The battle of the sequels resumed in August with two hot newcomers stealing into the top half of the charts. Break Da Bank Again from Microgaming and Chilli Heat by Pragmatic Play both had a Megaways makeover, courtesy of Big Time Gaming.
Top 20 games by distribution
A sequel needs to offer something new but must also stay faithful to the expectations… of the faithful. While Pragmatic kept most components from the original, Microgaming reworked many of the graphics, animations and music from their most recent ‘BDBA’ game, even adding some feature buys to boot.
But where is the balance, you may ask? Stray too far from the original and it can be too much for your loyal followers. Yet if you don’t offer enough novelty, its lifespan may be cut short.
Let’s not forget too, that a major refurb costs time and money and much will depend on your approach to quantity versus quality. A steady stream of new variations can achieve more, or less than a carefully crafted few.
The biggest risk to all sequels is the change to mechanics and most sequels recently have had higher volatility than the originals (and not just those with a Megaways suffix either). This may either suggest a consumer trend towards more variance, or that we’re all riding the ‘ways’ wave. Or maybe, that studios are targeting the ‘ways’ faithful itself, which is now a segment in its own right…
There are two main outcomes to a product extension strategy: sequel outperforms the original at launch but fades away over time, or sequel effectively displaces and demotes the original. Whilst many Product Directors may hope for the second, the first tends to be the most common result. That familiarity we discussed last month can be very entrenched and very game-specific.
One thing is certain, even if a sequel is but short-lived it still lends the original game a leg-up. Dragon’s Dependable InfiniWhizz it is then: what’s the worst that can happen!? The only downside may be the revenues you might have made, spending that same time and money on a new game with the InfiniWhizz mechanic. Or as per Pragmatic Play this month, you do a bit of both and while you’re at it, why not test out your own new FizzyWhizz mechanic too. Their Rise Of Giza Powernudge also made the top 20 this month.
Biggest aggregator dealmakers
On the deals front, both Pariplay and Salsa Technology notched up another couple of content deals but so too did six-month rolling leader, Softswiss, so no change to the top aggregator spot.
Biggest studio dealmakers
From the studio perspective though, Red Rake Gaming gathered up three new distribution deals for their games, taking them to top studio dealmaker spot. Spread the muck and them flowers will grow.
* Please note these are live charts which update every month so please ensure the month of August is selected in the drop-downs to match the analysis
**Data on deals by month was collected from April 2020 onwards. Deal relationships between companies from all time are available on other charts. Note that only deals reported on company websites or in the gaming press are collated.
***The games chart here excludes live games and table games. Game rankings are determined by the number of game appearances on the casino homepages of more than 1,000 casino sites. To access many other charts including game rankings, live and table games, positions on subpages or to filter by operator type and size, ask for our demo from our partner, egamingmonitor.com, which covers 32,000 games, 1,100 suppliers and 1,000 operators.