Last year, FunFair Games entered the igaming market with a goal to attract the next generation of players through unique multiplayer titles. Following the success of its inaugural title Astroboomers: To The Moon!, one of the studio’s latest releases, The Wheel Of Steal was launched, taking inspiration from popular wheel games commonly seen in the live casino space.
CasinoBeats spoke with Lloyd Purser, chief operating officer of FunFair Games, about the thrill of the wheel-based genre, the creative process behind creation, and what the supplier has next in store.
CasinoBeats: With real-money wheel games becoming more and more ubiquitous, how does your product differ?
Lloyd Purser: The Wheel Of Steal is very different. Firstly it’s distinct from live casino wheel games since it’s not live. It is an animated game built to sit within the casino tab. In addition, it is also different from wheel-based games seen in casino tabs because it is multiplayer and community-focused.
So, overall we’ve brought elements of live casino and casino games into our version. We took inspiration from wheel-based live casino games that continue to perform well and created a community by making it multiplayer.
With all our games we aim to deliver content that is social, active and simple to play and The Wheel of Steal ticks all those boxes. The industry is ripe for disruption, and we believe that our engaging series of multiplayer titles provide the immersive experience demanded by a new and emerging generation of players.
“This is a trend we expect to continue as the industry will always draw inspiration from mainstream entertainment”
CB: Can you explain in detail the creative process behind the creation of The Wheel of Steal and how the mechanics were created to optimise an immersive experience combined with the talk show theme?
LP: The first step involved researching the live dealer offerings in the casino market. Our investigation revealed that prize wheel games are some of the most popular and easy to understand games.
We wanted to take this proven concept and adapt them to a broader audience by introducing an appealing game show feel. Traditionally, game shows are multiplayer games, either with many contestants on stage or through audience participation.
Regarding the mechanics, it had to be simple to select what you wanted to bet on; one, two or all combinations for maximum coverage. Further, despite three prize wheels with ever-increasing multipliers, there needed to be a quicker return to the player if they weren’t fortunate to land the lock symbol. This thinking led to the ‘Heist Bonus’, boosting a low x3 return to a potential x100, making for a much more exciting experience.
This approach delivered an instantly accessible game, recognised by all and most importantly, aligns with FunFair Games vision to create social, active and simple games.
Finally, the resident game show host was added to accommodate multiple games, all presented by him. Keep an eye out for future games, as he will be making further appearances next year.
CB: Real-money wheel games have become ever-more popular, with some of the biggest developers in the industry creating versions of their own. Why do you think it has taken off as a format?
LP: We have to give credit where it’s due and we’re really talking about what Evolution has achieved in the live casino segment rather than the follow-ups from other studios. They have done a great job in transforming this genre which is one of the reasons wheel games have taken off online.
“The industry is ripe for disruption”
On top of this, they are simply great games, with exciting formats and second-to-none production values. They have enough to maintain the interest of players for long periods across multiple sessions, while operators have seen significant growth in this format and have therefore, positioned and marketed the content accordingly.
In combination with these best-in-class titles, the games are community-based, with multiple players playing against the house, the possibility to see each other’s results, and the functionality to chat with the host. All these factors add to the excitement of the experience and fit in perfectly with FunFair’s mission.
CB: Some of the wheel games coming out of our industry are based on TV game shows. How can today’s igaming studios harness popular culture to drive revenue?
LP: In gaming, you see it all the time; studios work with branded content to grab a larger slice of the pie and align a brand to resonate with that audience. It can be a hit or miss investment.
Evolution clearly hit it big with Monopoly Live, which has community-based play, the wheel based concept and exceptional production values.
Finally, linking it to Monopoly, one of Hasbro’s most successful igaming licences, was a fantastic addition. It’s a great example of getting that mix right and how things should all fit together.
This is a trend we expect to continue as the industry will always draw inspiration from mainstream entertainment platforms in its quest to provide content that truly resonates with customers.
A great example of this is our most recent title, Five Ball Fiesta which is a Day of the Dead themed, pinball-style game. This game will particularly appeal to fans of the retro pinball machine, a game that is loved all over the globe.