August 2, 2021
CasinosHunter Exclusive Interview with Andrzej Hyla, CCO at Wazdan
Hello Andrzej! Thank you for finding time to answer the questions in this Q&A session. You are Chief Commercial Officer at Wazdan. Could you please tell us more about yourself and your experience in the online gambling niche?
Hello! I’m delighted to be chatting with you today. Thank you for having me!
I’ve been working at Wazdan since its inception, which is over 10 years ago from now. I’ve worked up through the ranks and was made Chief Commercial Officer in February. I’m responsible for key commercial growth in major targeted regulated markets across the globe as we look to expand. It has been such an exciting journey to be a part of and I can’t wait to see where it leads.
How would you describe Wazdan in a few words?
Wazdan is an incredibly exciting place to work. We all share a passion for games, so creating unmatched gaming experiences is something we consistently strive to do.
Going above and beyond for partners and players to create unforgettable titles that can be enjoyed anywhere is important to us and this is reflected in all our content.
What are Wazdan’s main differences compared to other casino software companies?
We pride ourselves on listening to the needs of our partners and fully understanding market requirements and adjusting to them. This is how we came up with the idea of creating our Unique Wazdan Features, including Volatility Levels™, as well as our new promo tool Cash Drop. Each title we develop is different with new math and features, and we do our best to create diversified games for players around the world. Refining and pushing the boundaries to go above and beyond is key for us as a business.
Everyone claims that Wazdan is one of the most innovative software providers in the niche. The company holds many awards, and this is truly impressive. Could you please tell us more about how the company has managed to achieve such success?
We focus our efforts in identifying where we can add genuine value to the in-dustry and the results are clear to see. We’ve been nominated for three innovation categories at this years’ EGR B2B awards – Innovation in Slot Provision, Innovation in Mobile, and Innovation in RNG Casino Software – which proves our efforts to create innovative products are being noticed.
We listen to our partners, analyse market needs, and predict what players need and want, then push the boundaries of online gaming by creating innovative products. Our partners and players who choose our games are the most important for us.
What innovations by Wazdan are you proud of most?
There’s plenty we are proud of. From new features in games, like the Hold the Jackpot bonus round, which we change, refine and add to in each new iteration, to our Unique Wazdan Features: Volatility Levels™, Ultra Fast Mode, Ultra Lite Mode, and Big Screen Mode. There’s so much we do that makes a real difference to a player’s experience, for example the Buy Feature allows players to enter desired bonus rounds at any time, and our promotional tool, Cash Drop, rewards them with random prizes. We offer a lot and we’re extremely pleased with every new addition to our portfolio.
One of the company’s unique innovative features is the Volatility Levels™ that allows the users to choose the size and frequency of the wins. This is an awesome feature for customizing user experience. How did you find out that gamblers wanted this feature?
Like many of our innovations, it started with us combining our genuine love for casino games and intense market analysis. We know that there are different types of players, even just within our own office, so finding something that allows many players to enjoy the same product was an important gap to fill. Thanks to this unique feature, all of them can play our games and adjust game volatility to their needs. High volatility brings more big wins, but they happen less often, while with low volatility, wins appear more frequently, but their value is usually lower. Players looking for a more balanced experience can select the standard mode, where both win size and frequency are more leveled. In any case, with our Volatility Levels™ feature players are always in complete control!
I would also want to talk about a very useful feature called Energy Saving Mode. In the time of mobile gambling, this feature is crucial! Do all your games have this feature?
Yes, it is available on all our products. It’s simple to activate, with players just needing to switch it on in the game settings.
This will extend your devices’ battery life by roughly 40% when playing a Wazdan game. Extremely useful for on-the-go players!
Does this feature impact the speed of the game and the quality of graphics?
No, you won’t notice a difference. There’s also another useful feature, Ultra Lite Mode, which was created for players with slow Internet connection and significantly decreases the game loading time.
Talking about innovations, gamblers today tend to discuss VR casinos and VR casino games, especially because of the pandemic. Can VR technology be used for slot games?
If implemented correctly, then absolutely, virtual reality slots can give players a real-world casino experience from anywhere.
