Lesson #15: Humorous horror
This was truly one of the great discoveries to slots (real money or social) and it was done by Playtika in Slotomania.
Slots are a serious business. Slots were almost always serious in how the symbols were drawn. There was little humor in it.
Horror-themed slots existed before Playtika – vampires, Frankenstein, werewolves, and monsters in general. But in Slotomania they were done with humor, with exaggeration.
Horror-themed slots were so popular for the players, that there was a horror-based theme in every ‘room’ in Slotomania’s lobby. When I left Slotomania I checked this on other social games as well as real-money games.
Again and again and again, in real money and in social, with 99% success, slots that have a horror theme but are humorous are among the top ten games of the company.
Lessons #16: An Egyptian theme is stupid proof
We all know that an Egyptian theme is consistently a top ten theme in slots. That’s why practically all companies – veteran and new – have a few of them.
However, since my first two big jobs in slots were for Playtech and Playtika, both of which are giants in their fields and know how to create slots, I did not realize the total effect of separating the Egyptian theme for the players from having a good slot.
Case in point: I had a client which had bad games and wanted me to create good ones. One of their top performing games was an Egyptian game. It had awful graphics – as bad as you’ve ever seen them. It had terrible math – unrewarding, not fun, with features that were so infrequent, most players never got to experience them.
And yet… it was their top performing game.
As I came in and created new games from them, within a year 8 of the top ten games were mine. But the Egyptian game never left the top 10.
Conclusion: An Egyptian theme is stupid proof. You can do it badly, you can do it terribly, players will still play it, and chances are it will outperform.
Guy Hasson worked for Playtech for three years before becoming Playtika’s content manager, responsible for the content of Slotomania and Caesars Casino. He is now a social slot consultant, specialising in game popularity.