April 29, 2021
EuropeanGaming Exclusive Interview with Andrzej Hyla, CCO at Wazdan
What spurred you into designing your own mechanic, as opposed to licensing an existing popular one?
In such a saturated market, it is so important to have something that truly makes you stand out. While we’re proud of the detail in our graphic designs and the artwork that pervades in our slots, we’re perpetually on the lookout for ways to enhance our offering even further. Looking around the industry, you can see the impact unique mechanics has on games. Everyone is keen to not only be the trendsetter with new mechanics, but also find one that will establish a new focal point for the industry. As a studio ourselves, lately we’ve added Hold the Jackpot, Moving Reels, Symbol Splitter, Infinite Multiplier and more.
Licencing existing mechanics, regardless of their popularity, is a commercial move that wouldn`t help us grow as a game producer. When partners see the value in what we create as a studio, looking beyond just the licenced mechanic, we’re able to experience much more growth together. We have a very creative mindset and a strong development team in house. This allows us to create the numerous unique tools we have, which has been added too recently with the Splitter mechanic.
How has the Splitter mechanic been received by fans so far, and do you plan to use it in more upcoming titles?
With the Splitter mechanic, the game quickly made it to the top of our list of best-performing products. By creating our new Symbol Splitter feature, we’ve been able to elevate both our product offering and our fan’s game sessions through this innovative addition, which sees a symbol being able to split into up to four more on any spin, for huge wins. In Gem Splitter™, the split can either increase the number of ways to win or the payout, even both, when splitting into 4 symbols in a 2×2 arrangement. In the Free Spins bonus the symbols will be split into a combination that’s most favourable for the players – that`s why they like this game so much. While a simple concept, it keeps every spin engaging and has tangibly driven up engagement, so much so that we’ve also built it in to our upcoming title, Midnight in Tokyo. In this new game, it will be activated by Wild symbols – Wild Splitters – which substitute for other symbols, except for special symbols, and increase the number of ways to win for players. The Ninja Cat will split symbols on either side of him into two, while the Kung Fu Cat splits symbols above and below. Wilds that have only one adjoining symbol will instead split it into three. Players are always on the lookout for something that’s straightforward yet exciting, and the Splitter mechanic manages to do this.
When creating new mechanics, how important is it to make sure it is easy to understand for players?
It’s crucial. Nobody wants to load up a new game and have to read an instruction manual and watch a video on how to understand it. People want to start playing a game and have an innate feel for how a mechanic works.
The entire team at Wazdan has a strong passion for games, so a rigorous testing process from actual players and fans has allowed us to develop a mechanic we’re extremely proud of and is visually clear in the added value for every potential spin.
With so much scope for game growth and development out there, its important that we don’t lose sight of what we do best – create fantastic experiences for players. With a team that genuinely enjoys creating games, as players themselves, we understand this and it allows us to improve the quality of our products.
What is next for the Splitter mechanic? Will it be licensed out or kept in house?
While we’re extremely proud of what we’ve created with the Splitter mechanic, it is still in its relative infancy within the iGaming arena. Gem Splitter™ was a huge success, while Midnight in Tokyo will take the mechanic to a new level by having it triggered by Wilds in-game, as we continue to build it into our games arsenal on a broader basis.
Our key goal as a business is to help partners build a strong position in the market, and we want our games to help them attract and retain loyal customers. We want to be responsible for the success experienced by many in the industry, but it is also important for us to remain a company with unique and innovative solutions.
We’ll continue to find ways to refine the mechanic while also incorporating it into our portfolio in increasingly innovative ways, which is an extremely exciting project for us. As for what the future holds, who knows, but it’s certain to be action packed with this mechanic!
Interview originally published on EuropeanGaming.eu