Real money gaming has evolved a great deal over the last few years and Skillzzgaming is one of the companies that have been leading this revolution. We talked to Eran Sharar from Skillzzgaming and got a unique insight into this new mix of casual and real money gaming. We bring you the interview in full and show you exclusive insights into the company's Match-3 technology and so much more.
GP: Hello Eran, thank you for taking the time to talk to GamblersPick. Before we get started, can you please tell our readers a little bit more about Skillzzgaming. When was the company founded and with what ideas and goals? Looking back, have you been able to translate some of those original ideas into reality so far?
Eran: Skillzzgaming was founded in 2015 with the vision of introducing new genres to the gaming industry scene by layering casual gaming formats on top of real money game foundations.
Since then we have introduced 8 premium games that are played in hundreds of casinos worldwide. Our games are regulated in multiple jurisdictions and distributed by industry leaders, such as Microgaming and Pariplay.
We can point to our tile cluster match-3 games as prime examples for our realised vision. These games have proven to be our most popular game genre and are very well accepted across the different betting platforms.
GP: Skillzzgaming has based its work around combining casual games with real money wagering. This new model was designed to bring in players who enjoy casual games and give them a chance to enjoy real money gaming as well. What kind of success have you had with this group of players and how have your games resonated with the real money casino players in general?
Eran: We believe that gamers’ DNA is changing, their preferences evolving, and that casinos’ offering should therefore expand to include new genres and specially-designed games to account for this new generation of native mobile gamers.
This is the main reason we’ve chosen to introduce new and exciting games, such as match-3 and runners, to the scene, as they combine the fun of casual gaming with the thrill of real money wagering.
The success that we attribute to our games is their high player retention and player return values. Players enjoy playing longer sessions than the industry standard and return to the game more often over time, resulting in a high lifetime value for the operators.
We also see a resemblance between our match-3 games and other (none interactive) cluster games and believe there is a good fit between players of these two types of game genres.
GP: Your innovative Match-3 technology has been used in games like Alchemy Blast, Pets go Wild and Fruit Blast to bring the worlds of casual gaming and casino gambling together. What exactly is Match-3 and how do you apply it in your games? Can you tell our readers more about this intriguing technology and the way it is applied across your products?
Eran: Match-3 is best known as “Candy Crush” style gameplay, where players match clusters of tiles on a playboard. As opposed to slots, this type of gameplay is interactive and players have choices on how to play the board.
The main challenges we faced when building this type of gameplay were adapting it to real money mathematics and then fitting it to the mood and mindset of players when they play with real money. The playboards we generate are very rich and diverse, which means that players practically never see the same playboard twice. Meanwhile, gameplay is easy to grasp and fun to master.
Our match-3 engine is built using unique mathematical algorithms and a first of its kind technology that allows us to introduce different experiences for volatility, bonus features, and unique symbols, as is the case with slots. We are building a diverse portfolio of match-3 games which we intend to develop into a mass-market and widely accepted genre.
GP: You have recently launched Monster Blast, a highly attractive game that mixes casual gaming and slots into one immersive combo. Tell us more about Monster Blast and what players can expect from it? How do we earn rewards in this game and what kind of features will be introduced in it? How exactly is Match-3 employed in Monster Blast?
Eran: Monster Blast is a delightful match-3 cluster game, with charming graphics and quirky monsters. It is played on a 5x5 based playboard, featuring colorful candy tiles, which when combined into clusters fill up multiplier bars to give real cash prizes.
Monster Blast is what match-3 cluster games are all about… On par with Candy Crush, but with real money wins.
Players collect stars and level up as they play, win big prizes, and unlock new and exciting monsters, each with its zany personality and a special bonus feature: free games, mini games or surprise wins.
The game also features a Mega Win tile cluster that when blasted will trigger the Mega win Prize Wheel with wins up to x300 on the bet.
GP: Now that your portfolio is rich with amazing titles whose gamification features appeal to all sorts of players, what is the next step? What are the plans for the next year at Skillzzgaming? Can we expect plenty more games based on Match-3 and what other innovations may be lurking behind the horizon?
Eran: Absolutely! We have many more games set up for the future, all in different stages of production, that will incorporate casual gaming elements with our recognisable fingerprint, and we’ve got quite the lineup planned for more exciting match-3 releases, with Hippie Days coming-up very soon!