Hi Jo, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. What does your role at Blueprint entail? And how long have you been with the company?
My pleasure! I’ve been with Blueprint for approaching 11 years now, joining when the company was at the beginning of its online journey, being primarily a land-based games developer. It’s been an amazing ride being part of the company’s rapid growth, right up today as one of the industries major players.
My role has changed somewhat over the years but has always had customer relations at the heart of it. In the early days it was very sales focused with the vital task of building Blueprint’s reputation in the online environment and securing operating partners. Over time, as our partner business developed and our games became more popular, it migrated into a marketing and relationship role whilst still account managing, concentrating on keeping Blueprint at the front line of the industry.
Q. Would you be able to give us a brief background on Blueprint from start up to present day operations?
A. Since 2001, when Blueprint was original incorporated, the company has made a natural progression through the differing sectors of the gaming market. Starting as a UK focused land-based developer, moving into the land-based digital market, including development of some of the very first digital products to market, and now as a leading online games developer working with the best-known igaming brands, we have created many original moments in gaming.
Some of those original staff members are still with us and have grown alongside the company. Most significantly, our MD – Matt Cole, who has taken the company from strength to strength and built one of the strongest and most talented teams in the industry. We now have a substantial development team in our UK office exceeding 100 staff, and presences in Gibraltar, Malta and Italy.
Q. You were the first to obtain the Megaways™ license from BTG, how did this come around? Was acquiring the license high on your list of priorities after seeing the Megaways™ engine in action?
A. It was very clear from the beginning that the Megaway™ structure was something completely different for an industry which sort innovation. At Blueprint we pride ourselves on our flexible and reactive approach to working. We are always keeping up to date with the industry as a whole and trying to grasp player and gaming trends at every opportunity.
Combining the Blueprint development teams extensive skills with the popularity of Megaways™ was a match made in heaven. Our games hit the ground running and very quickly became the go-to games using the mechanic for many players and operators.
Q. You’ve released a large amount of Megaways™ titles so far, how does the feedback you’ve received rate across the board to date? And is there a stand out title considered to be the best?
A. Our use of the mechanic has been a huge success for Blueprint and the reception to how we’ve used the license has been tremendously positive. I think the stand-out factor is how we have taken the license and innovated it even further. Combining it with our already successful content format.
Our use of varied pay lines and additional Blueprint functionalities within the mechanic has allowed a diverse range of gaming models form the single mechanic. This is how we’ve managed to differentiate ourselves from the others purely using the license how they found it.
Diamond Mine was our first foray into the licence and to date is still our most played title featuring Megaways™. It really set the standard for how Blueprint Megaways™ games would be developed and accepted by players.
Q. What does the team at Blueprint Gaming believe makes a top Megaways™ Slot when it comes to grabbing the attention of players?
A. As with all games, not just Megaway™ titles, it’s a combination of great maths, artwork, player engagement and taking the users on a journey which hopefully ends in a positive feeling. We’ve taken great Blueprint titles, branded and non-branded games, which we already know resonate with the players and offered Megaways™ to a wider audience.
The mechanic initially grabs the attention because of its winning potential. The huge number of winlines available through the system compared to the standardised 5×3 format gives players a very active experience, but this is only the initial attraction. Once their attention has been grabbed there must still be a good game composition and depth to the features which will keep the player engaged for the longer term.
Q. The inclusion of the mystery symbol into your Megaways™ slots has been one of the stand out features of the gaming engine in our opinion, and has produced some huge wins on the likes of Diamond Mine Megaways™ & Primal Megaways™. Do you have new ideas for the future that will capture a players imagination for big wins the same way as the mystery symbol does?
A. Absolutely, Nigel. We like to think we have taken the mechanic and moved it on, making it even more attractive to players and even more usable across our titles. As a rule, our games design team are not afraid to try new things and we have a pretty successful hit rate with our games.
The mystery symbol pre-dates Megaways™ by some way and is a classic Blueprint game feature. It’s historic and proven popularity across a number of our back-catalogue games meant is was a must to be included in our early Megaways™ offerings.
We continue to show how we are forward thinking in our games design and will continue to innovate in various routes. Our Pub Fruits Series and Jackpot King progressive system demonstrate how we are focused on bringing new ideas to the industry.
As Megaways™ is licensed by more and more suppliers and becomes the norm in terms of the game structure, it’s only natural that players will be seeking the next innovation and operators will be looking for that extra part which differentiates games from the others.
Q. We just love to see what you’re going to release next, so to finish off have you got anything you can let us know about future Megaways™ titles?
A. Not to give too much away, but 2020 is going to be an exciting year for Blueprint and will of course feature Megaways™ throughout our game release schedule if the demand is there. Over the years we have created some of the most recognisable games in the industry, known by players for their fun characterisation and depth of play, so we’ll be seeing a few of these making a return in a new guise to once again excite players and continue the legacy which Blueprint has built in the online gaming market.
Read the full interview over at BigTimeGamingFreePlay.com