Fishin’ Frenzy Q&A – Blueprint Gaming
Blueprint Gaming’s Jo Purvis, Director of Key Accounts and Marketing UK
Firstly, can we offer our congratulations on the incredible longevity Fishin’ Frenzy! Its success as a series is relatively uncommon in an industry that produces so much content – why do you think this is?
We’re often told by players that Fishin’ Frenzy is generally considered the original and best online fishing-themed slot that’s ever been created – something we’re always humbled to hear as our top priority is to deliver entertaining games for players to enjoy.
From the game’s beginnings as a land-based machine title, introduced by Reel Time Gaming, its simplicity and colourful, cheerful design instantly hooked players. It was that model that differentiated it from the slew of other similarly themed and developed titles at the time and so presented a breath of fresh air to players.
Blueprint took that hugely successful game and evolved it for the mobile and online markets, making sure to retain the charm of the original but supplementing that with new features and mechanics to please existing players and delight new ones too.
They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and Fishin’ Frenzy has had its share of similar-looking competitors! How will you keep the franchise fresh in the face of fierce rivalry going forward?
It’s flattering and proves that we’ve done a fantastic job, not only commercially but in terms of providing a game that ticks the right boxes for players.
To do that once is commendable, but to continually replicate that success with subsequent iterations is something we’re immensely proud of. Having a great IP is only one aspect of the overall process when developing new games. You still need to be able to elevate the experience and present something that adds value rather than becoming complacent and relying on the brand to do the heavy lifting.
As a studio, we’ve earned a wealth of experience in making the most of IPs while meeting player expectations and maintaining that anticipation for a new instalment of their favourite slots.
What learnings have you gleaned from Fishin’ Frenzy’s success? Has it inspired any mechanics/features for any of your other games?
It’s reinforced the value of a great brand and helped keep us laser-focused on what is a proven game design. There is, of course, a need for variation and diversity in your overall offering as you don’t want to be pigeon-holed as a developer. Releasing updates and new versions with the right additions at the right time is crucial, as we’ve done with the addition of Fishin’ Frenzy Megaways, Fishin’ Frenzy Prize Lines and more recently with Fishin’ Frenzy: The Big Catch Jackpot King.
In fact, the alternative Free Spins round created for the Big Catch version of Fishin’ Frenzy has since been adapted for other titles in our portfolio, including Chilli Picante Megaways. Fishin’ Frenzy is a great game to experiment new features with and understand how they are received by players.
Are there any additional challenges or opportunities created when developing new iterations of such a classic game as opposed to releasing a stand-alone title?
There is the added pressure to do the original justice and keep the changes fresh and relevant enough to justify the new version in the first place. Fishin’ Frenzy is one of our most loved titles and we have to treat it with the appropriate care to ensure it remains appealing and retain the core characteristics of what players love about the theme.
The Big Catch version of the game saw the creation of an alternative Free Spins round that successfully evolved the franchise to new heights. The bonus feature significantly boosted the win potential and we then went one better with the integration of our Jackpot King functionality, allowing players to have the added excitement of gaining entry to the Wheel King and winning one of three progressive pots.
Fishin’ Frenzy, Return of Kong Megaways and Eye of Horus have become both mine and some of the wider streaming communities’ favourite titles, how do you feel this impacts your marketing strategy?
These are massive brands within the online slot community, so releasing a new instalment from their respective game families will instantly grab the attention of players who are familiar with the themes. From our perspective, the key aspect of marketing any new iteration is to ensure players understand the new features that we’ve added to the gameplay and why they will enhance the overall gameplay.
They are also a great way for streamers to get involved with our content. The games already appeal to a wide set of players, so there is little education required on that front.
There’s been a host of Fishin’ Frenzy iterations for players to enjoy, so where next for the famous fisherman?
Well, we’ve not long since introduced Fishin’ Frenzy: The Big Catch to the Jackpot King family so we’ve got a while to go yet before we announce the next move for our angling hero. However, with our team always hard at work on new innovative products and projects, we’re sure you’ll be enjoying another outing below the waves to see what you can land. We’ll be sure to take you with us when we next get our tackle together!