I Developed BBBS From a Two-Person Business

I Developed BBBS From a Two-Person Business

Carmen Granger on How One Small Initiative Can Grow into a Successful Production

There are brand names you simply can’t resist. As soon as we came across the Bla Bla Bla Studios, we though: “Hey, this sounds like an invitation for a chat”. Certainly, this was not the only reason for us to reach out to company’s headquarters in South Africa. Did you see the great games this team is producing? Amazing Alchemist, Max Diamond… naturally, we wanted to learn more about the people behind the label. So, Carmen Granger, the founder of BBBS, told their amazing story, and also shared her vision of what the modern gaming experience should be and what kind of future she wants for the company. Without any further ado, enjoy the interview.

Carmen, thank you for accepting our interview invitation. Please introduce us to the team behind Bla Bla Bla Studios. How many people are creating these exciting stories on the reels of the slot games? How long did it take to find and build a great team?

BBBS employs 15 people and we also have 10 accredited freelance staff.

 

As the MD, before starting the company I spent more than 30 years as an entrepreneur and business owner in advertising, publishing and marketing – one of the highlights was creating and publishing South Africa’s largest magazine, TV Talk.

 

I developed BBBS from a two-person business into a fully-fledged game design and development house, and I think we have built a reputation for creative content, strong marketing support and production reliability… and to make sure all this happens I work directly with our main clients.

 

I developed BBBS from a two-person business into a fully-fledged game design and development house, and I think we have built a reputation for creative content, strong marketing support and production reliability… and to make sure all this happens I work directly with our main clients.

Then there is Martin Feinstein, who was chairman of the Concept Group and has more than 30 years creative content, risk/IP management and business experience.

 

Gareth Thomas, our Creative Director, moved from full-length feature film animation to the gaming industry, where he has more than 5 years of experience specializing in casino game design. He has worked on numerous films and has been with BBBS from the start. His strengths are concept and character development and 2D/3D animation, design and execution.

Behind the scenes but very much a critical part of the operation is our Chief Technical Officer, Luke Jobling. Luke has been a lead technician and product director with a number of key players in the iGaming industry and makes sure we are on top of our game (excuse the pun!) literally.


Luke has worked with NYX, EveryMatrix, Microgaming, Ladbrokes, William Hill, Bwin.Party, Bet365 and many more – you can imagine the experience he has gained that benefits our product.

 

We would also like to learn more about you and your experience that led you to the e-gaming industry, and the story behind creating Bla Bla Bla Studios.

The business started 5 years ago when we began mentoring a struggling animator who was working on slot game animations. We identified a gap in the market for high-quality and visually creative online casino game designs, as there was a lot of poor-quality work out there.

 

As it turned out, the animator didn’t have what it took to be an entrepreneur, so we took over the business and we went rapidly from just one client to having clients on five continents around the world. We are now an established game development house offering end-to-end on-line and land-based game development, with a specialist focus on slots.

…we took over the business and we went rapidly from just one client to having clients on five continents around the world.

We develop our own games as licensor to selected operators, and also undertake bespoke game production through every creative and development phase from original concept through to game math, integration, testing and release.  

 

We support PC, mobile and tablet platforms with game concept and storyboard development, 2D, 3D and hybrid animation, game design and illustration, game adaptation and audio / FX as well as client development.  


 

There is not a single resource online that would not characterize the studio as an innovative one with a smart approach to crafting customized content. Was it hard to find your way to clients and casinos? And what, in your opinion, are clients looking for when turning to outsource companies?

Clients are looking for a world-class creative product, high-reliability delivery and production, and the ability to add creative and player experience value in terms of characters, features, effects, game mechanics. 

 

We have produced more than 50 games in the past 5 years, and have a reputation for compelling creative content, delivery reliability and innovative game play features.

 

This is one of the recent designs we completed for William Hill

https://calvinayre.com/2018/03/05/press-releases/betdigitals-hercules-slot-powers-william-hills-performance-charts/

CalvinAyre.com

Betdigital’s Hercules slot powers up William Hill’s performance charts - CalvinAyre.com

Betdigital’s brand new Hercules slot has shot to the top of William Hill’s best performing casino titles.

Mar 5th

https://31.cdn.bit2host.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/betdigitals-hercules-slot-powers-william-hills-performance-charts.jpg


 

What is your favorite slot among those developed by the team? And how do you usually know while researching and drafting the new game and its features that this is it – the players will warmly welcome the release?

Definitely Crystal Dawn, which will be distributed exclusively through MicroGamings Quickfire platform later this year. The unique crystal collection feature keeps this escapist fantasy game fresh and fun.

 

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Please share your thoughts on what modern players are looking for in games today?

Keeping player interests with games is creatively challenging. The online player demographic is growing and becoming more complex and segmented, and each market segments has its unique tendencies, needs and patterns.

 

The common thread is that they are basically habituated to focus on and hold their device, and have a short boredom threshold. The game needs to hold attention and this is where we blend good visual graphics and storyline, characters, spin dynamics, special effects and audio along with a good math model and a strong feature mechanic to deliver not just a slot game, but a player feeling.   

What is the plan for further development? Will we be seeing more of the branded Bla Bla Bla Studios games, or will outsourcing remain the priority?

We plan to take the business from an outsourcing center to an IP licensing model.

 

This does not mean a binary switch of tactics, but a slow shift of product mix towards more internal games. Ultimately we want to hit a portfolio of 15-30 own games and exit via sale to a larger content provider.

Ultimately we want to hit a portfolio of 15-30 own games and exit via sale to a larger content provider.

Then you will find me spending more time on the playing side of the game, hopefully from a terrace high up in the Spanish mountains!