“Slot Games are in our DNA” - An interview with Michael Lee at Genesis Gaming
Michael Lee, CEO of Genesis Gaming enters the interview spotlight and shares his and Genesis Gaming’s story with us at SlotCatalog. Michael goes into details why the more educated, demanding players really pushed boutique in and factories out.
Michael Lee, CEO of Genesis Gaming
Hi Michael! We’re glad you’ve given us the opportunity to chat with you. Please introduce yourself and tell us about your history in the iGaming industry.
Hello, I am Michael Lee from Genesis Gaming. Genesis Gaming, is a leading gaming provider in the gambling industry with more than 10 years of experience in providing over 200 engaging gaming titles across three brands. Genesis aims to lead the gaming landscape with innovative and market differentiating games which keep players highly entertained and captivated. All Genesis products have been developed on a powerful backend platform known as IntelliGen that ensures a seamless player experience and a stable and secure integration.
How did you come to join Genesis?
I joined Genesis in early 2016 as Chief Product Officer to lead the development of Genesis Games’ game delivery platform and portfolio of games. Prior to joining Genesis, I had honed my skills, knowledge, and experience over a 10 year stint at a global, omni-channel gaming group.
What is it like working at Genesis?
I like to describe Genesis as a “mature start-up” — “mature” because Genesis was actually founded in 2008 and have been creating exciting slot games for well over 10 years. But “start-up” because we remain lean and mean when it comes to game production and delivery.
We strive to maintain our nimbleness in order to better serve our partners and embrace experimentation in order to develop new ways to play.
My previous workplace was an incredible training ground. I cut my teeth there. Great company. It was a large, global company doing many different things — sports, poker, casino, and beyond. In contrast, Genesis is a company laser-focused on developing super engaging slot games. While we do experiment with a small number of non-slot games, our DNA and our bread and butter are slot games. At Genesis, we are a small group where most people know one another even though we are spread across multiple offices across multiple continents. Everyone at Genesis is in the business of creating top-notch slot games.
With over 10 years in the industry, I can imagine you’ve experienced a lot of progress & changes in the market. Has your vision as a company always been the same or has it changed during the years?
I’ve been with Genesis only since 2016; however, I know that Genesis’ vision has always been in some form or fashion to be a leader in providing premium slot games. Prior to my joining, Genesis was strictly a slot design and development studio building great games but delivering them through other companies’ gaming platforms. Today, we have built our own powerful gaming platform with a full portfolio of games plus unique in-game engagement features, and we are well on our way to realizing the vision.
Genesis was originally founded in Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world! I can’t keep myself from asking if you think that this has impacted your work / your games in any way?
Definitely. Las Vegas is where Genesis Gaming began. As you can imagine, slot games are in our DNA, and our formative development in Las Vegas has indeed been key to establishing the foundation of a premium slot entertainment company.
Genesis Gaming’s pioneers in Las Vegas had brought in the experience and mindset we’ve found crucial in designing super engaging gambling games.
How would you describe Genesis strengths as a slot game producer?
Incredibly creative game makers, some that have been with us since the founding days of the company who set our foundation for the making of great slot games and some that joined along the way who bring new ideas and different perspectives to the mix.
Technological wizards who create and maintain the frameworks and systems that allow our game makers to bring their ideas to life and power the delivery and operation of our games to our partners.
And, all of the multi-disciplined champions on the team who care for, support, promote, and expound the merits of our games to the world.
What do you think you could improve on?
I would definitely like to spend some time exploring and experimenting with more modern engagement features, content streaming, and social play — in particular, concepts from the video gaming world. Obviously not all things apply, but there are certainly some interesting ideas that I bet would weave nicely into traditional gambling games.
Is there any area of slot game development that you feel has become more challenging during the last years? Why?
As players have shifted to mobile play rather quickly over the last few years, it has been quite a challenge to keep up across multiple aspects of game development — from design to art to animation to audio to devices to browsers to network performance to. We’ve definitely had to be smart and put in work to develop some clever technologies to keep our games awesome along the way.
Which game do you think had the biggest impact on you as a company when it comes to revelations or learning?
Galaxy Stars is an interesting game as it is a step up in production aspects in creating a top notch game. From music stance to player journey in spins, to math design that is thoroughly tested to iterative prototyping. This challenged us into a new standard on how to approach game design that is meeting top tier standards both from a production and entertainment standpoint.
My personal favourite from your portfolio is MachineGun Unicorn, I gotta ask for the story behind that theme!
We were really trying to do something different that stood out. We had an artist that had kind of a twisted side, and it was something that she was exploring that just stuck, its original design was much more gruesome. The game designer and marketing person at the time took it one step further by writing out a story and giving some background to the characters, which gave the game even more life. We did sticker giveaways and some other promos when it was released.
Looking past specific market & regulation developments, what would you say is the most exciting area in iGaming at the moment?
The advent of 5G and the continuing advancement of mobile device technologies being driven by video gaming and esports, is very exciting for me, because these will make possible so many new ways to play, share, and compete. The ideas we have on our top shelf will finally become feasible!
What game trends do you think we’ll see in the upcoming two years?
Boutique is in, factories are out. In coming years in the mobile slots market, we see players and operators seeking quality over quantity.
Gambling industry will seek out games from studios putting out high quality games with a “heart and soul”, not just another release from some mega studio.
Players are more educated than ever through online review sites and streamers. The modern slot players know what makes a good game and appreciate companies that go the extra mile with attention to detail and player experience, like Radi8, to deliver that premium gambling entertainment.
Thanks on behalf of SlotCatalog for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything you’d like to say to players who haven’t played your games yet, hardcore fans or people that might be interested in joining the Genesis team?
Come play. That’s it.