In our latest Q&A, we spoke to Charlie Jacka, Head of Product from Blueprint Gaming. Blueprint Gaming has long since established itself as one of the best in the industry, with legendary legacy titles that continue to impress, and innovations that unsurprisingly wow players.
In this interview, we talked to Charlie about some of their great upcoming and newly released games.
Q: The Goonies Hey You Guys is sure to turn heads. Did you ever envision how popular The Goonies would be? Or was it obvious given the popularity of the series?
We’re pretty confident it’ll turn some heads! It’s safe to say we had a fair idea as to the potential of the licence when we began negotiating our use of it. We take the use of licensing very seriously and as we’re probably one of the foremost users of IP rights in iGaming we’ve got our research and development refined about as well as it can be.
Nostalgia has been a powerful marketing tool for some time now and The Goonies always invokes an incredible response when it’s either on TV or social media. You only have to look at the amount of merch that is currently available to get a handle on its position in popular culture.
As we’ve mentioned before, though, acquiring a great license isn’t enough to guarantee a licensed game’s success. You have to ensure that the same attention to detail in terms of a game’s features, mechanics and maths as we would put into a non-branded game are all front and centre too. We’re happy that we’ve achieved that balance once more with this latest version of the series.
Q: How does The Goonies Hey You Guys build on the success of the previous Goonies Slot Games?
As we always do with new versions of popular games, we’ve taken what made the original games successful and evolved the gameplay so that it delivers new ways to enjoy the much-loved theme.
Some of the play has taken its inspiration from King Kong Cash Go Bananas, another of our hugely successful titles from the last few years and blended that with some of the modifiers from the original Goonies.
The entertainment value is front and centre as always, of course, and the loved characters and lines from the movie are in there to provide the fun, adventurous Goonies feel.
It’s different enough to offer something new to those familiar with the series but retaining the charm of the first two titles that will delight diehard Goonies fans. We’re looking forward to seeing what they think!
Q: Not only has The Goonies returned, but our favourite prospector has made a comeback too. Diamond Mine Megaways 2 has big shoes to fill given the popularity of the original. What made you revisit Diamond Mine?
It’s a classic – our first Megaways game and one that a lot of players say was one of the games that made them fall in love with Blueprint slots. The original Diamond Mine was a fantastic hit for us and has continued to perform since then. Add to that the fact that players love sequels and we felt the time was right to revisit it and develop another descent down into the famous mine!
Q: Diamond Mine, The Return of Kong, Safari Gold and others in the Blueprint Megaways catalogue gained such widespread recognition with just slight tweaks to the conventional Megaways formula. What do you think made them so popular? Do you think being early entries of the popular Megaways mechanic helped them stand out at the right time?
You may have answered your own question there! It was a mixture of us being one of the first to market with Megaways, it had such a large following when it first released as it was something that hadn’t been seen before.
We also did a lot of things with Megaways that were pioneering and since then, that has inspired other studios to do similarly. We’d put out own stamp on the now famous mechanic and had taken it beyond what had even been done by Big Time Gaming, so it added incredible variety and diversity to already great themes.
Q: What would you say to players who are looking to compare the new Diamond Mine to the old one? Is it an innovative new twist or some classic Megaways fun?
One of the main things that players will notice is that we’ve tweaked the maths slightly the bonus round is a lot more achievable. Not only will they be hitting the bonus more frequently but when they do there are two to choose from, allowing players to have a little more autonomy on how they enjoy the game.
Increasing Multiplier free spins features an unlimited increasing multiplier on every win while the Minimum Multiplier alternative sees unlimited free spins until the minimum is reached. The option to gamble the free spins award is also available for even more opportunities to win big.
Q: Are the aforementioned sequels the last we’ll see of these popular games? Or are further renditions on the table?
Never say never! We love these brands as much as the players do and as long as they continue to do so and continue to demand more of their favourite titles then we’ll be more than happy to develop them.
We will always balance that demand with what we think is left in a theme or game family and providing we’re confident we can do a new iteration justice and maintain the high standards that we insist upon for all games, then yes, of course.
Q: How are you incorporating player feedback into the development of these new games?
It’s trickier than you’d imagine on this – making sure you’re getting a wide variety of player opinion is key, as taste is ultimately objective. Our dev team has decades of experience and has a keen understanding of what plays generally like and dislike, but we will bolster that with opinions from, forums, affiliates and streamer communities to ensure we’re looking in all available places.We’re always open to listening to what players enjoy. These days, there are a lot more places to gather that than just the cash box of old, so we always make sure as much as possible that we’re gathering as much feedback from as many places as possible.
Q: Last but not least, how does Blueprint Gaming plan to maintain its innovative edge in the highly competitive online gaming industry?
We’re happy to reveal that we’ve got a lot of incredibly exciting stuff on the agenda for the rest of 2023 and beyond, including content and concepts that don’t currently exist in the market yet.
So yes, a whole lot of innovation that we’re looking forward to unveiling.
As usual, we can’t say too much more about that at this stage but we’d be delighted to let you know a little more as the right time approaches.