“How spicy would you like your gameplay?” - Interview with Jason O’Shea Games Inc
Crash games and buy features are in focus when we’ve spoken to Jason O’Shea, Commercial Director at Games Inc about their new Crash games series and their unique Bjorn to be Wild slot.
Jason O’Shea, Commercial Director at Games Inc Games Inc
Hello Jason! Please give our readers a short introduction of who you are and what your history within the iGaming industry looks like.
I started my gaming career back in 2010 with a “small” company called NetEnt in Malta when we still shared an office. Since then I’ve been with a few other game providers notably NYX later SG in Gibraltar before joining Games Inc to work on their expansion.
Games Inc started out in 2013 but have been a bit under the radar. Who was involved in the foundation and what opportunities did you see at that time?
Mark Hillman and Lee Moore started the company doing various gaming projects for tier one operators and for the last 3 years we have made exclusive bespoke content for Betsson whilst building up our own platform "REACH" distribution, which also offers 3rd party studios, such as Jade Rabbit, access to build their content on.
What’s the main vision of Games Inc and what is your ambition going forward?
We have proved through our work with Betsson that we make bloody good games that perform well through their appeal to players.
Our immediate aim is to get that content out to the wider market but we have some very interesting things to come in 2021.
You’ve just released your new games POP! and Shooot. Why should our readers give these games a go as soon as they’ve finished reading this interview?
Pop and Shooot are the first two games of our Crash game series as we call it, and bring a new Crash Games mechanic to the wider real money casino world for the first time. Although not strictly slots, these “crash” games with their simple betting mechanic have been hugely popular in the consumer games world, and are highly entertaining. We have taken this mechanic and brought it to the market in direct response to the limitations being placed on Game Designers by recent changes in regulation that we believe will totally disrupt the future offering to your players.
Our Crash Games suite offers a range of games that essentially provide the real money equivalent of a game of Chicken! Players place a bet and then watch as a multiplier increases. The longer they wait, the greater the size of the multiplier that is applied to their win so long as they cashout before it busts they win.
But if that’s not your thing, The Lost Tomb with its expanding reels is sure to please!
You have quite a large portfolio of games and you’ve released a total of 12 games this year including the very popular, Joker Megaways in March. Most of them have enjoyed fine ranking positions in several markets, even months after the release. Congratulations!
In your opinion, what are the main reasons that you’ve succeeded to catch the interest of players’ from several regions so fast?
While you could argue that Joker Megaways was another game in a series of Megaways we firmly believe that ours is different.
Joker Megaways innovates on the classic and very popular Joker three reel slot and marries that with the incredibly popular Megaways to create a truly unique version of the classic 3 Reel slot that is instantly recognisable for most markets. All whilst the game still hides a significant amount of value to be discovered for both player and operator and has been a runaway success since its launch at the start of Q2.
I think this is a good example of why players have enjoyed our content. In essence taking the familiar and making it original.
Which types of players will get the most entertainment out of your games?
I think our audience and primary appeal certainly to the slots enthusiast, those who can handle a bit more volatility in the search for a bigger payout. Saying that the games still have to have that entertainment factor and look appealing and we make sure that is not overlooked in our games.
You’ve utilized paid respin mechanics in both Megaways Respin and Bjorn to be Wild. What’s your experience of playing around with this mechanic and how did you go about the feature in two games keeping them unique?
Wild gambler was a massive favourite of our game designers and also as it happened with Ciara Nic Liam at Betsson, We all agreed that its core mechanic was really ahead of its time and that the current market deserved an updated version and so Bjorn was born.
With the increased popularity in Buy A Bonus games for us this is just the next evolutionary step – Buy ANYTHING! You want extra wilds to land on the next spin? – buy them; you want an increased chance of entering the bonus game? – don’t wait - buy it! The extreme volatility inherent in these feature mechanics though is not for everyone.
Recognising this as we were working almost in parallel on Megaways Respin, we decided that the value of the MW mechanic itself did much of the work for us, and therefore much of the concentration on MWRespin was on ensuring there was real value for the player in the costing of each of the respin offers.
Both games’ high performance to date stands testament mainly to recognising the two different player audiences for the games. Mirroring the menu in a curry house – it simply comes down to how spicy would you like your gameplay? Megaways players clearly expect certain return patterns for their level of risk and therefore MW Respin offers exactly what you would expect if you play it without taking advantage of the paid respins. But for those players that like a bit of ‘spice’ there really is life-changing value to be uncovered in those respins as certain video blog posts will attest.
They’re definitely fun but it can certainly become expensive to chase that win! What variations and feature combinations do you think we will see in the future?
It’s all about the reward though right!
Obviously, with lots of regulatory changes happening in various markets, we are heading a little into the unknown in terms of their effect on future players’ enjoyment. To a certain extent Pop! is the ideal answer to a lot of the fundamental limitations being imposed on Game Design. I think however we will see a spate of games from studios that simply ignore the limitations and seek to just offer the same game on those lower stakes and slower game to game cycles. Those games will continue to appeal to the casual player but perhaps not the educated player.
We at Games Inc are constantly trying new things and we hope the players recognise that being players ourselves and huge fans of slots at heart we really are pushing the envelope to ensure that the future slot game audience has something both interesting and rewarding to play.
Speaking of the future, could you share any details on your upcoming games that we should look forward to?
Which competitors are you personally inspired by and what are their main strengths?
I think there are a lot of promising new and smaller studios out there and I think Casinos could give a little more exposure to these guys (including ourselves). The next big thing could easily be missed by playing it safe!
We have seen new mechanics such as; Towering pays/ Infinity Reels/Pop Wins so it’s an exciting time.
If you could only pick two slot games to play for a week, one of yours and one from your competitors. Which ones would you pick and why?
Bjorn to be Wild - I like my curry spicy!
Gonzo Quest - Original - This was my first game launch when I was an AM at Netent, a real game-changer for them and still iconic and great fun to play.
Big thanks to you Jason for taking the time to chat with us. Is there something you would like to say to your fans, future fans or future employees before we say goodbye?
A big thanks to all of those players who enjoy our content, currently live on the Betsson brands, and if you are new to Games Inc, give us a spin and let us know what you think.
Oh, and thanks SlotCatalog for the chat!