In the second episode of SlotBeats Spotlight and its investigation into slot design, we pressed our experts into titles created for localised markets and asked if its success could be replicated on a global scale

SlotBeats: Slots tailored for localised markets can generate tremendous success, but could we see these titles cater for others on a global scale?

Arcangelo LonoceHabanero: Most definitely, and we’ve seen it happen many times, often in the least expected of places.

Just think about our perennial hit Scopa, localised for Italian audiences, it was designed so exceptionally and offers such a clear insight into Italian culture, that it was able to resonate with players from across the globe.

Inside Italy it’s about the card game ‘scopa’ – a game that will be constantly loved across every town and city, but for players from the outside of Italy, the experience represents an opportunity to engage with Italian history, art and culture, and we cannot overlook this desire that our audiences have. Of course, this game would not work as well if the maths and the gameplay didn’t match the high standard of the storyboard, visuals and audio. This is exactly what a good game should do – if it’s good enough, it should work anywhere.

Ivan Kravchuk, Evoplay: Tailoring the game to a particular market does not doom it to failure in others. Yes, the player’s preferences regarding the theme, game mechanics, and additional features can vary in different regions, but at the end of the day, a quality product is what every player wants to play.

Moreover, now that a lot of game providers experiment by dipping their toes in multiple genres, players are able to find something that really resonates with them.

Rob Procter, SG Digital: Absolutely, particularly if the game mechanics are strong enough to retain the interest of a wide range of players. Asian-themed games are a classic example of content that was initially tailored for a specific audience but has since grown to become an important sub category for operators. 

In the US, these types of games are hugely popular, particularly in the land-based environment and are beginning to make waves across the online sector too. Given we have our operations in the retail sector, we have a multitude of existing games of this nature and have successfully adapted them into the online world with great success. 

Our most recent hit, Marvelous Mouse Coin Combo, has recorded strong results already, following in the footsteps of other land-based converted titles including 88 Fortunes and 5 Treasures. 

Marcus Honney, AvatarUX: As regional markets continue to grow, localised content will be needed for deeper market penetration. However, globalisation is something that isn’t going to go away, and there needs to be universal elements that we can utilise all over the world, rather than having brand new content for every single market.

AvatarUX has invested in our proprietary PopWins mechanics, which is focusing on player experience and delivering excitement, and is therefore applicable to any slot for any market. Furthermore, we are also looking at expanding these mechanics and offering different variations very soon, to make our games even more appealing on a global scale.

Kenny Dahlsjö, Lady Luck Games: At the risk of sounding controversial, I think the relevance of localised game design is often over-exaggerated. Very few studios sit down and design a game for just one market. What would be the point? Players want different things and a diverse portfolio of games is essential. 

I’m not convinced they choose their slot games on a narrow nationalistic basis. The key is having decent design, engaging maths and playability that has a universality. Those magic ingredients provide mass appeal which leads to mass market participation. I think we would always start off with that aim in mind rather than pursuing something niche and hoping it then breaks out of the intended market.