‘We Wanted to Shake Up the Vertical’
Switch Studios Weighs in on Innovating Online Table Gaming
Just a few days ago thousands of players got a chance to explore new elegant releases of European Blackjack and American Roulette. Two of these products were rolled out by the talented team of Switch Studios – a company on an ambitious mission to redefine a segment as static and traditional as table games. We contacted the brand and spoke to Tom David, Head of Studio at Switch Studios, about the tasks and challenges that the team comes across, as well as about the future of table games.
- How would you describe the debut of the brand at SiGMA at the end of 2018?
Our debut at SiGMA on Microgaming’s table games-focused stand was incredibly exciting as a studio and gave us our first real chance to interact directly with operators, rival developers and the general public face to face. The event provided the perfect opportunity for us to unveil Switch Studio’s initial creation, Roulette, the first of a new generation of unique table games developed exclusively for Microgaming. The feedback we received was exceptionally positive and it was great to speak to so many people from various parts of the casino industry and hear their views.
- A studio fully dedicated to revolutionizing table games is a concept we would like to learn more about. What brought you to the thought that this segment of gaming needs innovations?
Our reasons for moving into table games development was borne from our prior experience and continued interest in the vertical during our time in the free-to-play gaming sector. Whilst the technology from the device and platform side had moved on greatly, we noticed there had been no real advancements in terms of innovation from a gameplay perspective and we wanted to get ahead of this and shake up the vertical. The audience has grown exponentially! It’s only been in the last couple of years that innovation in this field has started to kick in, where we can see examples of developers trying new things and creating games that appeal to a new generation of players. This certainly ties in with our own plans to revolutionise table games for both new and established audiences.
Whilst the technology from the device and platform side had moved on greatly, we noticed there had been no real advancements in terms of innovation from a gameplay perspective and we wanted to get ahead of this and shake up the vertical.
- What is the modern player looking for in table games? Are there specific market studies you relied on within your research?
What players are looking for in table games is something that loads fast, is comfortable to use and ultimately gives an immersive and rewarding gaming experience. From studying the market, we relied on our talented team’s passion, analytical experience and wealth of knowledge gained during our time within the online gambling and social gaming sectors to really understand how a player behaves and reacts in various gameplay scenarios, something that 10+ years ago was nowhere near as accessible as it is now. As avid table game players ourselves, we spend time researching competitor products from hundreds of different online casinos based around the world to get a good insight into emerging trends. It is from this process that we have been able to develop our own unique perspective on how we can innovate across the vertical, especially in areas such as player communities, gamification, gamble features, console designs, and so on.
…we spend time researching competitor products from hundreds of different online casinos based around the world to get a good insight into emerging trends.
- So far, you released two versions of roulette. What was the creative process like behind these releases, and what are you especially proud of?
We occasionally send teams out for casino experiences in order for them to gain an in-depth understanding of the atmosphere and buzz that anyone else would get being at a casino. It’s also a great opportunity to get out of the office and have some fun! When developing Roulette, we brought in a refurbished roulette wheel – this gave the team an insight into the quality of craftsmanship demanded by most casinos. We then followed that ethos when it came to creating the 3D equivalent. So to answer your question of what are we especially proud of, it’s got to be that polished 3D wheel of ours.
- Blackjack has now been released. Can you share any exciting details about the renovated game with our readers?
Our ethos since we started has been to create something elegant and satisfying. With that in mind, we’ve built Blackjack to be easy to play, easy on the eye and most importantly something new and experienced players can play wherever they want. We’ve really pushed the boundaries in terms of tech and optimisation, and we’re proud to be releasing something we believe players will play again and again.
- Switch Studios is part of Microgaming’s strategy to deliver targeted content. Would you say the need for such content changes the current market for good? And if so, why?
Towards the end of last year, Microgaming brought Switch Studios into the fold to redefine the online table games market. As leading specialists in developing table games, Switch Studios is in an excellent position to bring innovation and style to this popular online casino vertical.
As player preferences and regulations vary significantly across the globe, providing diverse and innovative content of the highest quality, not to mention adapting to regional requirements, has taken paramount importance.
Due to the popularity of mobile devices, the types of players now available have diversified massively and new revenue streams are constantly opening.
With the way technology has moved on over the past decade, and the availability of big data, it’s easier than ever to make informed decisions that drive product development and innovation. This enables game developers to target specific player demographics. Due to the popularity of mobile devices, the types of players now available have diversified massively and new revenue streams are constantly opening. There’s never been a better time for Switch Studios to partner with Microgaming, one of the world's leading entertainment suppliers, to provide targeted, bespoke content and bring even greater choice to the market.
- In terms of games development, what other releases are planned for 2019?
Following the launch of European Roulette, a fresh new take on a true casino classic, European Blackjack and American Roulette are the latest additions to Microgaming’s suite of exclusive table games, with complementing and innovative content soon to be revealed that will further Microgaming’s commitment to redefining the online casino experience.