Founded in 2002, Realistic Games is now a well-established games supplier, known for its quality slots with great attention to details. The supplier has recently introduced a new concept to take its slot portfolio one step further, the Game Changer series, which introduces exciting new mechanics and features. Robert Lee, Realistic Games' Commercial Director, spoke to BonusFinder about the new format and innovation in its products.
You recently launched the Game Changer series with its exciting bonus round concept. Could you tell us a bit about that?
Game Changer is exactly what its name suggests: a concept that has shaken-up our portfolio with new slot experiences like no other. At its core, Game Changer uses a unique board game format to award players bonus wins in the feature round, but the creative delivery mechanic has allowed us to create a series of titles incorporating different features that each offer something unique. The concept's flexibility means we can vary the game board with each adaption, offering anything from traditional cash prizes to enhanced boards and free spins to keep each Game Changer title fresh and exciting.
Another key selling point is that players will almost never be presented with the same game board twice. The series' inaugural slot, for example, which takes the same name, offers 324 million different board combinations, building longevity into the concept. We've since extended the Game Changer family with five new titles: Hot Cross Bunnies Game Changer, Bar-X™ Game Changer, Fireworks Game Changer, Super Bar-X™ Game Changer and our latest release, Super Graphics Game Changer™ which all offer unique twists on the original concept that complement the respective base game play.
Where does the inspiration for your slots come from?
Like most creative industries, we find sources of inspiration all around, from the more obvious such as film and video games, to everyday experiences. You could say that Game Changer was inspired by the classic TV game shows of yesteryear, for example. We also look within the industry and are largely guided by player feedback and trends. The Realistic team has an affinity with the classic slots from traditional arcades and land-based casinos, and many of our designers and developers are players too, which is why there is a strong retro theme that runs through our portfolio. We are proud of our unique style – and have built a solid fan base because of it.
What's your main focus when developing a new game?
Enjoyability! We want players to be entertained by our games, whether they are in it for some light-hearted entertainment or a high-volatility adventure. The trick to succeeding in that is understanding your target audience. The game's aesthetics, underlying math model and feature set should be carefully considered with the player preferences in mind. There is no one size fits all approach, so knowing who you are appealing to is critical. A good slot marries these elements together perfectly, whilst also creating a gameplay that balances a level of familiarity with new, engaging twists.
How do you best ensure that your slots appeal to beginners, intermediate, and more experienced players?
Few slots will be able to cater to all player profiles in one. There are just too many variances between the preferences of each segment. Increasingly, we are seeing the introduction of customisable gameplay with features that allow users who prefer higher-stake play to buy-in to the bonus round or adjust the volatility. While this does allow developers to broaden a slot's appeal from casual players to the more experienced, not all jurisdictions allow for this type of content. At Realistic, we focus on offering a balanced portfolio with titles that vary from low-stake, high return to player slots and quick and simple instant win titles, to high-stake, high-volatility classics.
What do you think are the key factors that make your games appreciated by players?
Where Realistic really stands out from the crowd is that we know our players. When you play a Realistic title, you know you are going to get a quality gaming experience from start to finish. Our quintessential style, coupled with our deep knowledge of mechanics that work for our audience, has enabled us to develop titles such as Eighth Wonder and Super Graphics Upside Down that players return to time after time, even years after their initial release. We're also not scared to innovate. The Game Changer bonus round is a prime example of how, in daring to do something different, we keep players on their toes.
What is your own personal favourite title in your portfolio?
My personal favourite games are the Hot Cross Bunnies collection, which tend to resonate with bingo players and those that prefer a softer style of play. This Easter we extended the series with another hit, Hot Cross Bunnies Game Changer, which instantly claimed top rank in my books.
What is the most important aspect of the game from your perspective?
There is no single element that will secure a game's longevity and sustained impact: the culmination of the maths model, volatility, player engagement, UI and UX are what counts. Stylish graphics, animation and sound are also incredibly important as they drive a player's first impression of a game. A successful title will execute each of these aspects to perfection, with a focus on the detail.
What can we expect from Realistic in the coming months? Any exciting upcoming titles?
Since the introduction of Game Changer, it's been an eventful first half of the year for Realistic. We've thoroughly enjoyed watching the series go from strength to strength and are looking forward to expanding the collection with even more quality titles, including entirely new games as well as revamps of some of our most popular slots. There will also be some exciting additions in collaboration with our partners Electrocoin, after we entered an agreement with the famous land-based supplier to reimagine some of their fan favourite games for online audiences.