Is Wazdan interested in making VR games anytime in the future?
Who knows what the future holds!
I would also like to ask you a question about the general trends in the online gambling development niche. What do you think we should expect?
There’s so much to explore in what is undoubtedly one of the world’s most innovative industries. From new bonus features in games to ever increasing ways to win, gameplay has so much more growth in it, while the increased focus in mobile-first games, engagement tools and more will ensure that gaming experiences appeal to more players and become available in many more locations going forward.
Can you share some of Wazdan’s goals for the future with us?
We’ve just entered the US and Swiss markets, been approved to offer our games in Belarus, and released three new titles: Prosperity Pearls, Midnight in Tokyo, and Fortune Reels. We have also announced the release of Power of Gods™: Hades, Sizzling Bells™, and Jelly Reels™, so it’s going to be an exciting year!
As always, we look forward to entering new markets, finding new partners, creating innovative products, and providing players with the best gaming experiences.
Wazdan has a huge portfolio, and most of the games have impressive design and outstanding features. Could you please tell us more about the development of games, about creative processes, etc.? How much time and effort is needed to develop such games?
It’s a long and complicated process, taking months from start to finish. The whole team, from graphic designers, mathematicians, and developers to sound engineers, works hard to deliver unforgettable games.
What is the development process of a game, from idea to release?
First we come up with an idea, be it the theme, feel, or features, and then we do market research. After these steps, we work on each game element (maths, graphics, animations, sounds, etc.), to create a near-finished product before it undergoes a rigorous testing program. After this, we prepare marketing materials for our partners, release the game and wait to see how players enjoy it!
How many experts are engaged in making one game?
Every game is the outcome of the hard work of our dedicated team, which includes dozens of graphic designers, mathematicians, developers, sound designers and more. It truly is a collective effort!
How do you decide upon features that are added to the game (wilds, bonus levels, free spins features)?
We never use the same math model so each game we create is built from scratch. Even our Hold the Jackpot games have different aspects, such as a different number of reels, different jackpots, as well as some additional bonus symbols and features. A great example of this is the Direwolf symbol multiplying Jackpots in Clover Lady™, the Black Pearl symbol accumulating cash prizes and doubling them in Prosperity Pearls, and the Money Tree symbol adding more bonus symbols to the reels in Fortune Reels. It is a balance of keeping games recognizable for players, but also bringing innovation to the market to create amazing games.
Have you ever had any funny cases about the games developed, or any curious stories?
We’ve heard that Larry the Leprechaun helped a few players find his precious pot of gold!
The most popular question from our readers: what was the biggest win in Wazdan history, and what slot game was it?
There have been lots of big wins in our games! For example, recently a lucky player won the Grand Jackpot in our hit title, Sun of Fortune, and collected all prizes from the Hold the Jackpot bonus round, winning over €100,000. In terms of our absolute biggest, we can’t share, but there’s plenty of examples of some huge sums being won!
We already know that a new slot called Prosperity Pearls has been released. Could you please tell our readers more about that slot? Can you share any unique features of this game?
Prosperity Pearls is an oriental 25-reel slot, based on a 5×5 matrix grid with a pays-anywhere capability. According to Chinese mythology, pearls are a secret weapon hidden on the bottom of the ocean and protected by the Dragon King. In fact, these precious pearls can be found in the thrilling Hold the Jackpot bonus round!
There are four types of precious pearls that players can find in this round. White Pearls award cash prizes of 1x to 10x player’s bet, Jackpot Pearls award corresponding Mini, Minor and Major Jackpots, Golden Pearls accumulate all values from White Pearls, while Black Pearls accumulate all values from White, Golden and Black Pearls and double their value. Players can collect multiple pearls of the same type, including Jackpots, in a single bonus round. There are also Mystery symbols that can land on the reels, transforming into any Pearl symbol and opening one by one at the end of the bonus game.
If all 25 reels are filled during the Hold the Jackpot bonus, the Grand Jackpot of 1000x player’s bet is awarded. However, this can be triggered in addition to all the collective prizes found during the bonus round, for staggering cumulative wins as players enjoy the riches of the pearls.
