Online-Slot Editor Daisy Harrison spoke with Mike Collins, Game Product Owner at Thunderkick. Mike has been with the unique Swedish provider just 1 year but, in that time, he’s been responsible for some of their hottest slots.
Before then, Mike worked as a Game Designer at Play’n GO for 7 years. It’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about creating great games and we really enjoyed his insights. Read on to learn more about Thunderkick’s achievements, how their year has been, and exclusive snippets into upcoming plans.
How was 2023 for Thunderkick?
Happy to share that 2023 was an immense success for us here at Thunderkick! We released 10 high-quality games, which is a few more than the number we released in previous years (8 in 2022; 7 in 2021). On top of that, this batch of games offers more diversity in the portfolio than ever before, which gives us a good foundation and opportunity to push boundaries even further next year.
Which slot has been the most popular this year – and why do you think that is?
It’s hard to pick just one game! We had The Wildos and Hot Potato stand out as our most popular this year and pinpointing the exact reason seems obvious (to me at least). They both combine easy-to-understand, powerful mechanics with charming themes, which makes them extremely accessible for all types of players.
You’ve always had unique and amusing themes to your slots, what’s your ideation process like?
I’m glad that has not gone unnoticed! We never try to force something from happening, which is important. Time is dedicated early in development to explore what works, and from there the best theme will naturally present itself. It’s incredibly cool to see how creative people can be!
Do you think humour is important to players?
Humour is especially important. Ultimately, we are creating entertainment and want to leave a positive, lasting impression when players open our games. I believe humour plays a large part in that experience, even if it’s small memorable moments. Take Hellapeños for instance, I find it amusing the devil symbol’s eyes bulge and he has a runny nose when eating wild symbols.
You’ve been around for over a decade now, have you seen players’ needs change?
Without a doubt. The iGaming industry is constantly evolving for many reasons. Just from my experience alone, it’s clear that players’ needs, likes and dislikes have also changed. Probably the largest change I’ve seen is the shift from desktop to mobile casinos. And, specifically to games: an engaging, interesting base game for a smoother journey to the main feature(s).
Any plans to release a progressive jackpot slot/series of slots?
We don’t have any plans right now to develop any progressive jackpot games. Perhaps it’s a topic for future discussions, but we’re happy with what we’re doing right now. Never say never to a new series – that could be fun! Speaking of… keep an eye out for another entry in our Beat the Beast series coming soon (in February), with Beat the Beast: Dragon’s Wrath.
Try all 5 of Thunderkicks’ current Beat the Beast titles for free: Beat the Beast: Kraken’s Lair, Beat the Beast: Griffin’s Gold, Beat the Beast: Quetzalcoatl’s Trial, Beat the Beast: Mighty Sphinx, and Beat the Beast: Cerberus’ Inferno
Are any more sequels or ‘threequels’ coming up? We enjoy both the Pink Elephants and Esqueleto Explosivo duos.
While it’s a little too early to reveal exactly what plans we have, you can definitely expect upcoming sequels from Thunderkick. Creating follow-ups to our games is always immensely fun, I’m sure every other provider would agree. The tricky part is offering something new yet keeping the same feeling that captures the essence of the originals.
What’s your personal favourite slot and why?
I tend to gravitate towards low-volatile games mostly, only because I like being immersed in fascinating narratives without taking too much risk. Naturally, I have my own list of essential games in most categories from a wide variety of providers but, from our creations, I will always choose Zoom. Simply because it’s hypnotic, easy-going, classical fun.
Can you share any plans for what we can expect in 2024?
More of the same unique and amusing themes that people expect from Thunderkick! We have a couple of tricks up our sleeves and will throw some curveballs that you might not expect from us. First things first, we start 2024 strongly with 12 Bolts of Thunder – a hard-hitting scatter prize game. At the risk of sounding cliché, the rest of the lineup for 2024 looks just as strong!
Aside from some of the Thunderkick slots Mike mentioned, the Online-Slot.co.uk team also really loved Odin’s Gamble this year.
Big thanks to Mike and Marcus who helped with this article. Follow our blog series to hear exclusive news from more top software providers.