“A match made in heaven!” - interview with Golden Hero and JAPAN Technicals Games.
We’ve spoken to the founders of Golden Hero and JAPAN Technicals Games to hear more about unique pachinko style slots the studios work together on. They’ve also shared valuable knowledge on what it is like working together and told us about their mission to supply Easy & Fun games all over the globe.
Thanks for taking the time and joining us for the SlotCatalog interview series. Before we dive in, could you please introduce yourself to our readers and give us a background to your history in the iGaming industry?
GH: Hi! Very pleased to be here. My name is Thomas Nimstad from Golden Hero and I ended up in the i-gaming industry about 14 years ago when I got involved in Maria Bingo, the first bingo and casino site in Sweden, filling a gap in the market at that time. I started as a CTO building a new gaming platform and later moved on in 2010 to do the same for Vera&John casino, which became a hugely successful brand in Japan. Since then I have built Golden Hero which is creating online casino games. Through our partner program we met JTG and together we have built some very successful pachislo games like Hawaiian Dream, Battle Dwarf and Oiran Dream to name a few.
JTG: We launched JAPAN Technicals Games (JTG) to take on the challenge of developing great casino games using our expertise in pachinko and pachislot. I have been working as a producer in game development and have developed titles such as Hawaiian Dream, Dreams of Gold, Oiran Dream, and Battle Dwarf. JTG's slots have gained a tremendous number of fans in the Japanese market, and we have established the JTG brand in the online casino industry. Now, we are working on developing new casino games to gain fans in the global market.
Could you please tell our readers more about Pachinko games and why are they so popular in Japan?
GH: Pachinko has been a huge part of the gaming culture of Japan, ever since the first Pachinko parlor opened in 1930. Over its long history, Pachinko has evolved into a house-hold name loved by millions of users in Japan. The somewhat complex game is usually known for its physical pins that are scattered throughout the machine face and the metal balls that players shoot out to trigger a spin at the reels.
However, the true magic of the Pachinko games are in the journey of multiple probability stages that they take the players through, as well as the heavily animated presentation of wins and anticipation of wins that keeps the players at the edge of their seats.
Although esthetically different from a normal casino slot, there are many aspects of Pachinko games and their mechanisms that are universal to providing the best gaming entertainment experience to its users.
How did the idea of collaboration between JTG and Golden Hero come?
GH: JTG found us through a Japanese partnership and asked if we wanted to build games with them. It was a perfect match for us as we have the platform and the online experience and we target Japan as a market. JTG has the knowledge and experience in pachinko influenced games such as pachislo which was an area we were looking into at that time. A match made in heaven!
What's JTG/Golden Hero vision and what makes your games unique?
GH: World domination! Jokes aside but we want to introduce the unique pachislo experience to the rest of the world. Our games have a perfect mix of pachinko influence in a regular western online slot game.
We cooperate well because JTG has a long tradition in land based games and with our experience in online gaming we create the perfect mix of pachislot that will work not only in Japan but with some love and hard work will be best sellers in the rest of the world as well.
JTG: Our vision is to create a game that utilizes our expertise in pachinko and pachislot for online casino users around the world to enjoy. We are developing games with the core mindset of "Easy & Fun" so that everyone can enjoy simple, easy-to-understand, interesting, thrilling, hot and exciting games, and given that our games are Japanese pachinko style, we`re confident JTG slot games are totally unique in the market. For example, our 3x3 games based on the pachislot mechanics “Respin & Rush” features.
We also have two game brands. JTG is a brand that focuses on the Japanese pachinko style and conveys the fun of Japanese pachinko/pachislot to the world.
The other, WIN FAST, will develop Easy & Fun games for people in other markets all around the world. By adding the essence of our pachinko/pachislot style, we aim to become a brand that creates games that have never been seen anywhere else in the world, that can give players around the world a sense of joy, fun, and excitement that they have never felt before.
Can you tell us more about JTG's flagship games?
JTG: One of our flagship games is Hawaiian Dream. This game has incorporated the fun of pachinko pachislot into online casino slots, and it’s one of the most popular games in the Japanese online casino market.
The simple reel layout and paylines are the same as 3x3 pachislot. In addition, the gameplay is simple and straightforward: "when the flowers glow, you’ll get free spins”.