What about the two new slots you released in July?
Midnight in Tokyo, released on July 14th, is a cute oriental 5-reel slot with 243+ ways to win. This action-packed slot game invites players to join a group of cat warriors as they hit the streets of Tokyo.
The game features the exciting Hold the Jackpot bonus round, where players have to hold Geisha symbols to win Major and Grand Jackpots, and can also collect other prizes from Moon symbols. At the end of the Hold the Jackpot bonus round all prizes are summed up, including Major and Grand Jackpots for a HUGE total win!
There are also innovative Wild Splitters that not only substitute for other symbols, but they also split the adjoining symbols – into 2 if there are two adjacent symbols or into 3 if there is one adjacent symbol. There are two types of Wild Splitters: the Ninja Cat splits horizontally adjoining symbols, while the Kung Fu Cat chops vertically adjoining symbols. These agile cats increase the number of ways to win and the player’s chances to win BIG! How claw-some is that?
This game is a purr-fect choice for players looking for an oriental game with a twist.
Fortune Reels, released on July 27th, is a mesmerising oriental 6-reel slot offering a staggering 46,656 ways to win while also containing Cascading Reels for extra win potential.
The game expands on the popular Hold the Jackpot bonus round with the addition of new Bonus symbols: Golden Coins awarding prizes ranging from 1x to 10x player’s bet, Jackpot Coins granting Mini, Minor and Major Jackpots, Golden Ox Coins that accumulate all values from Golden Coins drawn on the reels below and multiply them randomly by 1-9x, Money Tree symbols that randomly add from 3 to 8 Golden Coins to the reels below, and Mystery symbols which can transform into any Bonus symbol.
Fans of the Hold the Jackpot feature will be surprised with a new reel layout that makes the bonus round even more entertaining. During this feature Golden Coins can only appear on the small bottom reels, while Special Bonus symbols can only appear on the top row of the reels with three spots available.
Filling up all 27 reels with Bonus symbols of any type awards the Grand Jackpot of 1000x player’s bet. All prizes, including Jackpots, are summed up at the end of the bonus round, giving players a chance for huge wins!
What is more, Wilds expanding towards the top of the reels and Sack symbols awarding extra prizes help players spin their way to great riches in the base game as well.
May the Year of the Ox bring all players good fortune and huge wins!
What new titles except for Prosperity Pearls, Midnight in Tokyo and Fortune Reels can we expect in the near future?
Power of Gods™: Hades invites players to cross the Styx river and enter the underworld in the thrilling Hold the Jackpot bonus round, where the mighty God of the Dead helps players collect massive wins up to a whopping 5000x player’s bet!
The game features innovative Sticky Bonus symbols that increase player’s chances of activating the Hold the Jackpot bonus round. Once they venture into the blazing depths of the underworld, players have to collect five types of Bonus symbols. Extremely hot Fire symbols award prizes ranging from 1x to 10x, 12x, and 15x player’s bet. Sizzling Blue Fire symbols further increase the heat by accumulating all values from Fire and Blue Fire symbols. Jackpot symbols make the hellish flames flicker and award corresponding Mini, Minor, and Major Jackpots. Mystery symbols bring even more excitement while transforming into Fire, Blue Fire, or Jackpot symbols. Finally, there are new powerful Hades Mystery symbols that guarantee a Jackpot win, as they can only transform into Mini, Minor, and Major Jackpot symbols.
Filling up all 15 reels with Bonus symbols of any type awards the Grand Jackpot of 3000x player’s bet, but players also keep other wins collected from the Bonus symbols, as all prizes are summed up at the end of the bonus round for an impressive total win.
Power of Gods™: Hades is a deeply immersive slot and the God of the Dead has the power to wow all players who dare to spin the burning reels of this new Wazdan slot!
There are also two other exciting games in the pipeline: Sizzling Bells™ and Jelly Reels™. Stay tuned!
And eventually, is there any advice or recommendation you could give to your fans and our readers?
We just hope they like our games and wish them big wins!
Interview originally published on CasinosHunter.com