GIO: Has Lightning Box explored the ancient Greece theme in other games previously? What makes historical themes so popular, do you think?
MM: We released Spartan Fire in June 2020, initially as an exclusive for Kindred before it went network-wide. It was very popular and gave us the idea that it wouldn’t be a bad place to re-visit when we had the right game mechanic. I think players like these games because they are instantly recognisable. We’ve all grown up with myths and legends and those figures from the history that have been a staple part of books, films and popular culture in general, so there is instant familiarity. These stories and the type of imagery we used in Phoenix Coins cross borders too. That widens the demographic, which can never hurt the commercial prospects of a game.
GIO: How does Phoenix Coins use the theme – how is it represented visually?
MM: The setting is the Greek mountains which is a very evocative landscape when you think back to tales of Greek Gods and heroic deeds. The aim is to get the Phoenix to rise from the flames in order to soar away with stunning wins. Players will also recognise the mix of creatures and characters from mythology, including warriors, maidens and the Owl of Minerva that appear on the reels. Combined with the soundtrack, we hope it provides an immersive ancient Greek experience.
GIO: Are there any drawbacks to releasing a game exclusively with one operator?
MM: Really, it’s just the obvious one of scale. When you give a game to one operator it’s only going to be played by its players, clearly. It doesn’t get that mass market exposure when its brand new, as a result. But it does allow you to test drive it before wider release and build up some data on how it plays and whether players like it. That can be handy to have in your locker ahead of mass market distribution, even if it’s just over a two-week period, which is what we have often agreed with operators.
You can read the rest of this interview here.