Andrzej Hyla, CCO at Wazdan writes about how the company has gone back to basics in terms of the appearance of its slots in the Hot Slot™ series, applying a self-reflective approach to game design to get closer to what a ‘traditional’ slot is in a number of its products.
Slots have been around for over a hundred years, and for decades the 3×3 layout that featured cherries, lemons, and other fruity symbols was the standard for the space. Naturally, the genre has evolved to facilitate modern player preferences and their craving for new themes and a greater sense of interactivity. However, a small group of loyal followers still seek out retro games that evoke a sense of nostalgia and deliver a charm that, in their opinion, modern releases fail to.
While many believe that it is only a matter of time before traditional experiences are pushed to the peripheries of iGaming, at Wazdan, we believe there will always be a place at the table for throwback titles that utilise easy-to-understand mechanics and a classic aesthetic. As the industry continues to push forwards in terms of innovation and customisation, it also produces a steady stream of players that start to feel sentimental and reminisce about old-school gameplay, creating consistent demand for classic products.
The appeal of retro experiences
The main appeal of vintage products is the sense of nostalgia they deliver, paired with the simplicity of their mechanics. Research shows that the majority of land-based and online casino customers are casual gamers that consider slots an entertainment-based pastime.
These players see traditional experiences as something that can bring face-value excitement into their lives. Therefore, do not want to waste time learning about the complicated rules and seemingly endless combinations that modern titles provide. They seek simple, yet engaging games that provide them with many winning opportunities.
As a business that prides itself on the quality of games it produces, with an offering that spans classics and popular table games to innovative video slots, we have a responsibility to cater to all types of players. Our top-performing Hot Slot™ series, including Hot Slot™: 777 Crown, Hot Slot™: Magic Bombs, and Hot Slot™: Magic Pearls, do this by taking things back to how they used to be, employing modern features that complement the classic designs on display, rather than overpower them.
As a result, our games get recognition for the balance that they strike between traditional and contemporary, generating fantastic results for our partners.
Innovations that target modern demographics
As things stand, slots with sophisticated bonus features dominate the iGaming space as more and more players yearn for a greater sense of interaction and entertainment.
With the advent of new technologies and leaps in graphic and audio design, the slot looks different now than it did ten years ago, as do mechanics, outcomes, and even bonus rounds.
However, we believe easy-to-understand features that increase the chances of winning are the most engaging for players. Our Hot Slot™ games collection is a perfect example of how effective simple features can be in terms of driving revenue growth for operators.
Our top-performing Hot Slot™: 777 Crown proves that many players still seek simple fruit machines with basic mechanics. Although the game offers Scatters as the only special feature, it became one of the most popular slots in our portfolio.
Hot Slot™: Magic Bombs is a brand-new slot that offers our engagement-boosting Collect to Infinity™ mechanic proven to generate better results for operators. The game also introduces our brand-new Sticky to Infinity™ feature, designed to keep players immersed for longer. When combined with player-favourite Free Spins, these two innovative features guarantee increased engagement. Players immediately understand how these mechanics work and can focus on the thrilling action taking place on the reels.
The upcoming Hot Slot™: Magic Pearls slot combines classic aesthetics with our popular Hold the Jackpot bonus round, allowing players to win the Grand Jackpot of 2500x their bet in a simple re-spin-based bonus game.
What is more, our games offer customisable features, allowing players to adjust the game to their needs. For example, with our Volatility Levels™, each game can appeal to all types of players, from recreational to VIPs.
Finding the perfect balance
Providers in the iGaming space are required to be flexible and change with the times to remain relevant, serving modern players with slots that are a feast for all senses, but those that take it upon themselves to develop games for retro slot fanatics get to reap the benefits of catering to a loyal community of mature gamers.
The key to our success has been developing slots that target modern players without alienating the fans of classic slot experiences, and we have no plans to stray from this strategy.