Pragmatic Play: The theme is just one cog in the overall machine

Due to fruit-themed slot titles being around since the ‘very birth of slots’ players see the classic fruit symbols and they ‘instantly recognise them for what they say’, according to Yossi Barzely, CEO of Pragmatic Play

Yossi Barzely, CEO of Pragmatic Play

Coming off the back of the company’s release of Juicy Fruits, we wanted to delve into the reasons why Fruit-based slots continue to stand the test of time and remain a popular fixture within the industry, not just in the UK but around the globe. 

We spoke to Barzely, who revealed the most important cog within game creation, why the theme remains popular and if Fruit-oriented slots will one day cease to exist within the market. 

SlotBeats: You’ve just released your new title Juicy Fruits, can you tell us more about this title and what made you decide to venture down the fruit-themed path?

Yossi Barzely: Juicy Fruits puts a modern twist on a classic theme and that’s key to what we were aiming to produce. Fruit-themed slots have been a mainstay for decades but simply churning out something basic that has been seen a hundred times simply won’t cut it in today’s saturated market.

It’s a 5×5, highly volatile slot featuring 50 pay lines and crammed with a host of exciting bonus features and a vibrant, colourful theme – so it appeals to classic slot lovers but also retains the aspects that contemporary players demand from modern games and certainly from Pragmatic Play!

We’re catering to playing customers all around the globe, so today’s features need to be implemented neatly and if it’s complimented by a traditional design, it ticks all the boxes.

SB: Fruit-based slot titles have been around probably since the dawn of slots, why do you think it has stood the test of time and remained such a popular theme?

YB: Because they have been around since the very birth of slots, it’s really down to familiarity – players see the classic fruit symbols and they instantly recognise them for what they are, and that knowledge lends an air of comfort to a game. 

Indeed, in the UK land-based sector, the symbols spawned the generic term ‘fruit machine’ which many players still use to refer to the vertical as a whole – they’re even nicknamed “Fruities” by many! It’s simply a classic mainstay of slots now, just as shooting aliens is in video games – those themes aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

SB: How do yourself, as a company, continue to develop new ideas for Fruit-themed titles and ensure they remain fresh and attractive for the player?

YB: In the same way that we develop new ideas for all types of games – the theme is just one cog in the overall machine. It’s an important cog, but one that would be impotent without all the other factors that go into creating an engaging title. 

As the industry evolves, so does game creation. New mechanics and features, enhanced animation, graphics and audio all play a vital role in ensuring that a game is hitting the right benchmarks for the demographic that it’s aimed at. 

The differing demographics across global, regulated markets also offer a variety of avenues where we can, and have to, differentiate the offering – there are markets for all levels of volatility in slots which require a specific approach – then you have the cross over into instant games, live betting, the list goes on, so we’re fortunate that we have much to go at.

 Pragmatic Play has interests in and excels in numerous product verticals thanks to our varied product portfolio and experience in creating titles for them. 

SB: Do you ever think there will come a time when Fruit-oriented slot titles will cease to become a mainstay within the slot market?  

YB: I don’t think so. I think that as long as slots exist, then so will the fruit symbols and the themes that accompany them. We place much value on player and operator feedback and build that into our creative process, so if we’re hearing noises that a certain theme, or style of play isn’t resonating then we take steps to find out why and redress the imbalance. 

As a successful developer, this is vital to ongoing growth, so as long as fruit themes continue to prove popular, we’ll continue to create games featuring them. 

SB: What more fruit-based titles can fans of Pragmatic Play expect to experience in the near future?

YB: While there is nothing in the immediate future that brings fruit-inspired games to our players, there’s plenty in the works that we think will resonate with our fans. And, like always, we can’t reveal everything we’re working on, but I’m sure we will see fruit-based slots reappear in our latest hits soon.