Compare.bet recently caught up with Crazy Tooth Studio’s VP of Engineering Farhad Ahmadzai to discuss how they have adapted to the pandemic 12 months on, their experience as a US-based software developer and how Covid could impact online gambling legislation across the States.
Thanks for speaking with us today. How are things, and what have you been up to so far in 2021?
Thanks for having me on here! Things have been going pretty well here. As I am sure you know, it has been more than a little bit of an adjustment getting used to life in a post COVID world. We’ve been busy developing some exciting new games, though, that will be released later this year. We can’t wait to show our players all the new features and creatures we’ve created.
Are there any upcoming releases that you’re particularly excited about?
Yes there are three games currently in the pipeline that we are all excited about.
The first is Lucky Clucks™ – another Big Buildup™ type game featuring some crazy egg laying chickens. With each spin, you have the possibility of landing a chicken that flies up to a nest. These chickens can then randomly lay eggs that are persistent and may hatch on any spin to award wilds, multipliers, or a Mother Hen prize! It should be plenty of fun for any type of player.
The next game we have upcoming is Golden Hook™. As you may be able to guess, this is a fishing inspired game where you cast your line into the sparkling blue water and reel in a fish. The longer you “fight” the fish the more your win could go up – but if you fight it too hard before collecting you may snap the line. All in all it is a very fun, unique, and approachable game in our WiNCREASE™ brand.
Lastly we have RhinoRillaRex™ – which is a combination of a rhinoceros, a gorilla, and a tyrannosaurus rex. Like our previous game Diamond Force™ – this game features TeamUp Reels™ where the full major stacks that land can come off the reels and form another special set of reels that give the player opportunities to win cash, multipliers, or a chance at one of our 4 increasing creature awards.
All three games are due out this year and we are looking forward to showing more about them soon. Follow our pages on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for sneak peeks at the art and some behind the scenes shenanigans.
What is your favourite Crazy Tooth game?
I am always excited about what is coming next. When we are developing the next set of games we all end up playing and tweaking them so much. In doing so, you become so immersed in the game that you really get to appreciate and love what our engineers have come up with.
As several US states continue to expand their legal online gambling options to permit online casino gambling, do you have any plans to establish a presence in these states (NJ,PA,MI,WV)?
We always want to bring our games to as many markets as possible. Currently, we don’t have any established igaming presence in the States, but we are looking at the potential for bringing games to the US soon.
Do you see there being any long-term repercussions from Covid-19 on the igaming industry, particularly where you are based in the US?
I believe COVID has really shown the need for more growth in the igaming market here in the States. With travel restrictions and capacity limits affecting all land-based casinos here it really shows how fragile the industry could be. It would make sense for the casino, who may have historically been against increased iGaming presence, to try and embrace the market and expand in areas of new revenue growth, especially after facing profit shortfalls.
What is the competitive landscape like in terms of domestic software developers? Due to it being regulated on a state basis and many states are only just now opening their doors to legal gambling, is there still plenty of room for growth?
Domestically (in the US) we have seen the landscape grow very quickly. That being said, I believe there is always room for someone to bring something new and innovative to the market. If it is done well enough or uniquely enough it really helps distinguish you from the crowd.
Do you find there is much crossover in the development of land-based games and those crafted for online gambling?
It really depends on which area of the game we are talking about. As far as math models and game mechanics are concerned I believe that land-based and igaming are 100% on the same level and techniques in that one can easily crossover to the other. As far as production value goes, we do everything we can to make our igaming titles comparable to land-based games despite limitations like download size. There are definitely lessons and aspirations that we can take from land-based gaming that can be tweaked and implemented in igaming. By taking lessons in how a win is presented, production value, or the gaming experience overall from land-based gaming, we can then take what works and translate them to igaming.
How do you find the process of collaborating with other studios for the distribution of games?
We work with many different teams across the globe and overall have found the collaboration very helpful. It is always an additive experience when we are exposed to other ways of thinking and ideas. The time differences at times have been difficult since their end of day is usually our start of day and so some scheduling issues do arise.
Do you have any plans on embarking upon this yourselves within the European markets?
We are very excited and honoured to be working with the partners we have who are bringing their expertise and huge distribution channels to bear for us. If ever there was a market that our partners didn’t want to go into it could be possible for us to examine and determine if that was a market we could venture into ourselves.
Do you find certain games and mechanics are more popular in the US than in other locations?
There are definite trends in certain areas. If we can deliver a polished gaming experience that is translated into the local language, we have found it works pretty much everywhere.
What’s on the horizon for the rest of the year?
Aside from the games I have mentioned, we also have a few unannounced games coming up. We are also in the midst of developing our new gaming platform, Insicor™, which will let us make more complex games much more rapidly.