Interview Spotlight: Mouhcine Jalili, Head of Business Partnerships at Slingo Originals
In regards to the 20th Anniversary of the Slingo genre we’re extra happy that we got the chance to chat with Mouhcine Jalili at Slingo Originals to hear about their games, the history of Slingo and the genre in general.
Mouhcine Jalili, Head of Business Partnerships at Slingo Originals
Hi Mouhcine! We’re so glad to have you and Slingo Originals in this week’s SC interview spotlight. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself and Slingo Originals as a company?
Hi, thanks for the invitation. I have been working in the gaming industry for the last 10 years, on both operator and provider sides of the business. I have been with Gaming Realms, the company that owns Slingo Originals, for the last two years. It is great being part of such a talented group of innovators.
Slingo Originals is the studio developer and licensor of some of the top award-winning games, featured on some of the biggest gaming sites in the world.
Drawing on a 20-year tradition of social Slingo games, our games combine elements of slot, bingo and table games. We develop a “Slingo” genre of games for our partners internationally, marrying our compelling mechanic with other recognisable brands.
What’s the Slingo Originals vision?
We are focused on becoming a leading licensor of games to the global gaming industry.
We have developed our own “RGS” which allows our flagship Slingo games library to be licensed and distributed to third party operators. We are also able to increase the reach of Slingo with strategic branded licenses in adjacent markets.
Your latest release Slingo Classic goes back to the basics. Could you give us an intro to the game and a summarized history and progress of Slingo games in general?
This is quite a special celebratory game for us. It is our 20th Anniversary of Slingo as a genre of games. As you mentioned, we went back to basics and to what made Slingo games so popular. You can expect to find the 5x5 grid with a slot reel and all the classic features of the jokers, super jokers, blockers and power-ups, with an amazing retro design. It also brings back great memories to all of those who remember the original Slingo games on AOL when it was first digitalised for the online gaming industry.
What other titles can we expect from you in the close future?
Our talented team of developers pride themselves on pioneering game design. Slingo Xing Yun Xian features a great UI, an amazing Asian theme, and a well proven mathematical model that holds player interaction at its core. Very excited to see this game launching with our partners internationally.
How do you interpret the Slingo games positions in the iGaming market?
As I mentioned earlier, we see Slingo as its own genre. We ensure that all our games are unique, both from a design and mathematical model perspective.
Slingo games bridge the gap between slot games and soft games, which attracts a different demographic. Fortunately, our partners are aligned with this view and most of them position us in our own tabs.
Have you seen any trend changes during the last 2 years?
The regulatory changes in the UK and other regulated markets have driven the direction of the gaming industry and the way that we design the games. We are committed to ensuring our games are designed to protect our players so that they can stay in control of their spending and gamble responsibly. The team have been working hard to implement in-game Play Controls which were launched across our portfolio. This is an extra layer to the existing controls our operator partners offer. We are fully committed to incorporate safety by design to all our games.
You’ve released 40 games where most of them are Slingo Games and Video Slots. How would you describe the different possibilities between the two categories when starting at the drawing board?
Initially we experimented with both Slingo and Video slots as both styles of games had different successes in different markets. However, in the last 12/18 months we realised that our main USP is the Slingo genre of games and that is what we master. In our roadmap there will be plenty of new Slingo games.
Looking at the popularity of your games in different markets it’s clear that you have impressive lobby positions in several markets. However, the UK seems to stand out. Why would you say you’re seeing such success there?
The UK and New Jersey are our biggest market, thanks to the established brand recognition and distribution channels we have so far.
However, we are focusing more on internationalising and entering new markets where we believe the Slingo genre will do extremely well. Central and South American markets are very interesting for us, as well as all the upcoming regulated markets in the US.
Your Slingo Rainbow Riches game is doing exceptionally well, and have been for a long time! How significant would you say a strong game brand/franchise is?
Slingo Rainbow Riches is a great game and it has been doing exceptionally well. It has an amazing game mechanic, in addition to the already well known Rainbow Riches bonus rounds. Our partnerships with 3rd party brands not only help to bridge the mobile gap for bingo but also aid conversion through brand recognition, without cannibalising existing bingo and slots players.
Is there any game that you’ve released so far that has a really interesting story behind it?
Monopoly Slingo is the fruit of a great collaboration between our studio, SGD and Hasbro. We’ve tried to create a new way to play the classic board game, introducing all the familiar features of the game into our Slingo mechanism. It has been a great success with the players, and we are particularly proud of the final product.
Looking at the competition, which game providers do you see as inspiring or impressive? Why?
There are some good studios out there with great content. I personally think at Slingo Originals we are in a lucky position to be inspired by, and partner with, some of the biggest providers out there. Obviously, SGD with Rainbow Riches and Monopoly as well as Inspired Gaming with Centurion are performing very well for us.
Our games work well when combined with other 3rd party providers. So as opposed to competition, we see the other game providers as potential partners.
Well we hope we will see more Slingo games doing well. Personally, I believe that you have to combine safety, entertainment, uniqueness and engagement in the games when building them. The games that will do well in the future are the ones that put players’ safety and interaction at their core.
We’ve reached the end of this interview. Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers before we say goodbye?
Thank you so much for having me, I am very excited to show our upcoming roadmap to all our current and potential future partners.