The free spins are based on the idea of "streaks" in pachinko/pachislot, where a retrigger occurs whenever 7s land in a row, giving you a never-ending free spin experience. We call this style of free spins with frequent Retriggers "Rush", and the gameplay of Respin & Rush is totally unique in the online casino slot experience.
Oiran Dream is no exception. This is a highly entertaining slot where the sexier the lady, the higher the payout. The stunning artwork is straight out of a high-quality Japanese anime. The main bonus, "Doki Doki Time", is a super exciting bonus game and players who want to enjoy playing slots with beautiful women definitely shouldn't miss this out.
BATTLE DWARF is a 3x3 game based on the theme of battles between dwarves and monsters. The game features a LOCK & BATTLE system, where you enter the battle when the “VS” symbol locks all the reels, and during “Rush”, you can retrigger a load of spins for bigger payouts.
The WIN FAST brand has also released the RAIGEKI RISING X30 and ENGEKI RISING X50 as part of the RISING series. The RISING series is a thrilling and exciting set of games that allows you to rack up huge multipliers and win big.
RAIGEKI RISING X30 also uses the Rush system. By increasing the multiplier during “Rush”, players will have the opportunity to get BIG WINS repeatedly.
ENGEKI RISING X50, on the other hand, removes free spins and focuses on the pursuit of high payouts in one hit. If you increase the multiplier to 50x, you can get up to 2500x payout in one single spin!
Has it been a rewarding experience working with your partner? Are there any skills and knowledge you have obtained working together?
GH: Working with partners is always rewarding! It might be challenging at times, but I truly believe that working with others is when we can create greatness.
JTG: Working with Golden Hero is always fresh and exciting. We were new to the igaming scene, but their knowledge and support combined with our own expertise helped us to deliver a truly great gaming experience. In particular, regulations are a major challenge in releasing a game, and this is one of the most valuable pieces of knowledge we have gained through working with them.
Were you facing any challenges working together?
GH: Of course, sitting on opposite sides of the world you always have the time difference. Above that the pandemic put a few obstacles in our way as we cannot travel and sit down to discuss and create, but with mutual respect for what we each do, the challenges can be overseen and tend to be smaller than the rewards!
Could you please describe the development process?
It is a collaboration process where we each do what we are best at. It involves a big amount of trust in each other's strength.
Moving on to the target audience, which are your most important markets, and which player segment are you giving extra focus?
GH: Most important market for our games is Japan. However, with that said pachislos are now gaining great focus and interest from other markets too, which is a great opportunity for us to showcase and sell the uniqueness of pachislos to the rest of the world as well! They work especially well for European and other casinos who want to enter the ever growing Asian markets.
JTG: In the Japanese online casino market, we know that the gameplay of Respin & Rush, which utilizes our expertise in pachinko and pachislot, is a sure hit. However, JTG’s unique and original gameplay mechanics haven’t penetrated the global market yet. We are convinced that this fun is universal and can be enjoyed by anyone, so we will continue on our journey to spread our exciting games to all markets in the near future.
What current trends in the iGaming sector do you find interesting and do you have any predictions for our industry for the next few years?
GH: We’re now at a position where there’s too much content created. The trend has clearly become quantity over quality. This has a counterproductive effect on the industry where players have become less interested in trying new games, making it a loss-loss for the operators. Today operators need to review each game and scrap certain titles from even being released due to too low quality or it’s just another game. It’s clear that we as content providers need to take a step back and make sure slot creation stay an art and the craftsmanship it once were, and allow operators to promote the content properly.
JTG: We believe that with the increase in processing speed of mobile devices and the growth of communication infrastructure, design and animation will need to be of even higher quality and impact. Also, with the global outbreak of coronavirus, the number of people working from home and those who want to play at home is on the rise.
We believe that the number of players who want to play online casinos on mobile will increase and the market size will continue to grow, and JTG's online slots are designed to be suitable for mobile online casino play, so we can ride that wave.
Well, thanks for the chat! Would you like to share anything else with our readers before we say goodbye?
GH: Well, this is a given - if you haven’t tried pachislos yet, give it a try! A great game to try out first is Hawaiian Dream.
JTG: We will continue to release Easy & Fun and unique games to the market that people all over the world can get into. With our main brand, JTG, we want to convey the fun of Japanese pachislot to players in an easy-to-understand way, whilst simultaneously developing new and exciting games with the WIN FAST brand for our players in other markets. We'd love for everyone to give our original and exciting games a try!