Interview with Connor Blinman – Head of Games at Gaming Corps

By Dave Sawyer Aug 31, 2023

Connor Blinman
Connor Blinman – Head of Games @ Gaming Corps

I’d like to introduce to our readers and visitors to Casinomeister, the Head of Games of the casino game studio Gaming Corps, Connor Blinman. Connor, many thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with us at Casinomeister and discuss all things Gaming Corps.

Could you begin by introducing yourself to our readers at Casinomeister and also provide them with a brief background history of Gaming Corps.

Casinomeister was the very first website I discovered when I was researching what casinos to play at, so it’s a privilege to speak to you and to reach your readers. I’ve been the Head of Games at Gaming Corps for over a year now and I’m pleased to say the company has progressed in leaps and bounds over the last couple of years.

Gaming Corps is a publicly traded company on the Stockholm stock exchange and listed on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market. Starting off as a traditional Gaming company, Gaming Corps used its experienced roots to enter the iGaming market in 2020.

Since gaining our MGA licence, we have been the first to a number of regulated markets with numerous types of arcade-style content. We’re now working toward expanding our portfolio with a number of slot games that have seen strong growth with every release.

Just last week Gaming Corps released Plinkgoal, which we covered within the news section of Casinomeister.  Can you tell us a bit about it?

Plinkgoal is our latest Plinko product. It’s aimed at casinos that have a sportsbook business as a cross-sell product but also at the same time it’s also aimed at players who want to play a Plinko product that stands out aesthetically with the football theme. We have also partnered with some of our key clients to create bespoke branded versions of the game, furthering the relationship between us and the players.

If you’re not already familiar with Plinko, then this is a great game to start off with, because it’s super straightforward. The player can choose the volatility (i.e. the “Risk”) and the number of rows, and then place bets to drop balls into buckets. The balls physics are entirely randomised and the player has a fair chance to get it into any of the buckets.

The buckets contain prizes that can range from 0.1x your total bet all the way to 3200x your total bet!

What makes games from Gaming Corps stand out and given the abundance of games for players to choose from, why should players give the games in your portfolio a go?

There are plenty of reasons to play a Gaming Corps product. Firstly, we have a dedication to player-centric experiences. The entire Gaming Corps team is fully committed to understanding players, their goals, their preferences and what they want out of each product.

As players ourselves, we feel like we have a good understanding of this but will be highly active with reading community forums, such as Casinomeister, to take on feedback directly from players.

We are creating a very diverse game selection, with each game catering to a different genre and taste. We are multi-diverse in those game genres, creating slots, Plinko, mines, crash and table products. This diversity will allow players to resonate with a specific game over others. With Gaming Corps games you are bound to find a game that can be your go-to in that specific genre.

Finally, we have very unique gameplay mechanics, incredibly high-quality graphics, and polished games. Our approach to making games is to ensure that our game has distinct gameplay features that set it apart from others in the market.

Wild Woof, for example, which is one of our latest slots, has incredible art and animation but also gameplay that is unique to this product. Our approach to storytelling and blending it with the gameplay makes sure that the players experience something new.

With Coin Miner 2 we have innovated an existing game genre, providing a twist in the mechanic that allows the player to reveal multiple mines from one click via the “Star” feature.

Our games are pushing the boundaries of what has been done before, because we want to ensure players will be attracted to our games. We’re confident that once they try them, they’ll love them and will come back again and again.

Will Gaming Corps be looking to provide games to Crypto casinos in the near future?

We are happy to work with crypto casinos, provided they have the appropriate licensing. We know this was very much the breeding ground for the popularity of a number of our titles and we can offer a point of differentiation to what they traditionally offer.

So we see a good opportunity in continuing to expand the number of crypto casinos that we supply our games to.

Can you discuss any particular games that have been successful for Gaming Corps and what do you think made them so popular?

There’s a couple that comes to mind here.

  1. Penalty Champion. This game is a Mines product with a frontend presentation that players have loved. Step up and shoot to try and beat the goalkeeper – if you do, then you increase your win prize. This unique approach to a Mines product is something that we’ve seen players come back to time and time again.
  2. Once again, Wild Woof is another game that has been successful. This slot has the perfect blend of storytelling, strong art and animation, bespoke mechanics and above all a stellar math model that has kept players coming back. I believe the volatility of the game to be in the sweet spot, with a good balance of small and big wins.

How do you balance innovation with player expectations when creating new games?

This is a great question and an age-old problem within the industry. Our key beliefs are that we want to always strive for something that the players have yet to experience, whether it’s a twist on a classic or something entirely new.

We always look to ensure the game doesn’t reinvent the wheel, because that is usually a huge risk and something players are usually opposed to, but we do know players are seeking new things all the time.

A new generation of players is coming through who are seeking more “arcade” content that one could consider innovative, while there’s still a large portion of the market that is looking for something more traditional.

Gaming Corps offers plenty of genres and has an extremely diverse portfolio, so we hope to cater for all types of players. Rest assured that you will always find something in our new games that has some form of innovation.

Can you walk us through the process of creating a new game, from concept to release?

The senior art director, our lead mathematician and I will all sit down and begin to scope out the concept for a game. This concept will be dependent on many things. One of those things is data – what has done well in the past and what can we do better in the future.

Then after concept, the development team will be introduced to the game via a business strategy meeting. This meeting will align the team on the strategy of the product, what we aim to achieve and high-level timelines. This allows all members of the team to not only have their say but also get fully behind the product that we’re creating.

The development process will highly depend on the product. Different genres have different timelines and milestone expectations but nonetheless, we see anywhere from a month to six months from conception to release. Throughout this period there will be a few rounds of feedback to ensure that the product stays on track.

