Launching earlier this year, Fort Mason Games debuted with a belief that “there is always room in any crowded market for a new, cutting-edge product that consumers will love”.
San Francisco was the base for the Fort Mason Games, a mobile, social games organisation led by Kate Gorman, who boasts an extensive 25-year pedigree at Zynga.
It’s Vegas style mobile app Confetti Casino was released in September, as Fort Mason stressed a focus on creating titles that are artificial intelligence-based, social and designed to aid players to relax and de-stress.
CasinoBeats has been speaking to Gorman about its operations thus far, developments in its short life span and goals looking ahead to 2019.
CasinoBeats: Fort Mason Games is still very much in its infancy, how would assess these first few months of operation?
Kate Gorman: Things are going really well. We’re hearing from players that they love our games. We’ve introduced a fresh, innovative product and made waves in the market by doing so.
Our flagship game, Confetti Casino, has earned high star ratings from players with 4.6 stars on Google Play, 4.5 stars on iOS, and 5.0 stars on our Facebook page. We love hearing that players enjoy our games.
Many have said they think Confetti Casino is the best slots game out there, that’s high praise for a new title.
“We’re enabling this level of new social interaction and game play”
CB: What would you say are the major highlights/achievements thus far?
KG: We’ve built an incredible team, and we’ve created a game architecture that is amazingly scalable that will allow us to be super nimble as we grow.
We’re also uniquely focusing on next generation social features, like our unique “Hearts” social currency for friends to give each other, and our “Confetti Cannon” group play feature where players work together to win bigger rewards, allowing players to be social and creating the feeling of a virtual game night.
In our research, we found that 73% of Americans wished for the ability to have a virtual game night. We’re enabling this level of new social interaction and game play.
CB: Last time we spoke you outlined a market saturated with similar products and “lacking real customer insight and innovation,” what further developments have been made to this end?
“We are creating fun and innovative new ways for players to make and play with friends”
KG: We’re innovating in many different ways. Here’s a few examples of how we are tapping into customer insight and innovation:
- We are building next generation social features into our game architecture. For example, Fort Mason Games is unique in allowing players to take their in-game friends with them across game titles.
- We are using AI and Machine Learning to create customised experiences that our data pipeline and architecture uniquely enable.
- We are creating fun and innovative new ways for players to make and play with friends like our Confetti Cannon feature that rewards players for working together.
- And while we make games for everyone, we have designed our games to be respectful of female players. In our genre of social casino games, female characters are often portrayed in an overly sexualised way, we’re not not doing that. We aim to be respectful to everyone.
CB: Several developments were made just last month, when a belief that mobile gaming is to be increasingly buoyed by a growing rank of female players was stressed, what progressions do you see the future of mobile social gaming undertaking?
“Few companies design mobile games with this growing demographic of women in mind”
KG: Yes, more and more women are playing mobile games. In fact, a recent study by Google showed that 65% of women in the US ages 10-65, play mobile games. Yet, few companies design mobile games with this growing demographic of women in mind. We, at Fort Mason Games, are tapping into this segment, and designing games that will appeal to this growing segment of players entering the market.
Looking to the future, I see games incorporating more social features and capabilities that are relevant to players “right now.” For example, during the holidays, players enjoy holiday-themed games and adventures. Our Confetti Casino game delighted players by releasing not one, but two new holiday slot machine games within Confetti Casino along with a Holiday Scavenger Hunt providing fun rewards.
Players love being able to engage with timely content, and we’re seeing really high levels engagement with our holiday content and great player feedback. Over time, the challenge for game developers will be to deliver highly relevant and timely game content to a player in a way that is social and helps the player relax, de-stress, and enjoy the game.
CB: Further to the previous question, what is Fort Mason Games striving to achieve during the next 12 months?
KG: Since we’re a new studio, we want to continue to build out our game content, as well as continue to roll out new and delightful social features while pushing our data capabilities and personalisation efforts to new levels.