With the festive period just around the corner, we sat down with Swintt’s Chief Executive Officer David Mann to talk about the success of some of the studio’s recent seasonal releases, what slots players can expect to find in their stockings this time around and why Christmas is far and away his favourite time of the year.
CasinoBeats: In recent years, we’ve seen an increasing number of studios turn their attentions toward seasonal titles – whether they be Halloween, St Patrick’s Day or even Christmas themed-games. In your opinion, what are the secrets to developing a successful seasonal release?
DM: For Swintt, seasonal titles are definitely an important part of our strategy when we plan the roadmap of releases each year. They can be a great marketing tool and the main thing is to figure out how to push a game in a seasonally-appropriate way and to make sure that you develop a title that has the staying power to be enjoyed long after the holiday it’s celebrating is over.
With this in mind, it’s essential that you try different features to see what sticks and take note of what players’ responses to them are. Our Christmas-themed title, Golden Reindeer, was released back in 2020, but still remains one of our best-performing games all year round despite it being Christmas themed. That’s the level of success that we aim to repeat each year; and hopefully we’ll be able to create something equally popular this time out as well.
CasinoBeats: How do you ensure the seasonal slots that your studio develops remain a firm favourite with players throughout the year, and not just in the run-up to the specific holiday or event that they’re celebrating?
DM: As I mentioned in the previous answer, Golden Reindeer has become something of a benchmark for what long-term seasonal slot success looks like at Swintt, but it’s not the only example. We’ve also seen a similar response from players to Monster Disco XtraHoldTM – which was released to coincide with Halloween last year – due to its innovative XtraHoldTM mechanic. Though this wasn’t the first Swintt slot to use the feature, the graphics, animations and music used in Monster Disco really captured players’ imaginations and helped introduce XtraHoldTM to an even wider audience.
Again, the game has grown to become one of Swintt’s most-played titles in recent years and added further evidence that with the right combination of design and innovation, seasonal titles can continue to provide engagement long after their release date.
CasinoBeats: As a company, what’s your favourite celebration during the year and how do you mark the occasion?
DM: To answer the question from a business perspective, Swintt’s favourite season is definitely the Christmas period for a number of reasons. Not only is it a great opportunity to introduce players to seasonal titles and expand our business, but it’s also the perfect time to build relationships and bolster staff moral.
Over the festive period, we always try to put on some fun events for Swintt employees and ensure that they have some well-earned time off to spend with their families. As many other companies will also be doing the same around this time of year, it also gives us a great chance to get closer to our clients and we always make the effort to bring merchandise over to them and get to know them a little better. This is something our account managers are always involved in and enables us to strengthen our bonds for the year ahead.
CasinoBeats: Given that December is now only a few short weeks away, does Swintt currently have any Christmas-themed slots in the pipeline that you can begin to tell us a little more about?
DM: We currently have three upcoming Christmas-themed slots, namely Heart of Earth Deluxe, Santa’s Pots and Pearls and Seven Seven Xmas and of the three of them, the one that we’re most excited about sharing with players is Santa’s Pots and Pearls. This is because since it made its debut earlier in 2023, we’ve found that Swintt’s Pots and Pearls feature works really well and has become synonymous with some of the best-performing games in the SwinttPremium line-up.
Given what we’ve already seen from Monster Disco XtraHoldTM – where an already-successful feature became even more popular due to the timeliness of the release – we’re expecting Santa’s Pots and Pearls to be another huge hit with players and the Christmas-themed symbols and graphics should certainly go a long way to helping them get into the holiday spirit.
CasinoBeats: Everyone has their own special customs when it comes to celebrating Christmas, but how will you personally be marking the occasion this year? Does your family have any specific seasonal traditions?
DM: It might sound clichéd, but the Christmas period is definitely my favourite time of the year. Having lived abroad for so long, getting the opportunity to spend the festive season in Scotland is always special. While I’m there, I get to see family and friends, enjoy home comforts and – of course – overindulge in eating and drinking; and it really doesn’t get much better than that!
We don’t have any particular traditions as a family, but I would say that we have a tendency to buy far too many gifts for each other each year. It’s always a bit of a struggle to get everything into the case when it’s time to go home, which means that the wine and chocolates inevitably have to be polished off quickly to make room. Ah, the sacrifices we make!