Following on in the same line of questioning, how do you stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in the online gaming industry?

We as a team have very active members of the industry, people who are dedicated to learning and knowing what is new. We are all interested in the success of others as it can lead to success for us too.

The best place is obviously internet scouring, playing the latest game releases on our favourite casinos, reading community pages to see what players think, and above all sharing this information with one another so that we are all aligned about the next big thing that we could capitalise on.

Concerning regulation of iGaming in the territories that you operate in, how do ensure your games are accessible to players in different regions of the world?

The market nowadays is becoming more and more regulated each year, which is only a good thing for our players as they become more protected and safe. Internally we have a very stringent method for our certification process. All of our games come with settings that meet the expected regulatory requirements from the get-go.

We currently have our games certified across over 12 markets and for each game we go through rigorous testing with a certification test lab, which ensures our games meet these expectations.

We want to make sure all of our games are accessible for as many players as possible and we look to expand to many new markets in the future, where new regulatory requirements will be implemented in our games to ensure total compliance.

What are some of the biggest challenges that Gaming Corps have faced as a company and how have you gone about overcoming them?

One challenge we’ve had to overcome is development speed. We’re dedicated to getting games to market as quickly as possible without losing quality. We go through a large amount of research and brainstorming at the concept phase before aligning on the exact product we want to make.

Once we know what we want, we aim to get it to market before anybody else! The market is big, there’s lots of people making iGaming products, so being first to market with a new idea is very important.

That’s why we’ve put into place a process to help us be first to market, creating a technology engine that allows us to get games up and running very quickly. This allows us more time to perfect the quality and ensure we release bug-free games.

We’re looking at a much quicker development time now than 12 months ago, decreasing the time by over 50% without losing quality. We’ve probably increased our quality 10-fold in the past year while increasing our development speed at the same time.

How do you work with online casino operators to ensure that your games are integrated seamlessly into their platforms?

The reality is that given our more recent entry to the iGaming market, most of the top operators are not willing to directly integrate a new provider as there is so much ease in switching us on via an aggregator.

We have been particularly aggressive in trying to integrate with as many of the top aggregators as possible and by the end of this year expect to either be already integrated or integrating with the majority of the larger aggregators.

This will give us ease of access to provide our content to most operators in the market.

Apart from being entertained, slot players are concerned about the RTP of the slots that they play and also the ‘randomness’ of the games. How do you ensure your games are fair and random? Also, in terms of RTP is it a one set % across the board, or do and can operators get their own RTP %?

All of our games are tested and certified by an accredited testing laboratory. The games use a certified Random Number Generator (RNG), ensuring the game outcomes are random. In addition, the RTPs are monitored on an ongoing basis and all changes are controlled.

We want players to feel like they know exactly what RTP our games are played at and they can find the RTP in the help text, no matter what market they are in.

For our slot games, we offer two RTPs – 96% and 94% – to the majority of our regulated markets, which is quite common practice in the industry due to operator requirements. Operators can pick between these two RTP options. We also have an 89% RTP that is used predominantly in Germany where the tax laws mean the operators require this RTP variant.

For our arcade content (Crash, Mines and Plinko) we offer 97% and 94% RTP.

How do you measure the success of your games and what metrics do you track?

Each game release is super exciting, as we get to see how players have received our games. Data that’s both positive and negative will help determine future products.

We determine success by looking at the average number of spins per player. This can offer a big picture about how long the players have stuck around for and how many on average would have experienced the features.

While this is a super important metric, we know it doesn’t show the entire picture. We also look into average bet value and seek info on what particular casino or market a game has performed well in.

This is likely a tough question to answer, but what is your own personal favourite game that Gaming Corps have produced and why?

It’s always a hard question to answer as I have a fondness for all of our games. If I had to pick one, at the moment it would be our latest game Prospector’s Plinko – which is exclusively released with some partners already and releasing to all of our partners on 31 August.

This game blends two genres of products that we are very familiar with. Firstly the Slots – we have a talented team working together who’ve seen and worked on all types of games.

Then, we have our Plinko product which went through a lot of research and development to get where we are today. Prospector’s Plinko blends slots with a Plinko bonus round that is sure to grab the attention of players across all different types of markets. It is my favourite game because of the graphics, the storytelling, and the math model which create a perfect storm for success.

Last but by no means least, can you provide any hints as to any unannounced projects that you are working on?

We have an ice hockey arcade game coming in September called Shootout Champion, that puts the player directly on the ice, shooting pucks at the goal where a goalkeeper tries to stop them. Each goal results in a win. It’s similar to Penalty Champion, our football-themed game, but with a presentation that puts more control into the player’s hands.

We also have Super Hot Stacks being released in September, which is a classic fruit title with a difference. Each symbol stack that lands will turn hot and increase a win multiplier. In the free spins, this win multiplier is held between spins and can increase up to x25.

Further to that, if you reach the end of the Free Spins with less than 10x your total bet, you will be awarded an additional three Free Spins where the multiplier is held, increasing your chance of walking away with a big win!

We are working on a lot of new and exciting products that the market hasn’t seen before but I can’t say too much so watch this space and keep an eye out for our future releases!

Many thanks for your time Connor.

Thank you for your time too, it’s been a very fun interview.

Dave Sawyer

Dave has been involved in the Online Gambling industry for 20 odd years now. With experience working for an operator based in Gibraltar, where he headed up the IT team at Ladbrokes, to running his own iGaming affiliate websites until 2019.

Dave now writes for Casinomeister and sister site Casino Gazette. You may also see him on the forum from time to time, where he goes by the handle Webzcas.

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