Interview with Marina Ostrovtsova, Director of BGaming

Founded in 2012 as the game development studio for SoftSwiss, a crypto-specialist platform, BGaming began its life as an independent company just under two years ago.

Since then, BGaming has produced a string of high-quality video slots and table games including Journey Flirt,Journey Flirt from BGaming Mechanical Orange, and new variations of Sic Bo. These have proven highly popular with players everywhere, and helped the company establish its own unique brand.

True to its roots, however, BGaming still creates games that are flexible enough to work with any currency (crypto or fiat), and uses “provably fair” technology – an approach the company itself pioneered several years ago.

We were delighted to get the chance to speak to BGaming director Marina Ostrovtsova, who joined the team five years ago. Our first question was about BGaming’s first year. What was it like after breaking away from the parent company?

Marina Ostrovtsova: The first year was quite intense. The online gaming industry is always evolving rapidly, so you constantly have to stay focused on several things at once.

Building the right team of people was probably the biggest achievement. It is impossible to succeed without a great people.

But perhaps the most important thing we did during that time was to realize what a skilled and experienced company we already were. We had accomplished a huge amount as a team before we became a separate company. Once we started to acknowledge this to ourselves it had a really positive impact our business.

Crypto Casinoz: BGaming began as a studio inside a crytpo specialist software firm. Do you still design games primarily for crypto players or do you try to appeal to all sorts of players now?

MO: You are absolutely right – in 2013 we became the first game studio to try our luck with crypto, and we succeeded. We became well known for crypto, and for a long time this was central to our work. But this is no longer our main focus or top priority. Of course we still know how to work with crypto and we still do it with great style, but it is only one of our many strengths.

But back to your question – BGaming now develops content for all types of players. Even when we build traditional-style “crypro games,” like Rocket dice or Plinko, we still design them to be enjoyed on any platform with any currency.

CC: How different are crypto players and fiat currency players, then? Do most players just like a good slot whatever currency they use, or does each group have its own particular tendencies?

MO: That’s a good question, but let me back up a bit first and address the wider issue of how players choose online casinos. I think most players look at bonuses, payment methods, quality of support and even the terms and conditions. Some may choose a casino because of some special content, but I think this is a relatively rare event as it is unlikely anyone wants to play their favorite games while being poorly treated as player. But either way, I think all players – crypto or non crypto – will be looking for a good casino environment first of all.

I can’t deny that all players love a good slot, but I’m told the question most asked by players is “Which slot machine is going to hit most?” So in reality, I think players are mostly looking for a winning slot, regardless of the currency they choose to play with.

CC: I can’t argue with that – who wouldn’t want to know which slot will be a winner?

But there is still a huge appetite for new games all the time. How does BGaming decide which game to develop next? Do you see if anyone on the team has a great idea for a new mechanic, or do you try to develop something to fit a popular theme?

OM: It is a comprehensive process to be honest.

Mechanical Orange from BGaming

Great ideas are really important, and I would say that anyone can have one. We love brainstorming, and we sit together and exchange ideas and thoughts. We look for ideas that worm their way into the hearts of everyone on the team – an idea that has synergy. We think the great ideas we put into games during development it will pay off when players get the chance to play them.

Of course we do keep an eye on trends and we do a lot of analysis, but as developers we need to feel that personal engagement with the game. If we don’t feel it, it’s likely the players won’t either.

CC: So is that personal engagement what makes a new slot a success or not?

OM: That’s not a magic bullet, no. Really, any detail can make the difference.

But I would say the most important thing is to pay attention to your audience. You have to know your players. You have to know what they want. Then you can focus on producing the right game at the right time.

CC: BGaming has a reputation for paying a lot of attention to soundtracks. Why the focus on music?

OM: The more a soundtrack fits the game, the more connection there is between the game and the player.

Music is a great tool. It can drive emotions and establish the tone of the whole game. Yes, we cherish our sound effects. Music is engagement. A game’s theme can connect with a player’s identity, but so can the soundtrack!

CC: Wow! I never thought of music as being so central to the process. Who gets to be in charge of the music, then?

OM: We are lucky enough to have a composer with a lot of industry experience, but it is not just his music skills that make the difference. At BGaming we want everyone to really feel the complete process of game development, so he has to be versatile and have good collaboration skills.

Like I said before, we’re really open to great ideas as a company. If anyone, including our composer, is passionate about an idea we encourage them to pursue it. That’s when the magic happens.

CC: Besides the importance of music, are there any other parts of the game design process that players would surprised to learn?

OM: Every detail matters, really, but perhaps we are unusual in that we help with customer care. Normally, this is something online casinos have to deal with on their own, but we try to be real partners with the casinos and try our best at resolving any problems that arise with a game. Anything can happen, of course, and how well casinos deal with player requests is a huge part of their relationship with players.

CC: So, what should we expect to see from BGaming in the next year or so?

OM: We are big believers in the importance of fairness in the industry, and will continue to advocate for this. Sic Bo Macau from BGamingWe want every player, even new players who know nothing about slots, to trust that what appears on the screen is authentic and real. We have some ideas for promoting these ideas in the industry. It is really important to us.

As far as gaming trends go, we are also looking to introduce jackpots. We also want to increase interactivity with our games, especially to appeal to new players.

And you can definitely expect new titles from BGaming, hopefully several featuring these new features.

CC: That sounds very exciting! As you have shown, slot design is always evolving. Looking even farther ahead, what would you expect slots will be like in ten years time?

OM: People will always search for ways to be entertained, and gambling will always be a popular choice. But new technologies are making the game development itself a more and more entertaining process. Who knows, in ten years it could be that producing slots is even more popular than playing them!

CC: It sounds like 2030 might be a lot of fun, then! Thank you very much for speaking to us!

OM: It’s been my pleasure!

Thanks very much to Marina Ostrovtsova for taking part in this interview! For more information about BGaming slots, check out our dedicated BGaming page, or visit the company website.