Eggs™, on June 8th. This red-hot slot will provide players with immersive experiences and massive wins.
Players will surely enjoy spinning the burning reels of this hot new slot. In the Free Spins mode, they will be able to use Collector symbols and the Collect to Infinity™ feature to increase their total win.
Stay tuned, it will be the hottest release this summer!
You’ve recently acquired the Michigan licence, which officially marks the third North American state in which you can offer your games. What does this kind of expansion bring to Wazdan?
North America has been a huge growth area for our business. Gaining our New Jersey, West Virginia, and Michigan licences and certifications has been an important milestone for us.
We’re extremely eager to see what we can accomplish in the US market as it continues to hit incredible heights and we can’t wait to hit the ground running in more states soon, including Pennsylvania.
What’s next in terms of market conquest? Where else can we expect to see Wazdan games next?
We recently received certification for our best-performing titles in the Dutch market and look forward to entering more newly regulated markets in near future. On top of that, we’re working tirelessly to ensure our games meet the rigid standards expected by the industry’s regulators. Naturally, we’re looking very closely at markets that are opening up in North America, like Pennsylvania in the US and Ontario in Canada.
With Easter just around the corner, we’re sending our warmest thoughts to our players around the world. Wishing you a fun, sunny, and memorable Easter. Celebrate this beautiful holiday with a heart filled with love and peace. Happy Easter!
Interview originally published on CasinoBloke.com