This week, SlotCatalog met with Ondrej Lapides, CEO of Tom Horn Gaming, for a chat about their work and what it takes to make the perfect slot game.
Welcome Ondrej! We’re happy to have you and Tom Horn Gaming in this week’s interview. Could you start by telling our readers a bit about yourself and Tom Horn Gaming?
The origins of Tom Horn Gaming date back to 2006 when online gaming was only in its infancy. We were a small software house, with our first gaming systems introduced to the market in 2008. Since these beginnings, we have significantly transformed our business, becoming a product-driven igaming supplier operating across many markets and holding multiple gaming licences and certifications.
We started in one small office in Bratislava. Currently, we employ more than 50 people across our offices in Slovakia, Malta, Ukraine and India. Our teams of gaming experts have been instrumental in our growth, diversification and expansion of our range of products and services. By combining our multinational expertise with our roots in diverse local cultures, and by leveraging our technical know-how, we will continue to expand our global reach, employing more gaming specialists in many new locations to build stronger relationships with operators in local markets.
Over ten years of experience in the industry must be a great advantage. What is your approach to making quality games and getting them out there?
The customer and player-centric approach have been reflected in our game development in general. Each new game production is preceded by thorough research of the gaming climate, market trends, player behaviour and our customers experiences and needs. This helps us understand our customers and their end-players and come up with the best products for them.
It is important to build long-term, sustainable relationships with operators, retaining their trust and loyalty, while simultaneously highlighting the search for new innovative game concepts and incentives to attract new players.
In addition to our robust and finely-tuned gaming content, we’ve been constantly growing our footprint in a variety of markets. We continually analyse new jurisdictions and assess our strategies when it comes to a successful entry into these new territories. Building a global reach and enabling players to play our games in as many countries worldwide as possible is very important to us. We hold MGA and UKGC licences and individual certifications in Lithuania, Latvia, Portugal and Sweden, with many more in the pipeline.
We’re still at the beginning of our journey, and we have to keep up the hard work to grow our business further and to deliver high-quality, responsible entertainment to operators around the world.
You’re definitely on the right path. What would you say is the most important aspect of a successful game?
The creation of a perfect game has become a key component of the Tom Horn strategy. We have a superb development team behind our games and they understand what it takes to roll out a successful game that can surprise and excite players.
Every new game we introduce is a unique production featuring engaging math, enticing mechanics and attractive features offering players unforgettable entertainment and many opportunities to win big.
Our games are story-driven, with amazing graphics and always draw inspiration from diverse gaming cultures to target end-users in different regions of the world.
We also deliver custom content, with a focus on a particular operator, their payer base and the market they offer their services in.
Excitement is definitely a key factor for us players! What’re the challenges connected with releasing the perfect game?
When developing a slot there are many challenges, but two stand out – getting the player to try your game and then convincing them to keep coming back. In the saturated gaming landscape, it is getting more and more difficult for game suppliers to come up with game concepts that attract new players and keep them engaged over time. There is no simple formula for a perfect game. I think a balanced concoction of new innovative features, technology, a twist on an old tried and tested idea, combined with the latest technology, current trends and preferences of individual markets can do the trick and capture the attention of players.
Seeing players enjoy our games is always rewarding and it proves that what we do is worth our energy and dedication. We are players ourselves and we try to reflect and demonstrate our own needs and expectations as players in our gaming products.
Yeah, the players’ appreciation of a game must be a big reward after a release. What game of yours are you extra proud of, personally?
I really enjoy many games in our portfolio. However, my personal favourite, from the very moment of sketching the first symbols to designing its features, is definitely 243 Crystal Fruits. I believe that in this game we have managed to balance a tradition of gaming, represented by fruit symbols, with stimulating features. All the senses are engaged, suspense is built through animation, sounds, and game mechanics. Everything in the game works in perfect harmony creating a heightened sensation.
The game took the gaming world by storm when it was released two years ago and it is still hugely sought-after by players around the world.
We revamped the classic theme of a fruit slot game, giving it a more contemporary, crystal-like look. The game has an exciting gameplay with 5x multiplier and a respin feature. Players undoubtedly love a revolutionary 243 Wild symbol that changes 5 paylines to 243, increasing their chances of winning big.
I think the game has become a massive hit because it provides players not only with huge winning opportunities but also excitement, anticipation and fun, keeping them on the edge of their seat for a long time.
What upcoming games can we expect from Tom Horn Gaming?
We continue to evolve and expand our game concepts in order to deliver ever more fascinating casino content to our partners and their players. We have exciting new releases scheduled for the coming months that will offer a plethora of intriguing features and a variety of themes. One of these new additions, Spinball, is a true gem with its roots in classic arcade games. I believe it offers an innovative approach to gaming, combining the visuals of a popular arcade game Pinball, with slot mechanics.
Okay! I’m actually a huge Pinball fan myself so I can’t wait to try that one out! Is there anything you would like to say to our readers before we say goodbye?
Tom Horn Gaming is a fast-paced, collaborative company that offers a lot of freedom and creativity to its employees. Each member of the team gets the chance to shape a product, and even the company’s future. We value this dynamic, innovative atmosphere as it is an integral part of our unique approach to game development.