The Microgaming Idea Factory was set up to collect ideas and suggestions from staff about any aspect of ‘Microgaming culture, processes and technology.’ The initiative won the Spark Award 2017, which recognises organisations that are willing to explore different approaches to working, and gave the company a range of suggestions to consider, including the introduction of an in-house classifieds service and an internal charity initiative.
One of the ideas put forward was for a new slot game featuring emoticons. The idea was the brain-child of Anna McChesney, PR Manager for Microgaming, and Rob Mercer, who is part of the Enterprise Solutions Team.
‘As a marketer, to me the use of emoticons in social media and communication is fascinating; they have essentially become a universal language’ Anne explained. ‘92% of the world’s online population use emoticons, so developing a themed game would automatically target the demographic of our operators’ players.’
The idea led to the development, and now the launch, of Emoticoins. This is a five-reel title which uses various emoticon characters – including Tears of Joy, Winking Face and Kiss – as its main symbols. The game has two separate wild features, known as Wild Blast and Wild Stickers, the first of which guarantees a win and the second triggering ten free spins. An upbeat soundtrack and the chance to win up to 92,000 coins ensures that the game will appeal to plenty of players.
‘It was amazing to see what they did with the research and background we developed,’ Rob said. ‘We really love the completed game!’
The rest of the team at Microgaming are equally pleased with the end result. ‘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,’ said Lydia Barbara, Head of Innovation Strategy at the company. ‘And it’s a great game to be our first – the game studio did a fantastic job.’