Q&A with Annamaria Anastasi, Marketing Director at Betsoft Gaming.
It seems players are going to get a great fantasy story to enjoy while playing FIRE & STEEL. How do you believe that such a story adds to the overall game experience?
The story line enriches the gaming experience, creating a bond between the player and the created world. This enhanced experience can take a game from simply enjoyable to uniquely memorable, drawing players back time and time again for the familiarity. Epic fantasy is enjoying huge popularity in global culture right now, and the high fantasy theme of the story line draws in the player base who enjoys this type of entertainment.
With FIRE & STEEL, the story goes deep into the history of two feuding Houses, a fertile ground for even more products in the future. We’ve built a world here, and the potential is limitless.
Without knowing what new video slots will be released by the competition in July, what do you think it is that’s going to make FIRE & STEEL more exciting than those released by the competition?
Short answer: an epic theme combined with ambitious game play. Betsoft is renowned for cinematic 3D graphics and this is, to date, the pinnacle of our graphical prowess. In addition, our Game Design team has gone above and beyond to create one of our most perfected play experiences thus far, with interconnected features tied to a detailed story and a unique reel layout unseen before in the Slots3™ collection.
Built on our Shift™ Platform, we leverage its advanced suite of animation and efficiency optimizations to its fullest effect. The result? FIRE & STEEL: One of the fastest loading, most visually impressive games to ever be released on the HTML5 platform, positioned to outshine the standard summer releases from the competition.
It has been three years since HTML5 technology was introduced. How did your developers benefit from this fifth revision of HTML while creating FIRE & STEEL?
While challenging, the migration to HTML5 has been extremely rewarding. Our previous workflow allowed limitless animations, but at the cost of hefty download sizes. As the market changes, moving more towards mobile environments, quick-loading and flexibility of platform became key ingredients for capturing players in the market.
The Shift™ Platform is the result of that process, and it is what powers our latest games, including FIRE & STEEL. Shift™, combined with the talent of our game artists and development teams, has unlocked our ability to achieve rich, cinematic game experiences at a fraction of the footprint, a mere 19MB for Desktop users, and an even more impressive 4.1MB for Mobile platform players.
With two wild features, a sticky wild, and free spins, it looks like FIRE & STEEL is going to bring excitement to the reels. Which of these game features do you think will attract the player most?
A great question. FIRE & STEEL offers an interconnected system of features we call the WAR OF THE WILDS. Each Warrior lets out a battle cry when they land on the reels, creating a directional beam of power that turns everything in its path into a wild. The Swordsman’s beams move north or south along the reels, while the Shield Maiden’s beams move east or west. When both occur on the reels, the potential for large wins from the wilds generates near constant excitement for the player. And when the beams CROSS, not only is a Locked Wild created, but Free Spins are awarded too!
As a bonus, Free Spins can be re-triggered during the feature, and the instances of the warriors on the reels increases overall, making this one powerful feature set sure to keep most players completely entertained.
In what way does FIRE & STEEL differ from previous releases?
Betsoft is renowned for its cinematic 3D art style and original themes, both in the online and land-based slot gaming industry. FIRE & STEEL steps it up even further, setting a new bar for innovation.
Especially unique to this game is its 3-4-5-4-3 Diamond grid layout, a first for Betsoft, and the tightly woven interactivity of the WAR OF THE WILDS feature. The interconnection between the back story of these two Houses, feuding for the ages, is captured in the Warrior symbols. Filled with unique game play features, and presented with stunning gloss, FIRE & STEEL is a crowning achievement in the Slots3™ catalog.
What caused the biggest challenge during the development of FIRE & STEEL?
The goal was not so simple; to capture an expansive and breathtaking world, rich with detailed 3D characters, remarkable sound and visual FX, while keeping the smallest footprint possible. With the growth of mobile markets, combined with the widening popularity of tablets as the primary computer options for many of our player base, file size has become an issue for all online gaming creators.
We have noticed a trend where game producers cut their games down to the bone, removing any extra visual flair. Instead, Betsoft have turned our focus on how to create impactful games AND achieve impossibly small footprints. Thanks to the creativity of our artists and developers and supported by the constantly improving Shift™ platform, we accomplished this beyond our expectations.
FIRE & STEEL will be the latest addition to the highly anticipated Slots3™ collection. What is it that makes the Slots3™ collection so extremely popular with both operators and players?
As mentioned, the reputation of Betsoft has always been graphically impressive games; 3D art style, captured in cinematic quality is our cornerstone and embodies our Slots3֭™ product line.
However, there is so much more that goes into making a successful slot game; theme, functionality, and mathematical perfection, dovetailing together into a proven success.
The performance of each Slots3™ game is reported and displayed in the per session KPI (Key Performance Indicator) statistics found in the Casino Manager reporting system. The per session KPI report is the single most important tool for operators to ascertain the true value and performance of a slot game. And how we ultimately define a successful game is twofold; an amazing gaming experience for the player and profitability for the operator.
Slots3™, in conjunction with the new Shift™ platform, strives to have all those boxes checked. The future is bright for Betsoft and our product is constantly being improved upon.