Interview: Jo Purvis From Blueprint Gaming
ExplainerWe speak to Jo Purvis, Director of Marketing and Relationships at Blueprint Gaming, to learn what the popular developer has in store for the next few months
Blueprint Gaming is one of our favourite slot developers and is responsible for some of the most entertaining and exciting games available at UK online casinos and slot sites.
From Eye of Horus to Buffalo Rising via its collection of branded slots like Sausage Party and Rick and Morty, Blueprint has built an incredible reputation for creating chart-topping games.
To learn more about what the developer has planned for the coming months, including the hotly anticipated launch of ted MegawaysTM, we spoke to Blueprint’s Head of Marketing, Jo Purvis.
What does the Blueprint Gaming production line look like for the second part of the year? Any exclusives you can share with us?
As always, we have a buoyant pipeline of releases which we’re excited to share with our operators and players alike.
This summer sees the eagerly anticipated return of ted™, this time receiving the full Megaways™ treatment.
The original slot inspired by the 2012 film proved to be as popular as we hoped, so it made sense to revisit the title and bring back the obnoxious bear, this time with 117,649 different ways of winning.
The ever-popular Eye of Horus has also made a recent comeback with new levels of engagement in the form of the ‘Gambler’ option.
The latest instalment of the classic game, Eye of Horus Gambler now incorporates a selectable Free Games feature which allows players to take control of the bonus and choose their own destiny.
Tell us more about the next instalment of ted™. How does it differ to the original?
Rather than simply adding the Megaways™ mechanic to the original title, we’ve produced a brand-new game that incorporates a host of new features that players are sure to love, while keeping the essence of the original game which proved so popular.
Of course, everyone’s favourite crude bear features throughout, along with several of the film’s characters, but there are notable differences in this latest instalment.
In addition to Megaways™, the core gameplay features a mystery symbol which can appear on any spin. Triggering the bonus round, players are given the option to take either 12 Thunder Buddies Free Spins or spin the Thunder Wheel to be awarded a random combination of free spins and minimum Megaways™.
Both rounds include the unlimited win multiplier, an element which is proving really popular with players across all our Megaways™ titles.
Many of your games use BTG’s Megaways™ mechanic – why has this mechanic become so popular?
It’s certainly been one of the most innovative concepts in recent times. The base game activity which the mechanic allows has really resonated with slot fans and of course, the huge win potential is an obvious draw.
The industry as a whole has been quick to follow our lead in licensing the mechanic and now there are a wide range of games incorporating MegawaysTM to varied success.
Blueprint Gaming recognised its potential very early and became the first supplier to acquire the mechanic, seizing the opportunity to really push the system to the wider audience.
We’ve now taken the experience to new heights, incorporating additional functionalities such as our innovative Power 4 Slots concept, which allows users to play across four sets of reels at the same time and amplifies the Megaways™ experience as well as the number of winning combinations available.
It is important to stress though that a solid and highly successful game portfolio cannot only be built on Megaways™. Our in-house developments, such as Jackpot King and the games which we have transferred to online from the Reel time Gaming (RTG) retail library have been and remain just as popular with players.
The addition of Megaways™ has only gone to strengthen the Blueprint brand, it’s another arm and complements our other offerings perfectly.
Can we expect any more big-brand games this year?
Absolutely, alongside the return of ted™ in the next few weeks, we have new versions of Sausage Party™ and Rick & Morty™ going live before the end of the year.
We also have some great new brands that we’ll be bringing to the slots world over the next few months. Although we have to remain tight-lipped for the time being, rest assured they will be blockbusters, well-known brands along the lines of what players have come to expect from Blueprint.
What do you look for when deciding which brands would work well as a slot?
We work very closely with leading IP owners who are always showcasing their latest available licenses. The process in choosing brands can vary and our ‘suggestions box’ is always open for staff to throw their ideas into.
When deciding on a brand, it must fit our ‘tongue-in-cheek’ approach to creating slots. Blueprint has developed a certain style of game which has been the backbone to our success.
The themes aren’t too serious, and they attempt to give the player a laugh as well as a good game. If the player enjoys the theme, graphics, animation and sound as much as the game structure, then they will keep coming back for more.
Are jackpots still important to slot players? What are you doing to stay at the cutting edge of jackpot slots?
Jackpots are still an important part of the slot experience for a large number of players as they love the excitement and anticipation of large sums of money dropping from any spin.
The mechanics around jackpots continue to evolve and the rise of daily prize drops has certainly captured the imagination of players, with more casinos now offering this type of product. Smaller pots that accumulate and drop faster have shown their worth in attracting players for the short-term.
Blueprint’s Jackpot King is one of the most recognisable progressive jackpots and has created several millionaires over the years.
We’ve evolved the system to keep it relevant with player trends, from a single pot to ‘must go by’ pots, but always keeping the same core factor that the main pot is the one to aim for as it can reach any value and drop at any time.
Gaming for Blueprint has always been as much about creating a safe and fun experience in which the player can escape.
What new trends are you seeing in online slots? What are players in the UK looking for and what are you doing to meet these needs?
As with any industry, trends are virtually impossible to predict and are mostly ‘forced’ onto people with innovation or influence led marketing. Our designers continue to play games as much as they design them, doing their best to stay ahead of the curve and understand the features that players want and enjoy.
With the acquisitions of Games Warehouse and Project, our design and development team is stronger than ever and we’re in a good position to bring even more innovative games to the marketplace.