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Q&A with Lightning Box founder Peter Causley

In this week’s Q&A we’ve talked to Peter Causley, co-founder of Lightning Box about their fresh release Spartan Fire and their upcoming August release Extreme Fishing. Peter also shared his views on “innovation for the sake of it” and the players’ intolerance for mediocrity.

28.07.2020
Peter Causley, co-founder

Peter Causley, co-founder of Lightning Box

Hi Peter! First off, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Could you tell us a bit about yourself, your history and Lightning Box as a company?

I’m a country boy from northern New South Wales, Australia raised on a sugar cane farm on the Clarence River. I started in gaming with Aristocrat back in 1993, working in game design and product marketing in Sydney and the USA. Then in 2004 David Little and I started Lightning Box with IGT, with the aim of supplying them with exclusive games for North American land-based casinos. The global financial crisis hit in 2009 and we parted ways with IGT, entering the online market with Chartwell in 2010. Since then we have not looked back, becoming a predominantly online gaming supplier from 2015 onwards.

What’s Lightning Box’s vision?

Our aim as players ourselves, first and foremost is, to come up with games that people love to play.

It’s not any more complicated than that really. Obviously, we like to keep up with trends and make sure we know what’s going on in the market, but we’re not hung up on innovation for the sake of it. We want to have a broad slots portfolio that reaches as many players as it can wherever they are in the world, be that in online casino, social casino, or land-based. Judging by the numbers of our casino partners who like to operate those games, many of whom like to do so on an exclusive basis initially, we’re pretty close to achieving that.

How is it like working at Lightning Box?

We’re a fairly compact team, but we’re growing all the time in line with our expansion in both Europe and North America. We moved to a new office in Sydney’s Darling Harbour in 2018 which was a big move for us as a business. It’s a pretty cool place to work and has really helped with creativity as we look to come up with new and innovative gaming concepts.

Lightning Box has been in the industry since 2004 and produced a rather impressive amount of quality games. What would you say has been the most educative experiences for you as a company during the years?

I think we’ve learnt to be flexible and understand the individual requirements of our customers or their players. We had a view of the games we wanted to produce when we set out, and still do, but it’s about making games that appeal and are commercially viable. There’s a lot of competition out there and players are not short of options. You have to give them what they want and make sure your products work across different markets. There are not many companies who are successful across real money, social and land-based.

You just released Spartan Fire, could you tell us what’s special with the game and why we should try it out after finishing reading this interview?

Spartan Fire is a really exciting new addition to our portfolio and continues our trend of bringing memorable titles to the marketplace. The game offers big win opportunities with up to nine free games, while the 30x multiplier is sure to get people talking too! The ancient Greece theme is pretty cool too. I would play it because of the chance to get that big multiplier along with some extra wild symbols, leads to a hell of a ride in the Free Games.

Looking at your roadmap Extreme Fishing is also hitting the casinos in August. Could you tell us what we should expect from the game and if you have any other interesting release coming up in the close future?

We’re really looking forward to releasing Extreme Fishing to casinos in August and it should prove a great catch! The Fishing Feature nestled in the Free Games is a real rollercoaster ride to see if you land the big fish or not. There are plenty of other exciting things in the pipeline at Lightning Box…you’ll just have to watch this space!

According to SlotCatalog data, your games are popular in several regions. Which markets would you say are the most important to you and why do you think your games have been received well there?

The online scene in Europe has been big for us for a number of years and you’ll find our games on many of the leading casinos. In recent years we’ve also really increased our presence in the North American market and it’s an area we’re looking make further inroads. We’ve launched with British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) and Ruby Seven Studios’ social casinos already in 2020 and have recently signed a deal with the Japanese manufacturer Konami, who have a strong foothold in North America too.

It’s a very exciting time for us as we continue to expand our operations globally and, hopefully, we’ll have more of our games available in other markets in the not too distant future.

SlotCatalog and our readers love stories. Do you have any fun or interesting stories behind the scenes of one of your productions?

Gee, are you asking me to give away some embarrassing team secrets here? I think some of the most hilarious conversations are around what to name the next game! Talking about “Foxes in the hen house”, “chicken running fox” and the like, whilst on a call working from home, sounds very strange to family bystanders!

Let’s say you were stranded on an island and could only play two Lightning Box games and two games from other game providers. What four games would you pick?

That’s a tough one! We’ve got so many great games, but if I had to pick two it would be Chicken Fox and Silver Lioness 4x – both of which have always gone down really well with our players. In terms of games from other providers, I really like NetEnt’s Aloha and Aristocrat’s Where’s the Gold.

The competitive landscape of the iGaming industry has changed a lot during the last years. What would you say is the main difference and key aspects of making a quality slot today, compared to two years ago?

Players demand a lot more these days. There have been so many great games on the market that they won’t tolerate mediocrity. I think they have to understand it pretty much straight away with a game or they will move on to something else. You can’t have a smash hit every time, of course, but you do have to strive to deliver the best game you can each time, otherwise you are going to struggle. It’s very competitive out there.

What popular features or other trend developments do you think we’ll see in the upcoming two years?

Leprechauns juggling flaming fruit megaways! I don’t really know to be honest, or if I did, I’m being cagey and not telling the world just yet!

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans, possible future fans or potential employees?

We are the fans, of other suppliers and our players. Without their support in playing our games and finding something they like within them we wouldn’t be in business. So, a big thank you to you all.

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