- Flexi Group
Blueprint Gaming: the art of evolving a popular slot franchise
Following the release of Genie Jackpots Big Spin Frenzy, Blueprint Gaming’s Director of Key Accounts and Marketing UK, Jo Purvis, outlines the best practices in ensuring popular game families remain relevant to players
There are a host of game studios in the market that produce a wide variety of games but few that can consistently release player-favourite games that evolve to become long-running franchises.
At Blueprint Gaming, we have earned a reputation as a provider that can do just that – building game families around our most successful releases to the point where there is a palpable expectation from both operators and players.
Hugely successful games such as Eye of Horus, Fishin’ Frenzy and Genie Jackpots have all gone on to spawn loved franchises – the latter of which has just enjoyed the debut of its latest iteration in Genie Jackpots Big Spin Frenzy.
They have all earned an almost cult following thanks to our expertise in breathing new life into existing games.
For operators, these franchises deliver a trusted game that they know will immediately attract the attention of a good number of existing players and return the performance that they are seeking. On the other side of the coin, players get another opportunity to enjoy a title that has provided them with countless hours of entertainment. The fortunate side effect of such launches is that in the run-up to its debut and during its initial operation, we also see people returning to previous instalments in the series as the new version has rekindled their interest in the original or earlier games.
However, the process of introducing new titles to an existing games family is not as simple as it may seem on the surface. Freshening up the graphics and inserting a slightly different name is the easy option, but each new release has to deliver precisely what players want – engaging mechanics and features that keeps the entertainment value as high as possible.
Delivering an inferior sequel of a popular game franchise comes with the huge risk that players become disconnected with the theme altogether. New iterations must meet the same standards set by the original game, but also evolve the narrative to ensure players can experience a new and exciting gameplay.
The balancing act
Finding the right balance in updating a new version’s look and feel while keeping the core characteristics of what made the original so successful in the first place is critical. Players want to experience new features and mechanics that elevate the overall experience, but also stay true to what makes the overall theme of the game so appealing.
Given there is a wide demographic of players who hold different interests when it comes to slots, game families are an effective way for operators to offer popular themes to their entire customer base.
Adding jackpot functionality to the gameplay is a proven formula to attract a large segment of players who specifically target games that offer significant prize pots, such as Blueprint’s leading Jackpot King system.
Introducing refreshed bonus games and new mechanics are just as effective. For instance, the Megaways mechanic was not in existence when the original Fishin’ Frenzy retail game was produced, but the game family model allowed us to incorporate it into later releases of the legendary fishing-themed series to offer a modern twist.
Crucially, simply adding an existing mechanic such as Megaways to an existing game is simply not enough. They need to be adapted to ensure they fit the overall style of what the theme is all about.
Blueprint Gaming has a strong reputation for achieving this with each new release. Taking the strong bedrock of originals, we carefully craft new content that players love with new versions that retain that charm and familiarity, while taking the game forward with the creativity of our development team and the best mechanics and features that are available in the industry.
In our latest game, Genie Jackpots Big Spin Frenzy, we took the charisma of the 2015 original and refreshed it to provide a game worthy of 2022. While the Genie himself returns, he looks sharper than ever and his loot-laden cave shines brilliantly with animation and design that has enjoyed a refresh courtesy of our talented art team.
The core of the original remains, but in our quest to introduce the Genie to a whole new audience, the free spins round has been overhauled to include new modifiers such as lock & load, win boost and the big spin frenzy. The result is an attractive game that piques the interest of a wide range of players.
Game franchises remain a key component of a modern day product roadmap within the online casino sector. They ensure operators can offer fresh and engaging content more frequently, but more importantly, engage with a solid customer base that is already familiar with a slot’s theme.