ISLE OF MAN – Microgaming is buzzing with excitement with the launch of EmotiCoins, an online slot developed through a staff-powered innovation initiative.
Based on the hugely popular emoticon phenomenon, EmotiCoins is a five reel, 30 payline online slot born from an idea pitched by two members of staff, Anna McChesney and Rob Mercer, at the Microgaming Idea Factory, a staff-powered innovation initiative which won The Spark Award 2017.
Anna McChesney, PR Manager for Microgaming, comments: “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.”
First submitted to the Idea Factory contest in June 2016, Anna and Rob highlighted the use of emoticons in today’s world. For example, including emoticons in Facebook posts can increase the number of likes by 57% and Face with Tears of Joy is the most tweeted emoticon with over 16.5 billion tweets to date*.
The themed slot idea gained the sponsorship of the Business Intelligence team from an early stage, helping the duo refine EmotiCoins by suggesting game features that were most likely to be successful, based on the typical emoticon user. Using these insights, Anna and Rob pitched a unique set of emoticons alongside the feature sets to complement the game’s theme at their final pitch to the Decision Panel (a selection of senior executives) in November.
EmotiCoins was subsequently announced at the staff Christmas party in December 2016 as one of five winning ideas out of the 27 put forward, and its journey from prototype to reality was kick started. Just one month later, one of Microgaming’s game development teams fully embraced the game and began to bring the online slot to life.
Rob Mercer, Enterprise Solutions Team, comments: “It was amazing to see what they did with the research and background we developed. We really love the completed game!”
Fast forward to August and EmotiCoins is ready to delight players with a mixture of vibrant graphics, upbeat soundtrack and exciting wilds, brought to life by a crew of cheerful emoticons including favourites such as Tears of Joy, Kiss and Winking Face.
EmotiCoins boasts not just one, but two brand new wild features in both the base game and free spins: Wild Blast™ and Wild Stickers™. Players can trigger Wild Blast™ on any spin to grant them five extra Wilds and award a guaranteed win, and landing three scatters in the base game will trigger 10 free spins with Wild Stickers™.
EmotiCoins is sure to have players laughing out loud with wins of up to 92,000 coins and a minimum bet of 0.30.
The game is live today with Microgaming and Quickfire operators on desktop and mobile. Check out the gameplay video here.
The Microgaming Idea Factory was spearheaded by Lydia Barbara, Head of Innovation Strategy at Microgaming. “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.”
*Sources: Emogi Research (2016 Emoji Report), Quintly (2016 Instagram Emoji Study), SwiftKey (2015 Swiftkey Emoji Report), Twitter (2016).
About Microgaming (microgaming.co.uk)
Microgaming developed the first true online casino in 1994. It has been breaking records, breaking new ground and breaking its back in pursuit of original gaming ever since. Developer of thousands of unique, genre-defining casino, mobile, poker, bingo, land-based and multiplayer games, and a pioneer in virtual and wearable gaming, the software giant hosts the world’s largest progressive jackpot network. Its products include Live Dealer, Sportsbook, Business Solutions and Quickfire. Microgaming is an award winner. A millionaire maker. The father of player protection and responsible gaming. And through Microgaming PlayItForward, it is a pillar of its local community on the Isle of Man.