November 18, 2021
SlotsCalendar.com interview with Andrzej Hyla: Remaining an innovative supplier is the biggest challenge
Tell us a bit about yourself. What makes you, you; and why have you chosen to work at Wazdan?
When I first joined Wazdan over a decade ago, I was greeted with an enthusiastic team of individuals that wanted to make a real impact in the iGaming industry. I became part of a company that possesses the knowledge, experience, and desire to challenge the offering of the industry’s leaders, and it has been a very rewarding process so far.
I’ve worked my way up through the ranks over the years and was recently made Chief Commercial Officer back in February of this year. Under this new role, I’m responsible for key commercial growth in major targeted regulated markets across the globe as we look to continue our notion of aggressive expansion. We go above and beyond for our partners and players to create memorable products that can be enjoyed anywhere, and this is why I have stayed with Wazdan for so long.
We love big wins, so can you please let us know the top 3 winnings ever paid by Wazdan?
While this is not an example of our all-time biggest wins, we’re extremely proud of the streamers at Mr Gamble who were able to land some hefty wins in our popular title, Power of Gods™: Hades, including the Grand Jackpot!
You have an impressive slots portfolio, can you name the best three slots ever released by Wazdan?
It’s tough for me to refine my list of the best slots I’ve seen during my time at Wazdan down to just three, but now that I think of it, a few certainly pop to mind. 9 Lions was received exceptionally well by our customers at the time of launch and eventually took home the ‘Hot Product’ Award at G2E Asia.
Larry the Leprechaun is another title of ours that resonated strongly with our audiences across the globe, seeing immense success before securing the ‘Game of the Year’ Award at Malta Gaming Awards.
Lastly, I’d like to put forward a more recent release of ours that is already a legend in the making, and that is Power of Gods™: Hades.
Power of Gods™: Hades utilizes Wazdan’s Hold the Jackpot™ mechanic and allows players to choose the Volatility Level™ and skip straight to the bonus round when using the Buy Feature. The game also offers other Unique Wazdan Features that allow players to adjust the product to their unique requirements.
2020 was a challenging year for all of us. Even so, Wazdan had multiple releases. Which slot takes the 2020 title of the best Wazdan release?
If this question was asked a few months ago we’d say Sun of Fortune, followed by Fortune Reels, and now we have Power of Gods™: Hades as a contender, with each new game attracting more and more players.
And the fun hasn’t stopped yet, since we still have a few more exciting titles set to launch in 2021 that could easily steal the top spot on the podium.
Looking to the future, what is the next big release Wazdan is planning?
Moving away from a recent bout of fruit-themed slots, Jelly Reels™ will launch on the 18th of November, and it is much more a sweet adventure, offering smooth gameplay, 8 reels of action and a monumental 16,777,216 ways to win. The game takes players on a wobbly journey featuring cascading wins and some huge jackpots for players to trigger in the Hold the Jackpot™ bonus round.
Power of Gods™: Medusa, scheduled to launch on the 14th December, invites players to explore the legendary lair of Medusa and defeat the mythical snake-haired Gorgon. Providing them with a spectacular theme, as well as stunning graphics, animations, and engaging features, the wonderfully designed slot is set to captivate the imagination of its players.
Our first release scheduled for 2022 is Sizzling Moon™, on the 25th of January, which provides an intergalactic journey that combines cosmic creations with the hugely popular bonus round, offering a massive Moon Jackpot. Lastly, on the 9th March 2022, we will see Dwarfs Fortune™ released, with the fast-paced gameplay bringing new innovations to the industry.
In a market with hundreds of game studios, what would you say is Wazdan’s biggest differentiator?
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.
We would love to hear more about the slot creation process. Can you let us know which is the most exciting part of the entire process when creating a new slot?
The entire process of game development is super exciting, but there are a few areas that we really excel in.
First, we look for interesting themes and delve into the chosen topic that we want to explore, which inevitably shapes the thought that goes into developing thrilling features, beautiful graphics and engaging animations. For me, one of the most exciting parts of the process is also the most vital, and that is the thought that goes into developing the mathematics and technology required for the game to function how we envisioned.
The best bit of all is that when the game is ready, we play it ourselves. We’re absolutely obsessed with offering the best player experience and delivering to our partners, which is why our games combine vibrant themes and immersive mechanics to create unparalleled user experiences that we are proud to put our name on.
What about any inside funny stories, do you have something to share with us?
With the launch of Larry the Leprechaun, our team arrived at the office to find out that the little trickster had hidden a pot of gold somewhere inside the building. Even though the gold coins were made of chocolate, and there was no real reward, the team had a great time with the treasure hunt and made the most of the sweet treats.
How can you tell if an online slot is going to be a hit or not?
The truth is that until you launch it, you never really know how it will be received!
Fortunately, we do our own research on the wants and needs of our players in a way that allows us to make accurate predictions, and we do this research before we start development for every single game we produce.
Switching our attention to casinos, with so many options out there, can you let us know which are your top 3 casino preferences?
As a Polish resident, I can only access one casino, which I like a lot as a player. But from the business perspective, I can see that some casinos are offering an RTP of roughly 98%, which is much higher than the average casino and worth appreciating from the perspective of the player.
I do follow a significant number of brands that offer wonderful loyalty programs, but unfortunately this is just as a viewer, rather than as a player.
Did you use to play slots before entering the iGaming industry? Can you share with us your biggest win on an online slot? (you don’t have to name the stake, just the multiplier and the game is more than enough)
You may find this surprising, but I never really tried out any slots before entering the iGaming industry.
As a lover of sports, I was much more concerned with sportsbooks and the markets they offer. My biggest win ever was when I took 40/1 odds on a single bet to decide the outright winner of the Tour de France in 2006.
What are your hobbies?
Overall, I try to live an active, engaging lifestyle, but as an ardent lover of sports and good music I do tend to spend some of my free time enjoying these simple pleasures.
What has been your biggest challenge and your most significant success in the gambling industry?
I’d say that remaining an innovative supplier is the biggest challenge in what has become an extremely saturated iGaming market, and Wazdan has done this by placing a central importance on the quality of the user’s experience and delivering tools that provide them with a sense of creative freedom.
With certifications to supply games in 16 jurisdictions, our products are currently enjoyed by players and the biggest casino operators in regulated markets across the globe.
If you weren’t in the gambling industry, what other industry would you want to work in?
It has always been a dream of mine to be a manager at a sports club, but I’m not sure I have the credentials to really pull this career move off. One can dream!
Interview originally published on SlotsCalendar