With CasinoBeats Slot Festival just over a week away, we managed to speak to Vera Motto, business development LatAm at Habanero, to delve into what the developer is showcasing at their virtual showroom, what experiences are players looking for right now and a look into the company’s new title, Totem Towers.
SlotBeats: With our much-anticipated Slots Festival only one week away, what games are you looking forward to showcasing at your virtual showroom?
Vera Motto: We can’t wait to showcase the wonderful world of Habanero. After an extensive shortlist, we’ve selected some of our hugely popular high-performers with our partners, including Hot Hot Fruit, Five Lucky Lions, 5 Mariachis and Wild Trucks – all of which have established themselves as real player favourites.
We’ve saved the best to last however, and I can’t wait to unveil our latest game at the Slots Festival, Totem Towers. It really has to be seen to be believed, but to say it’s enchanting would be an understatement.
It offers a feature-filled adventure through mysterious Mayan jungles, with multipliers, free games and Habanero’s eye-catching, signature graphics to be enjoyed along the way. The 6×3 slot’s Line Boost mechanic unlocks up to 101 new paylines for players with lady luck on their side, with acoustic sounds and intriguing totem symbols allowing losing bettors in the serenity of the rainforest – in what is a truly engaging tale to keep every player entertained.
SB: Given ICE’s absence in February, how essential would you say events such as these are for connecting the industry and generating leads?
VM: In an era of lockdowns and other coronavirus-related restrictions, digital events are more important to business development than ever before. It will be a great chance to find out more about the industry’s latest product offerings, as well as showcasing some of our favourites along the way.
From our perspective, the Slots Festival has come at the perfect time. We’ve just acquired our MGA licence, and can’t wait to introduce our products to an ever-growing partnership network that now includes a slew of new Malta-based clients – and I’m sure they’re going to love what we have on offer.
SB: Looking to 2021 – what’s going to be hot in gaming development this year? What kind of experience are players looking for right now, and how do your games cater to current demand?
VM: As Habanero’s LatAm lead, I can say with certainty that 2020 brought a raft of changes that will affect game development in the year to come.
Players in emerging markets across the continent have a particularly strong desire for mobile-oriented content because, in those regions, the spread of internet access and increased smartphone adoption are relatively recent phenomena.
When lockdown restrictions unwind, and players once again demand entertainment on-the-move, that trend will become more pronounced still. Promotional tools, thematic variety and, of course, gamification will be on every content developer’s agenda in the year to come, the likes of jackpots and other engagement-driving features will be key to maintaining player’s interest in a game – and keep them coming back to enjoy another spin.
SB: Habanero’s Totem Towers is set to offer players a real piece of Mayan action with its latest slot – how much do you look to incorporate regional themes for your global players?
VM: One thing we’ve learned is that themes which appear local often resonate across the globe – and for us, if a game is great – it should work anywhere, no matter what the regional theme. Take the example of Scopa. The all-Italian hit has proven to be incredibly popular in LatAm, and a slot with Mexican roots such as 5 Mariachis consistently ranks among our top Italian performers, so it’s clear that great games are great games no matter where you play them.
Asian-themed 5 Lucky Lions is another great example, registering impressive performance figures in Latin American markets. Classic slot themes, such as fruits or Ancient Egypt, are also proving popular at the moment, so the key is a diverse portfolio that can accommodate a wide range of player preferences, with immersive twists on the classics that can offer a new type of entertainment.
At Habanero, we’re here to deliver with a wealth of different adventures – all of which are here to make sure we can ensure our partners are true favourites with players wherever they are.