Interview with Just For The Win
Just For The Win Studios create engaging mobile and desktop slot games in the free-to-play and online gambling market. Just For The Win have over 40 games in their portfolio and keep on producing incredible gameplay with "day one" hunger and creativity.
Please introduce yourself and your role, as well as Just For The Win Studios.
Hello everyone! My name is Johan, and I'm the CEO & founder of Just For The Win Studios. We are a five-year-old game studio founded in Sweden, with a vast diversity of individuals across three studios.
I have always been into gaming, and after working on a custom game for LeoVegas with Jay Sopp, it became evident there was an opportunity for us to start a studio. Five years later, we seem to be doing something right, and now have a fifty-strong team of talented people creating feature-rich titles with impeccable mechanics, and over forty games released to date.
For those who do not know, what are some of your biggest game titles to date?
We have a broad portfolio of games such as Deco Diamonds, Wolf Howl, Western Gold, and Kodiak Kingdom, but the most significant release of 2021 was Scarab Kingdom. We had such a brilliant team behind the scenes taking a great deal of time crafting and fine-tuning the mechanics to bring this game to life. As a result, Scarab Kingdom has been shortlisted for "Game of the Year" at the International Gaming Awards.
Why do you think these particular games have performed so well?
If we knew that, we would not make anything but top-performing games! But jokes aside... We aim for that perfect mix of fun mechanics, excellent dynamics, and beautiful aesthetics on top of an exciting math model. Then, we try to plan the release for the right time to have maximum impact on the market. In addition, feedback from operators is equally crucial, as this gives the team further insight into how to perfect the games.
What is Just For The Win's step-by-step process in brainstorming, building, testing, launching, and marketing a game?
Most, if not all, ideas come from inside the business. Anyone can pitch an idea for a game, be it a theme, a new mechanic, or a feature. The game teams then work together with our math team and game designers to iron out the main ideas of the game.
Testing is a big part of the project as we support many devices. Once the team is happy with all aspects of the game and its near completion, we market the game to operators. Our commercial and games teams work closely to produce grade 'A' marketing materials.
How many people and teams get involved in this entire process?
We have around fifteen to twenty people on our side who are involved in the project and many more once you fold in the testing, certification, and distribution process.
What do you believe in the right RTP/variance mix and which model do you tend to follow?
We always aim to vary our models. Our guiding star is to offer an attractive maximum win combined with an exciting journey to get there.
What technologies do you use in both the backend and frontend stacks? What motivated these choices?
Our backend is C#, and the client is TypeScript. We chose these mainly because of the experience held in the starting team.
Do you believe the removal of bonus buys, autoplay, and quick spin features, is hurting the gameplay for players?
No, I don't think it's hurting the players, on the contrary; regulations are applied to keep players safe, and as a game supplier we follow all the rules to try and make a great game experience with the means we have.
When it comes down to hiring, what is your favorite way of attracting new talent? And how do you ensure brain retention in your existing studio?
I still consider us a small company, so the right personality is vital. We are a business that has people with many different talents who bring a certain flair and uniqueness to the everyday environment.
During the pandemic, we did notice that working from home creates potential challenges with onboarding and information sharing. However, having always made sure we stayed organised, we proved we could overcome any obstacles that lay ahead.
What are your plans for the future of gaming (AR, VR), and do you think these technologies will really take over the online gambling industry?
I don't think we will see a shift towards these techs just yet. I'm all for new tech, and I might yet be wrong with the current chatter about the metaverse, etc., we'll have to wait and see. What we are seeing is that most players still like the simple-to-play, easy-to-understand slot machine.
Amongst all the other game studios out there, which ones do you think are doing a great job at differentiating themselves, basically carving their own lane?
I have a fond eye towards No Limit City; they always have high-quality productions and fun games to play. The other studio that has caught my eye is Alchemy Gaming, they have exciting titles out, and I like how they do things. I think these two studios are the ones to watch out for.
Lastly, what is on your roadmap for 2022 and what should our readers expect to see from you?
We have many exciting titles planned for this year. We have the classic western making a comeback with "Western Gold 2", and the fiery slot "Wildfire Wins" due for release soon, but these are just some of the games in the pipeline. Keep an eye out on our social media for exciting updates over the next few months, or visit us online at www.justforthewin.com.