Speaking with CasinoBeats, CPO of Relax Gaming Simon Hammon commented on the company’s latest industry successes.
With Relax Gaming’s ‘Money Train 2’ title winning the ‘Slot of the Year’ award at the 2021 CasinoBeats Game Developer Awards, Hammon called it “probably the biggest game release in the industry”.
Pinpointing as to why that is, he stated: “It’s all about the free spin feature within Money Train 2 and I think that’s what players have really latched onto. The fact that those features can pop up in all different scenarios and combinations really keeps the player experience quite unique.”
With Money Train 2 being a sequel, when asked about what made the company return to the franchise, Hammon told CasinoBeats that the development team had too many ideas to fit into one game.
“There were actually so many ideas that we thought we could iterate on that mechanic, and that’s where Money Train 2 came through,” he said.
The conversation then developed into a topic of customer retention and acquisition, with Hammon explaining what impact on these sequel titles can have.
“In some cases, I would say it can, more often than not, negatively affect the original title, especially if the follow-up isn’t strong,” Hammon commented.
“Money Train 2 is actually one that did completely the opposite. It helped the original game, and it didn’t cannibalise on the original traffic because the sequel was so good.
“Once you have something really great it’s difficult to create an even better variant and I think Money Train 2 was one of those examples where, if you’re going to do a sequel, you’re going to do it well and put the love in and create something different rather than just trying to use the IP for some leverage.
“I would say it’s tough to make a good sequel that is going to captivate a new audience and actually grow above and beyond.”
Giving his thoughts on what to do to maximise success rates with a sequel, Hammon continued: “I think what you need to do is ensure that the sequel has some familiarity, but what you need to do is ensure that you really try and differentiate the second or third offering with new features, new functionality, new win potential, new flow, etc. so that it’s different enough that players find it interesting.”
Speaking on Relax Gaming’s plans for the rest of the year, Hammon said: “This year we’ve got some pretty exciting stuff coming. If we’re talking about Money Train 2 – and I’ve alluded to the fact that we have so many great ideas and so many different extensions – then maybe there might be another one coming this year, who knows?”