The brain child of renowned company EveryMatrix, Armadillo Studios has hit the ground running since launching its first game in January last year. The slots supplier launched seven titles in 2022 and has plenty more in the pipeline for 2023.
It’s upcoming release, Hot Hot Honey, made it into VegasSlotsOnline News’ Slots of the Week. The bee-themed offering provides players with exciting and creative visuals along with an entertaining mechanic and features.
VSO News spoke with David Stoveld, the chief product officer of Armadillo Studios, to find out in what way the company has benefited from its EveryMatrix backing and how designers first came up with Hot Hot Honey.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your experience in the iGaming industry, and how you found yourself at Armadillo Studios?
I started at IGT as a game designer 14 years ago on the land-based side. Eventually, after around three years there I went to VGT which got bought by Aristocrat. Then, I went to WMS which got acquired by Scientific Games, so I got a lot of exposure on the land-based side. It was nice to be able to hop around to a bunch of different studios to understand perspectives on how games are made.
I was in Reno then moved to Las Vegas, and from there I moved to Stockholm with NetEnt. That’s when I switched into the iGaming space. Then I moved over to Malta for Yggdrasil Gaming before I started working with Kalamba Games.
That’s when Erik Nyman and Ebbe Groes of EveryMatrix reached out about launching an in-house studio for exclusive content. It sounded like a great idea to focus on the US market, especially with the background I have in that area. It’s exciting because it’s such a new market with high potential.
What are the main benefits to launching as part of such a well-known company like EveryMatrix?
EveryMatrix is such a successful company that keeps doing better each year. They have aggressive growth plans and even exceed their expectations if you look at the quarterly reports. It’s important to hire the right people and I think the company has done that.
You get a lot of synergies working with different teams, including RGS, account management, sales, marketing, and Slotmatrix. Plus, there are promotional tools, easy to use APIs, a rapidly growing distribution, as well as great office environments around the world.
You launched your first seven titles last year. What was the most challenging thing about getting started and launching that first game?
Going from zero to one is always a challenge. When you start a studio, first you need to have a team. Then you have to get on the same page and match up your visions to create something that everyone is happy with. You have to create everything fresh step by step in contrast to when you’re working with an already established company.
That said, it’s also a lot of fun. People figure out what they enjoy doing and what they’re good at. There’s also less pressure on the time because you don’t have that schedule of games just yet. That’s why we put everything into this first game, which was 15 Armadillos. It is doing very well for us, so it paid off to be able to have that creative freedom to make a larger scope game with out-of-the-box features.
Based on your experience in markets across the world, is there anything that makes the US market particularly attractive?
The US is the future and as more states become legal, we’re in a great position to find out what players are looking for in their games. If you compare just one state such as Michigan to Europe for example, you really can’t ignore the numbers in terms of revenue. There’s a lot of revenue to come and it’s a market that we have the niche expertise for.
How does Armadillo Studios hope to stand out in such a competitive space?
I worked in a large number of companies on the land-based side in the US, so I got a lot of insight into well-known designers and the games they were creating. Then in Europe I worked on a lot of the games that did well there, so it’s about blending those two worlds together for Americans.
Essentially, our team has a proven track record of creating successful games in different studios. That’s a good indication that we can continue to make more games that will do well. We can have confidence that we will come up with those top performing games in the US market that everyone loves.
Hot Hot Honey is your latest release. Why should our readers give the game a go?
It’s a fun and different spin. Of course, it has the well-known bee theme, but we have had a lot of fun with the addition of different characters too. The mechanic is also very unique because of the rollover respins, which is based off successful features in the market.
Even though the theme has been done before, it’s something we know players will like and we have experimented on top of that. It has a lot to it, such as the trail bonus and the free spins which are really intuitive. It’s also cool to have the the bees flying into the hive and getting you multipliers.
A lot of time and effort has been put into this game and we’re really happy with it. It’s released on March 28.
What can we expect from Armadillo Studios for the rest of 2023?
This year we have a really exciting plan lined up. It takes a while to set everything up to begin because the developers need to create a good framework so everything can be done with reusable code. But we are looking to push a lot of games in our 2023 roadmap, at least one each month beginning in March and then some.
In April, after the release of Hot Hot Honey, we are launching Wild Willy’s Gold Rush. It’s a high volatility slot with a Wild West prospector theme.
The original version of this interview was published by Vegas Slots Online under the title Armadillo Studios CPO David Stoveld Speaks With VegasSlotsOnline News