“Our Mission Is to Keep Releasing Exciting Content”
“Our Mission Is to Keep Releasing Exciting Content”
KeyToCasino Sits Down for an Interview with Crazy Tooth Studios
In today’s crowded and competitive gaming industry, it is all about vision and spirit, and Crazy Tooth Studios has both. The company just recently signed a long-term collaboration with Microgaming, and successfully released the first of many games to come – Arctic Valor™. Striking visuals and dynamic gameplay of the slot capture player’s attention right from the start, so naturally, we were curious to meet the team of creators! Joining us today in a conversation about American and European gaming markets, the unique approach to creating software, and teasers about upcoming releases is Will Burrows, Vice President of CTS.
It is a pleasure to e-meet you! Let us start by congratulating you on the successful release of Arctic Valor™ to the market! This is the first out of many games to come as a result of an agreement between you and Microgaming. How does the team feel about the partnership, and how will it affect further development of Crazy Tooth Studios?
First of all, it is a pleasure to e-meet you as well and thank you – it’s been very rewarding to have Arctic Valor™ be released! Working with Microgaming marks our introduction to the online gaming market and we couldn’t be aligned with a better partner. Their position in the online gaming world gives us an opportunity to reach a large audience with our content and it’s an honor to be added to their line up of talented studios and diverse portfolio of games. Right now our mission is to keep releasing exciting content. We continually try to develop our studio and get better at what we do and as we enter a new sector of gaming, a big part of that is learning from Microgaming – and the online gaming market as whole - and do our best to deliver content our new audience will really enjoy playing.
Working with Microgaming marks our introduction to the online gaming market and we couldn’t be aligned with a better partner.
Arctic Valor™ is great in so many ways – from the story to the visualization and features! How long does it usually take the studio to decide on the concept of each new slot? What are your criteria for developing a potentially successful game?
Thank you again! We’re proud of how the Arctic Valor™ experience came together!
There really isn’t an appropriate timeframe for a new game idea that we’re excited about. Sometimes our ideas are ground out during long brainstorm sessions with the whole team and sometimes it’s as simple as an idea someone blurts out that makes us say: that’s cool – let’s make that! As far as our criteria for what to develop, it’s usually based on our reaction to the concept as players, the validity of the theme and mechanics as developers, and the marketability of the final product – which is a boring way to say: that’s cool – let’s make that!
With this great slot release and anticipation for many more to come, you are currently the talk of the industry. So, we would like to know how did it all start for you back in 2011, and what does it take to stay in the business in the highly competitive era of e-gaming?
It’s quite flattering to hear that anyone would be talking about Crazy Tooth Studio.
In 2011, when our President – and head game designer – Ben Hoffman decided to leave IGT, I doubt he foresaw where we would be eight years and over fifty delivered games later, but he definitely saw an opportunity to make casino games differently. Ben experienced success as a math designer for IGT, but what made his outlook unique is that he is also a musician, artist, and engineer. His ability to see game development holistically allowed him to pull together industry outsiders, like myself, and build a studio based on the idea that if all the disciplines are working together seamlessly, the games we made could be more innovative and exciting.
What has kept us going is our ability to continually develop fresh content, not shy away from challenges, technical or otherwise, and grow responsibly. We develop games but we also develop game development itself – which is why a nine-person team has been able to be so prolific and, in recent years, enjoy a reputation for innovative games made efficiently. Now, we’re hoping to bring what we’ve learned to the online gaming world and keep learning and growing as a studio.
…when our President – and head game designer – Ben Hoffman decided to leave IGT, I doubt he foresaw where we would be eight years and over fifty delivered games later, but he definitely saw an opportunity to make casino games differently
You create games using a proprietary CTS Arsenal™. Tell us more about producing it, and why did you decide to invest in your own game development framework?
Like I mentioned, we develop games, but we also develop game development itself – but this wasn’t really a conscious decision, but rather an organic byproduct of setting out to make the best games we could. So in other words, we didn’t decide to create CTS Arsenal™, we decided to give the framework that we have created over the years a name. The cornerstone of our way of developing games is efficiency – if we’re able to develop quickly and without limits, the development process can remain as creative and free as the moment of inspiration that kicked it off. Yes, CTS Arsenal™ is a proprietary, component-based suite of tools that aide every discipline needed to create innovative, quality casino games – but it is also a methodology born out of the nine of us working together.
Being a USA-based developer, do you produce games for the local markets, and how would you say American and European industries differ?
That is the first question on our minds when we started to investigate the online gaming world a few years ago. Ultimately our goal is to make games that players respond positively to and the first step in that process is to understand our audience. Microgaming is obviously a great resource for us and with their guidance paired with our own research – playing a lot! – we hope that we can deliver games that delight – but also surprise!
A lot of the differences between the American and European/Global markets are technical – such as translating into over two dozen languages - but some impact the player experience and require thoughtful solutions and our own standards to change. We’ve done our best to not only include expected features such as Autoplay, but also learn about the different styles of play and even popularity of certain types of themes or features.
This past year was a breakthrough for American casinos in terms of Sportsbook options. Do you think the same thaw in the industry regulations can be expected for online gaming on slots? And do you think it is necessary?
I think it’s quite possible that we’ll see a similar emergence of US online gaming as we’ve seen with sports betting. The explosion of online poker (despite being put in check), the popularity of free-to-play social casinos, and land-based casinos recognizing that online gaming will probably only help their business all seem to point to online gaming becoming more prevalent in the US. But we shall see.
The team of KeyToCasino would like to sincerely thank you for accepting our interview invitation and sharing your thoughts with us and our readers!
Thank YOU! We can’t wait for you to see what have coming next!