Ondrej Lapides, CEO at Tom Horn Gaming, reflects on the beginnings of Tom Horn Gaming, the development process of slot games, igaming trends, upcoming titles, and more in a chat with SlotsMate, part of the Chipy affiliate network.
Q: Hello Ondrej, and thank you for agreeing to speak with us. Let’s break the ice by introducing yourself and by sharing with us a little bit about Tom Horn Gaming.
Thank you for having me. I highly appreciate the opportunity to talk with you guys at SlotsMate.com. I’ve been in and around igaming since 2006 when I joined a company named Tom Horn Enterprise as an account manager. Back then there were not many online operators, and game integrations, extended gaming verticals were only to appear in a few years’ time.
Our first deployments of true-server-based gaming systems were realised with VLT solutions in the Czech land-based market. Success in the land-based environment encouraged us to start offering our games via API integration, which is what we have been doing until now.
Ever since the company’s inception, Tom Horn Gaming has been true to its dedication to creating innovation-driven and entertaining video slots designed for the new generation of players. We always try to explore untapped niches and undeveloped segments to become viable for partners in various markets.
Our customer-focused approach, robust and versatile products, and teaming up with the best talent in the igaming world, have helped us seal powerful partnerships and deliver the tailored solutions and new experiences our customers and players look for.
Over the years, we’ve learned that strategic partnerships produce a mutual, two-way synergy that not only drives growth for ourselves and our business partners but also enables us to develop new, daring products players around the world love to play.
Q: You’ve developed and released a mix of casino games, the majority being slot games. What do you think is the most important asset of a slot game?
The slot game development is a complex process that encompasses a host of elements that make the player experience, both immersive and multidimensional. Games need to incorporate cutting-edge, engaging mathematical solutions, but at the same time game mechanics need to be reflected in visually attractive gameplay.
Players increasingly prefer the mobile phone as a gaming device, therefore when creating casino slots one must consider also the UI and UX journey for players. In a nutshell, to introduce a successful title, one part cannot exist without the other. In our own practice, we have always tried to deliver gaming experiences that are as multi-faceted and entertaining as possible.
Q: What are the most popular Tom Horn titles among players and operators alike?
Tom Horn Gaming has some amazing, highly-performing games in the portfolio. One game that stands out as our all-time favourite is 243 Crystal Fruits. The game was launched back in 2017, but it still performs as if it was its launch day.
I think 243 Crystal Fruits owes its popularity to its traditional theme and visuals, which have long been cherished by players around the world. Who wouldn’t love a well-rounded fruity experience with exciting slot game specific features! This continued performance led us to develop a sequel 243 Crystal Fruits Reversed.
The game not only reverses original features, providing an exciting twist on its predecessor’s mechanics, it also comes with revamped visuals that complement the overall player experience. The famous 243 Wild is in the lead role again as are winlines changing from 5 to 243. We’re positive this game will follow suit and join its predecessor in becoming one of our blockbusters.
Q: The iGaming industry has developed to a great extent recently. As you see it, were there any significant trends that impacted the industry in the last years?
Any industry constantly strives to stay ahead of the curve and bring new exciting things to the table. This is called innovation and it is a driving force behind any successful business or industry. iGaming depends hugely on technological innovations as innovation is the key to player retention. This segment evolves at breakneck speed and as a result, we’ve seen a rapid growth in development of new as well as existing product verticals in the past years.
In a few years slot provision, for instance, has seen immense progress in transforming the igaming experience, whilst introducing new features to satisfy demands of new player demographics. The past few months have also contributed to the importance of a fresh approach to what the igaming industry offers.
In a space of a few months, we’ve witnessed a massive rise in verticals such as live dealers, esports and slots which can keep players entertained despite dire circumstances and are not dependent on external events such as sports betting on live fixtures.
Q: Do you have any personal favourites among your games? If yes, then what makes them stand out?
One of my personal favourites is Sherlock. A Scandal in Bohemia. It is a beautifully rendered game with impeccable animation details and art. The well-known story of Sherlock Holmes is captivating and two bonus games with free spins generate tons of action and keep players on the edge of their seats. A true treat to all senses!
I also enjoy playing 243 Crystal Fruits Reversed, a sequel to our blockbuster 243 Crystal Fruits, because of its super-smooth gameplay and exciting win distribution.
Q: You released a new game Wolf Sierra. Can you offer us any interesting insights into the development process of this slot game?
The game development process is usually the same. We have an idea of what we want to produce based on detailed analysis of market preferences, user behaviours of players, our customers’ requirements and desires. We make sure features and math are absolutely on point and visuals are appealing and work well with the gameplay.
In the case of Wolf Sierra, we embraced a highly popular theme of wolves and nature. These elements still resonate with players and we believe that the story and the game’s features – free spins with sticky wilds and wild clusters – will add to the game’s popularity.
Q: What upcoming titles are on your list and why should we look forward to them?
We have a host of many intriguing games in the pipeline. Customers and players can look forward to a diverse portfolio of new titles that will cater to differing player preferences.
We will spice up the dull months of November and December with some lavish glittery adventure in Gold X and the sweet tooth of all our fans will be satisfied in a new delicious game Sweet Crush.
Q: Lastly, we would like to know what markets is Tom Horn targeting at the moment? Do you have any plans to enter new markets in the near future?
In recent years we’ve been steadily increasing our presence in a number of regulated markets and that’s an area we’re looking to make further inroads going forward. In 2020 we successfully launched our games in Belarus, and our content has gone live with more operators in Portugal. This year we continue in our expansion strategy with more markets to be entered by the end of this year.
Q: Thank you again for accepting to answer our questions! It was a real pleasure chatting with you! Is there anything you would like to let our readers know before we part ways?
It’s been an absolute pleasure chatting with you. To conclude, I would like to wish everyone to stay safe and healthy in these troubled times. I’m positive we will emerge from this crisis stronger and better than ever. Keep safe, everyone!