8th August, 2022

CasinosHunter & Swintt: Q&A On Slots, Brands, and Trends

CasinosHunter continues asking tough questions to some tough online casino software providers; this time, we asked David Mann, Swintt’s Chief Commercial Officer, to share his opinion and insights about making online casino slots and branded games, working with affiliates and watching the new gambling trends unfold.

Swintt makes online slots, table games, and Live Dealer titles. CasinosHunter reviews slot games and online casinos that have slots, table games, and Live Dealer titles. Is there any universal recipe for cooking up a potentially popular online casino game for all these categories, or for each of them? Is there a key secret ingredient?

If there was an easy answer to that question, we’d be delivering a new top performing game every single month! I believe Swintt – like all game developers out there – is always looking for new ways to bring the next blockbuster game to the market. From our experience, one of the key factors is offering a diverse selection of games, as this is what will ultimately enable you to satisfy as wide a range of players as possible. We develop roughly three games per month and pay huge attention to ensuring each has a unique theme, volatility and mechanics.

I think one of the keys to our success is Swintt’s commitment to developing innovative features like the ones found in our Xtra series. Our best release to date has been Aloha Spirit XtraLockTM, which introduced the brand-new XtraLockTM mechanic. By activating this ground-breaking feature, players were able to participate in a series of free re-spins during which special Tiki mask symbols would lock in place on the reels. Any adjacent masks would then clump together to form larger Tiki shapes, with one of four local bonuses available based on the size of their biggest Tiki shape. This addition proved hugely popular among players, with Aloha Spirit XtraLockTM seeing a 403% increase in bets placed during its first week of launch.

Branded slots are an effective marketing tool for boosting player engagement and also allow software providers to form collaborations with famous companies or people. What are the main difficulties in producing branded slots, given that casino players are usually so fond of them, yet very few providers make any branded products?

From a software provider point of view, it’s really about the price, because branded slots can ultimately be quite costly. For that reason, you have to think long and hard about who will be the best ambassador for you as a company before committing to a collaboration. Given the person or company that you choose will be front and centre, their character or reputation will essentially frame how people see your brand, so you have to think it through very carefully.

It’s for that reason that Swintt decided to collaborate with Vinnie Jones on The Crown. Despite his tough-guy movie persona, these days Vinnie is an avid philanthropist with a heart of gold. We felt that Swintt shared the same vision in terms giving back to the community, and that’s why we decided a portion of all profits from the game would go to Vinnie’s favourite charity. Having him on board definitely helped us generate a lot of buzz about the game – as evidenced by the popularity of Vinnie’s appearance at our stand at ICE – and The Crown was certainly well received by operators, being picked up by 330% more brands than our average release.

VR gaming is something everyone likes to discuss, but few suppliers do anything about it because it’s believed that only a fraction of players have access to this technology. Now that we have Metaverse, many gambling experts claim this is the right medium for VR online gambling. Will Metaverse create a genuinely accessible channel for online gamblers in VR and help take VR online casino gaming into the mainstream?

The current problem with VR is definitely the question of accessibility, because up until now the equipment required to use it has been relatively expensive. Naturally, everyone involved in online casino gaming is trying to replicate a land-based casino experience, where people go to socialise as well as play. With that in mind, VR seemed like a great idea when it was introduced and we were all very excited about its potential, but we didn’t fully appreciate that most people didn’t yet have the right technology to experience a VR casino.

This may very well change in the near future with Metaverse as VR becomes more accessible to players and suppliers start really exploring the possibilities that this creates. It’s definitely a significant development and we wouldn’t be surprised if there was a greater focus placed on Metaverse and VR casinos going forward, but the key thing to remember is that the primary goal of VR is to bring the land-based experience online for as wide an audience as possible.

As the industry evolves and trends change, online gambling affiliate sites and bloggers also have to try and keep up. In your opinion, what are the key trends today that work well for affiliate projects in the online gambling industry?

For affiliates, the main thing that has changed in the way that they co-operate with operators or casinos directly is that there’s a greater demand for quality content. Of course, some of the best content available is focused on the games, so we work very closely with our affiliate partners to ensure they have access to all the information they need. We supply everything from assets to game sheets so that they can share all the relevant details with their audiences. We believe having this close relationship with affiliates is, in itself, a new trend, because it’s one of the best ways for a provider to get really close to its end users – the players themselves.

Game design is constantly evolving and software providers are starting to make state-of-the-art designs for slots that can compete with video games in terms graphics. What are the key trends in design can be mentioned today?

Every provider strives to create state-of-the-art designs that are as close to video games in terms of graphics as possible, because all players appreciate titles that are beautiful to look at. That being said, I’d say the trends themselves differ from market-to-market. While the younger generation loves these video game-style releases, it’s not the case everywhere. Take for example the German and Dutch markets, where we see more players gravitating towards familiar games from the land-based space. They’re looking for classic slots, so our Premium games have proved particularly popular there and are performing really well in those markets.

On the other hand, we can afford to be a bit more experimental in other markets and invest in making sure our designs are up to video game quality. Candy Gold is a really good example from the point of view of both graphics and game design. For one, the slot’s colourful visuals and the ability to purchase power-ups did a very good job of emulating the popular mobile games the current generation of casino player has grown up with, but we also moved away from the 5×3 format to expand the reels and make the game mobile-friendly in portrait mode.

“Let's Do This!”

David FlynnChief Executive Officer
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