With the aim to disrupt the industry by making gaming both fun and fair for everyone, Spearhead Studios is one of the fastest-growing companies in the iGaming market. It's incredible how for a short period of time they managed to fill their portfolio with amazing games of different kinds and find their focuses, as well as expand on 12 markets.
We were lucky enough to arrange a Q&A session with Kevin Corti, Chief Operating Officer of Spearhead Studios, and find out more about this popular studio. So, if you're a fan of high-quality slots and would like to learn more about Spearhead Studios, its games and unique features, check out our interview below!
Welcome, Kevin! We're glad to have you in the hot seat in this week's provider spotlight. To start off, could you introduce yourself and Spearhead Studios to our readers?
"I'm Kevin Corti, Chief Operating Officer of Spearhead Studios. Spearhead Studios is one of the two internal game studios at EveryMatrix. Armadillo Studios is our U.S-focused sister studio. We also have several 3rd party studios who build their games on to our RGS for distribution through our SlotMatrix aggregation offering.
My role is mainly concerned with the operations of Spearhead Studios, delivering around a dozen high-quality games for regulated markets every year. The bulk of our games are slots, but we also have table games, video poker and bingo in our portfolio. We’re a small team by comparison to many other studios but manage to punch well above our weight - the support we get from EveryMatrix, our parent company, being a big reason for that."
What is the development process of a game at Spearhead Studios, from idea to release?
"Our processes have evolved quite considerably since we were formed two and half years ago. In the early days, we put ourselves under a lot of pressure to ship games fast which meant in the main, not taking too many risks with new features.
Now, however, our goal is to create then double down on innovative new mechanics and combinations of features; to make games that stand out from the crowd. To facilitate this, I created a small team (we call it ‘The Skunkwerx’) focused on originating, developing and testing potential new features.
We focus on the gameplay experience, the maths and the functionality only, not visual presentation; the goal being to find the fun and to maximize player engagement. Ideas progress from basic descriptions – a 60-second pitch - to detailed specifications, mock-ups, flow diagrams, math models and visual prototypes.
The majority don’t make the cut but, if we do our jobs well, those that survive and then go into pre-production will have the best chances of performing well. This also means that all functional and creative decisions are made well in advance of the production team starting work, which makes for effective and efficient development, QA, certification testing and release phases."
Slotswise loves one of your newest releases, John Daly, which is packed with base game modifiers and awesome features! Could you tell us more about this game?
"John Daly Spin It And Win It was developed in collaboration with the PGA-winning pro-golfer, John Daly. This was our first game to be developed with the U.S. market in mind and given how big, exciting and unpredictable John Daly, the man, can be, it was important that the game was bold, colourful, full of features, and action-packed.
As such, the game has three different base game modifiers and three different bonus features, all of which are super volatile and exciting.
Our objective for creating a game in association with a famous sporting personality was to attract attention and build buzz and awareness but we also wanted to ensure that it would resonate with as wide an audience as possible, not just golfing fans.
For that reason, we chose a visual direction that emphasized the personality traits of John Daly the man. It is bright, colourful and bold – and if you have ever seen the ensembles that John Daly wears when he takes to the golf course, you’ll understand why that was important."
And what about Book of Muertitos? How the idea of developing such a slot was born?
"Book of Muertitos is actually a visual clone of one of our most successful maths models (used in ‘Blue Diamond Book’). It’s the classic ‘Book Of’ format but with a very powerful extra bonus feature (the book expands on the reel with random win multipliers to give up to 27,000x wins per free spin).
As a rule, we don’t normally build clones, but at that time we were just beginning our entry into North America and the LatAm markets and wanted a visual theme that would resonate with those players. The Mexican Day of the Dead theme is very well-known, but also the basis for some ultra-cool visuals, so it made perfect sense. It is one of my favourite games to date."
Your website announces a new slot called FashionTV Highlife. When will this game go live and what can players expect from it?
"FashionTV Highlife has a general release on 28th April and is the first of three games we are creating in collaboration with the global media brand, FashionTV - an international fashion and lifestyle broadcasting channel.
We came up with a core feature – an expanding high-paying symbol with a progressive multiplier – that was a great fit with the narrative of the theme (becoming successful and enjoying the high life). It is a highly volatile game with a huge (24,000x) max win – two elements that most of our games now have."
Can you name the top 3 slots from Spearhead Studios that should be checked out by players who have never tried your games before?
"I’d recommend the aforementioned ‘Blue Diamond Book’ for the classic (albeit turbo-charged) ‘Book of’ slot experience, and ‘Sweet Gems’ if you like cluster-based games. For something a little different, try ‘Knights of Fortune’. It has a progressive collection mechanic, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it leads to some hugely varied free spins experiences and is, I confess, also one of my favourites."
If you could choose a slot from another gaming studio, which one would be your favourite and why?
"Many new games attract my attention from week to week, obviously, but my all-time favourite slot remains NetEnt’s Reel Rush. I love everything about it; the expanding ways with cascade wins, the joyful graphics and happy colours, and the masterfully simple but impactful audioscape. It’s perhaps not one for the streamers or the big win chasers, but for me, it is always a veritable upbeat experience. It is fun."
What releases can we expect from Spearhead Studios in near future?
"We are currently working on ‘Wild Willy’s Gold Rush’ which I’m confident will do very well. It’s a 20-lines, 5x4 slot with a radical progressive multiplier feature in the bonus feature and a fun base game modifier. It has a really cool 19th-century gold rush visual theme, with some fun characters. After that, we’ll be releasing our first two scratch cards. We have three more slots in the works, but we’ll save the details on them to a bit later in the year."
Thank you Kevin for your time and insight into Spearhead Studios' games and future plans. We invite our readers to check your awesome slots and witness the high-quality gaming experience first-hand!