Q&A: Marketing Director, Darren Stephenson speaks to Demoslot
Push Gaming's Marketing Director, Darren Stephenson spoke to Demoslot about our game development process!
Thanks for taking the time out today to have a chat with us here at Demoslot. Just before we get into the questions, could you give our readers some background on yourself with regard to how long you’ve been with Push Gaming, and the position that you hold within the company?
It’s my pleasure. I’m approaching 5 years at Push although it definitely doesn’t feel like that long. My role is Marketing Director which I have been doing for a couple of years. It has been a lot of fun and a big learning curve as my background is working in account management supporting the operators with launching and promoting our games.
1. Now that we know a little bit more about you, would you be able to fill us in with a brief history of Push Gaming, starting from the early beginnings up until the present day.
Push was set up in 2011 by James Marshall (CEO) and Winston Lee (COO) who continue to lead the business to this day. The initial focus was on porting popular land-based slots online but overtime it became apparent that the way forwards for us was in creating our own unique concepts.
2. Reaching 10 years as a game provider is quite an achievement in such a competitive market. Was there a eureka moment during this time where as a company you realised that you had designed and developed a slot that was about to make you more prevalent within the iGaming industry?
To breakthrough in such a competitive space usually takes time and you learn with every development along the way. Alongside producing high quality content you need a strong distribution channel, partners that believe in what you’re building and trust you to launch your game in a good position, etc. We gradually built our presence and probably got our first ‘breakthrough’ release in 2017 with Fat Rabbit. In my opinion that success was built on the back of all the hard work and desire to keep improving on our previous games.
3. The “ Fat Series “ of slots certainly seems to have reached legendary status with players from all over the world, is this something that you will continue to develop? Or will Fat Banker be the last game in that series?
I have no idea in all honesty. If it is I’m glad we have gone back to the ‘core’ of the ‘Fat’ games — with the Banker symbol being wild — which I think players will really enjoy.
4. Another of your in-game mechanics that has proven to be incredibly popular is the Instant Prize / Coin Collector bonus. This feature has produced some truly epic wins that we’ve seen online, especially in one of your latest releases Big Bamboo. Will we witness more innovation of this mechanic over the years, and see it continue to deliver massive wins to players?
We love instant win prizes so I’m sure they will continue to feature in some of our future releases. I believe players enjoy the fact that, when they open up a new Push Gaming release, there is likely to be something they haven’t seen before.
We will continue creating new experiences, whether that is an innovation of an existing mechanic like instant wins or something brand new. We’ll have to wait and see, but I think there is probably room for a bit of both!
5. Here at Demoslot we really like the high level of production that comes across in your slots. Have your design team been with you since the beginning of your journey, or have new members joined throughout the past decade to bring some new ideas into the creation process?
A bit of both. We have a great core group who have been with the company since the early days but we’ve grown rapidly in recent years and thankfully have managed to bring in some incredible talent. It is important that anyone joining Push is a great match for the company values. A strong attention to detail and desire to put players first in every step of the process are key for us, in my opinion this is probably the reason we’ve been able to maintain such high quality in our productions.
6. How long is it from that initial concept of the game being decided to the point where a player is taking the first spin on it at a casino.
It can vary depending on the scope of the project, which can vary from creating all new mechanics to playing around with a mechanic we have used previously. If a game is live within 12 months of the concept being agreed then we’d be pretty happy with that. The product team have the flexibility to continue working on a game until it’s ready rather than working to a strict timeline as things don’t always come together as you imagined they might. We’d rather take extra time rather than put out something that doesn’t feel right.
7. There are now over 20 games in the Push Gaming catalogue of slots for players to enjoy. Which of these titles has proved to be the most successful? And out of them all if you had to pick a personal favourite which one would you go for?
Our top games are RazorShark, Jammin’ Jars (1&2) and Big Bamboo. My personal favourite was Viking Clash but it has now been replaced by Big Bamboo. I think Jammin’ is the game that we probably feel most proud of collectively and is most synonymous with the Push Gaming brand.
8. We’re always keeping a look out for any news regarding upcoming releases from Push Gaming. Are there any teasers that you could share with us and our visitors about what else you have in store for the remainder of 2022.
You already mentioned Fat Banker which should be available in casinos from 19th May. We then have a game called Mad Cars releasing in August which I think is probably the best game theme we’ve ever done, so I’m really looking forward to that. We have a few interesting new mechanics coming up as well so I really hope you will be pleasantly surprised!