The Journey Of Emoticoins Online SlotBy: Rick Balding, Tuesday August 8th 2017
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The new online slot game from Microgaming, Emoticoins, has been well received at the online casinos powered by the software provider. Equally interesting is the story behind the release of the online pokie that Microgaming has made public through a press release. The online slot was developed through a staff-powered innovation initiative.
The online slot was developed from an idea conceived by two members of staff, Anna McChesney and Rob Mercer. Microgaming hosts an Idea Factory and the concept was first unveiled there in June 2016. Anna, who is PR Manager for Microgaming, said, “As a marketer, to me the use of emoticons in social media and communication is fascinating; they have essentially become a universal language! 92% of the world’s online population use emoticons, so developing a themed game would automatically target the demographic of our operators’ players.” During the presentation, Anna and Rob pointed out that by including emoticons in Facebook posts, the number of likes increase by 57% and Face with Tears of Joy is the most tweeted emoticon with over 16.5 billion tweets to date.
This idea then gained the sponsorship of the Business Intelligence. The duo began to work on the game features that would most likely succeed based on the typical emoticon user. They also selected the unique set of emoticons that would be used as symbols. The final pitch was made to the Decision Panel in November 2016. At the staff Christmas party in December 2016, Emoticoins was announced as one of five winning ideas out of the 27 put forward. Its journey from prototype to reality was initiated. Just one month later, Microgaming’s Enterprise Solutions Team accepted game and decided to bring the online slot to life. Rob Mercer said, “It was amazing to see what they did with the research and background we developed. We really love the completed game!”
Emoticoins went live in August 2017 with Microgaming and Quickfire operators on desktop and mobile. It is delighting players with a mixture of vibrant graphics, upbeat soundtrack and a crew of cheerful emoticons including favourites such as Tears of Joy, Kiss and Winking Face. The slot game boasts two brand new wild features. Players can trigger Wild Blast on any spin to grant them five extra wilds and award a guaranteed win. Landing three LOL scatters in the base game will trigger 10 free spins with Wild Stickers.
Lydia Barbara, Head of Innovation Strategy at Microgaming, summed it up beautifully, “We are super excited to be taking live the first game concept driven from the Idea Factory by staff members who would ordinarily not be involved in game conception. And it’s a great game to be our first – the game studio did a fantastic job.”
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