Interview Spotlight: Shane Cotter, Director of Product at Booming Games
Shane Cotter from Booming Games shares his thoughts about the pros of being agile and the importance of a player-journey focused portfolio. We also got some details on their next exciting release Show Master, which will hit the casinos on the 25th of June.
Shane Cotter, Director of Product at Booming Games
When did you join Booming Games and how have you found the move?
I joined Booming Games as Director of Product 2 years ago, coming from 5 years with Betfair (pre Paddy-Betfair days), where I was the Company Trainer, and subsequently 6 years with Netent, where I headed-up Product Management.
It was great to join such a young, vibrant and agile company, where major strategic initiatives can be implemented more or less overnight. This has allowed us to make a number of large-scale changes which have led to our continued exponential growth. It’s also been very nice to see this reflected in the industry's recognition of Booming Games as a real player; taking home the IGA award for ‘Rising Star’ in February of this year, and our current shortlisting for a further 3 EGR 2020 Awards.
That's quite a journey! What would you say are the major differences in game development working from a younger studio compared to a more mature one like Netent?
A great advantage which we have here at Booming Games is the lack of technical debt which tends to come with the older providers.
We are also turning our games around a lot faster than we did in my time at Netent, and with a much smaller team, but without skimping on quality.
That’s not to put down companies like Netent, but the agility and speed with which we can implement decisions here at Booming Games has been a breath of fresh air.
What do you think are the key factors that make your games so appreciated by players, even over time?
As a company, we are constantly seeking to improve. Booming Games’ focus is to deliver the highest quality and most innovative game products on the market; and to this end, we have continued to invest massively in the growth of our game framework in order to ensure the continued amelioration of our portfolio. We’re also not too proud to recognize that some of our games from ‘back in the day’ no longer represented the level of quality we expect from ourselves today; and we therefore culled a reasonable number of games, ensuring that our entire offering is as strong and representative of Booming Games as it can be.
Another reason, I believe, is that our strategy over the last couple of years has been to have a ‘portfolio and player-journey’ approach to game development. We’re very proud to now have an extensive portfolio of games ranging from the simplest most intuitive low volatility games like Booming 7 Deluxe, all the way up to the super high variance, feature-rich games like Gunspinner and Wild Energy.
We want to ensure that we’ve got you covered as a player, from your first spin on a slot to when you’re classed as a VIP by our partners casinos.
Regarding your portfolio and player-journey strategy, what is your aim of the ratio of games appealing to beginners, the intermediate level, and the hardcore slot enthusiasts?
Lol, that’s a good question. We don’t just cater for the ‘big-spenders’, but rather we recognise the player lifecycle and how we can feed into this. For this reason, at the outset, our goal was primarily to ensure that we had something for every level of player.
Since we achieved this, we have been freer to be more data-driven, studying player behaviour across our network and marrying this up with competitor analysis and market research. From this we are then in a position to give players the type of themes, mechanics and variance they’ll enjoy at each stage of their slots-journey, and to ensure that they always have new content.
Personally speaking, which of your games are your personal favourite and why?
Being an Irishman, I’ve always had a soft spot for Leprechaun’s Lucky Barrel. I don’t think any barman has ever put as much effort into pouring the perfect pint of stout as we did for our wild reels collect-feature. I personally drove our developers mad sending them video after video of how a properly pulled pint should settle.
I’m also especially attached to Danger Zone, which was released earlier this month, as I’m a sucker for Bursting Symbols.
We’re always keen to hear about upcoming titles. Would you share any details of your next upcoming releases?
I’d be very happy to let you in on the next few games in the pipeline. As I alluded to earlier, our quality has been improving with each game release; and our next upcoming launch is the perfect example of this. Show Master, which will be made available in all the best casinos on the 25th June will, I believe, be one of our strongest releases yet. The game is not only visually stunning, but also boasts no less than 8 features, all triggered by the Host’s Wheel of Fortune. The game is also highly volatile, allowing for some massive wins of up to 5,000 times your bet; which is the kind of game I like.
After that, we have Burning Classics coming up on the 16th July, a simpler and classy medium volatility slot; followed 3 weeks later by the release of Howling Wolves, packed with innovative features such as the Wolf Pack Multiplier, the Alpha Wolf Spin and Howling Wilds.
The timer on this interview is closing in. Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers before we say goodbye?
At Booming Games, we have also been implementing a strong Regulated Markets strategy. We’re currently certified in Malta, Sweden, Italy and Isle of Man, are approaching the final stages of our U.K. license, and are in the process of applying for a number of others. So it’s an exciting time to partner with Booming Games, and an exciting time to be working in the company.