"Living up to blockbuster expectations" - Interview with Lloyd Butler at Live 5
Lloyd Butler, CEO at Live 5, the studio behind Hercules, Billy Gone Wild, Bjorn the Frost Lord and Roco Loco underlines the importance of streaming & playing slots in order to push the boundaries of game development.
Lloyd Butler, CEO, Shareholder and Founder of Live 5
Hi Lloyd! We appreciate that you’ve given us the opportunity to chat with you. Would you please introduce yourself and Live 5 to our readers?
Lloyd Butler, CEO, shareholder and founder of Live 5. I have 30 years industry experience ranging from software system development to Commercial Director. Live 5 are one of the UK’s leading independent designers and creators of digital content. I am very lucky to be supported at Live 5 by a world class team who come together to create high quality games for some of the world’s leading gaming operators including SG, GVC, SKY and William Hill.
What’s the core vision at Live 5?
Working for Live 5 is tremendous fun and we have built the business to be one that we would want to work for ourselves.
To do this, we offer our employees ultimate flexibility – there are no fixed working hours each day which gives employees the perfect work/ life balance, so long as they hit targets and do the work required to the best of their abilities. We have a team of 28 and everyone has been handpicked for their skills and talents, as well as their passion for and love of gaming and gambling. This makes for a creative, thriving, and productive environment where team members can strike the best work/life balance possible.
You’ve been in the industry since 2015 and released a total of 17 games. What has changed during these years and how do you think that reflects on the differences between your first game and your upcoming games?
There is a lot more competition out there and as a result, the technology used in games has had to improve as has the production value. Players now expect blockbuster slots that deliver superior quality across design, sound, and gameplay. For Live 5 in particular, we have also had to adjust the way we develop games to ensure they meet the needs of a broader, more international audience. To do this, we spend a great deal of time each day streaming slots and playing slots meaning we are on top of the latest trends and can build them into our games.
We have also improved and developed over the years and the games we create today are far superior to what we released in the early days. Of course, this is to be expected and as we continue to push the boundaries and innovate across all areas of slot development, our games will keep on getting better and taking the player experience to new heights.
Roco Loco is hitting the casinos on the 22nd of July. Could we get a quick pitch of the game so we know why we should hammer the refresh button next Wednesday?
Roco Loco has it all – a bold theme, striking design, explosive gameplay and big win potential making it one of our most complete slot games to date. With volatility dial turned to the max, players can expect a thrilling experience that takes them to the heart of a wild Mexican fiesta. We believe Roco Loco will prove to be popular with a wide range of player types and look forward to rolling it out across our network of operator partners.
Looking beyond Roco Loco, what else is in your roadmap that we can look forward to?
Alongside creating bespoke content for big-name operators, we are also close to completing licensing agreements for two incredible game mechanics.
Our roadmap for the rest of the year is packed full of exciting partnerships and game launches. I can’t disclose full details at this stage, but I can say that it is going to be mega. This forms part of our wider strategy to complement our bespoke games with slots that are indented to be launched network wide from day one.
Bjorn the Frost Lord is another game of yours which have been deeply appreciated by players according to SlotCatalog stats. What would you say are the key reasons by the game’s success?
Bjorn the Frost Lord has an incredibly high production value which I believe has been key to its success. The game was actually a Sky Vegas exclusive development but has proved to be popular in Nordic markets and with players all over the world. This is because the slot has a nice ambiance to it, with the various features building anticipation throughout the game and with short, medium and long-term targets for players to achieve. We really pushed the boundaries with the math of the game, and I think it shows in its popularity will all player types.
We are soon to launch Bjorn the Frost Lord in Canada and Italy and are really excited to see how it performs in these markets.
Which would you say are your main markets and what’s it like trying to claim more and more ground in these markets?
We are targeting regulated markets around the world with a particular focus on the UK, Malta and Gibraltar. We are taking our time in each market to build good relationships with operators and distribution partners, and to ensure that our games tap into the psyche and meet the needs of players in all of the markets we offer our slots.
We try to innovate as much as we can in order to keep the player experience fresh and exciting while delivering the highest possible production value.
By doing this, we have been able to compete with the big boys from early on in our journey and are building a large and loyal player following. We have so many exciting themes, concepts, mechanics and features in the pipeline that we believe we are in a strong position to continue to push ahead and become a firm player favourite.
Do you have an interesting story behind the scenes of one of your productions that you could share with us?
Myself and Stuart Harper, our Games Director, were travelling to Gibraltar and while on the plane were bouncing ideas around for game themes. When I was younger, I used to spend hours playing the old Snake games, which eventually were on the Nokia mobile phones. I thought it would be amazing to create a slot that captured the simplicity and spirit of the game. We decided to push ahead with the concept and ten months later launched our retro Snake slot.
Thanks for the chat! Would you like to end this interview by saying something to people who haven’t tried your titles yet, your hardcore fans or potential future employees?
Get playing them! We know that one slot will not meet all player requirements in all markets, so we have created a varied portfolio of games that offers plenty of variety. We innovate with every game to make sure that it offers something different to players, and our production value is among the highest in the industry. So if you haven’t already, try all of our games and I’m sure you will find at least one that offers the thrills and entertainment you are seeking.