Lightning Box Advertising Manager Joe Wakim exclusively talks to Slot Gods about the booming Australian studio
With over 20 years of experience with a math-focused slot design, Lightning Box is one of the leading suppliers of high-quality online slots based in Sydney, Australia. From the moment the studio was created in 2004, the focus remained on delivering games designed for players with unique versatility in terms of the game math.
For this months edition of the Slot Gods Meet series, we had the fortune of speaking with Advertising Manager Joe Wakim from Lightning Box. In this exclusive interview, we gained an insight into the ethos from Lightning Box and how the studio stands out against the others - so without further ado, let's dive straight in.
Firstly, thanks for speaking with us. Can you start by telling us who are Lightning Box Games?
Joe Wakim: Lightning Box is a leading multi-channel supplier of high-quality video slots founded in 2004 by former Aristocrat and IGT game designers Peter Causley and David Little.
We specialise in creating content for land-based, online and social casinos around the world. Some of our most popular online slots include Chicken Fox, Silver Lion and Lightning Horseman – to name just a few!
How many people are usually involved in the creative process when developing a new slot?
Joe Wakim: At Lightning Box, we have a mid-sized team in-house who are directly involved in the creative process when we develop a brand-new online slot.
The team consists of mathematicians, Illustrators, animators, graphics designers, sound engineers and then there’s David Little, our CPO and co-founder who makes all of the final decisions with regards to design.
When Lightning Box is creating an online slot, do you build games around a feature or come up with the design first?
Joe Wakim: This is completely dependent on the game at the time. Sometimes we’ll start out with the feature or mechanic, sometimes it’s the theme and design first. Essentially, it’s whatever comes to mind first!
The trick, of course, is to make the two things complement each other. You can’t have a great-looking slot with a terrible maths model or the other way around. The Ying is as important as the Yang!
With bonus features and mechanics, do you think it's better to keep things simple or go all out?
Joe Wakim: There’s no one size fits all solution when it comes to developing an online slot, as different markets tend to prefer different styles of game. If we’re creating a game that’s targeting the US then we’ll often go with something simple.
That’s not to sound patronising, more that simpler slots tend to predominate the land-based arena there. If it’s a game intended for the European market then we’ll go all out, given the long legacy of online video slots in many countries on the continent.
In your opinion, do online slots need bigger payouts to entice players?
Joe Wakim: Absolutely! It’s those big payouts that grab the attention of players and draw them in. There’s nothing quite as impressive as a grand jackpot to entice someone to play your game.
Clearly, they need to like the look and feel of a game but, let’s be honest, they're not there to look at pretty pictures and listen to sweet-sounding soundtracks!
What is your favourite Lightning Box slot so far?
Joe Wakim: Personally, my favourite Lightning Box slot has to be Lightning ShenLong. This is an atmospheric Asian themed slot that makes use of our updated Lightning Respin mechanics.
In addition to Lightning Respins, it features a free spin bonus that can trigger up to 30 spins with Colossal Symbols that split into individual symbols and can award one of four fixed jackpots. I love to play it again and again.
Do you have a favourite online slot from another developer?
It really captures that dangerous Wild West vibe and has some seriously impressive sounds, animations and bonus features. Nolimit City is on a hot streak at the moment - and this is definitely my favourite release of theirs.
In the last decade, what do you think is the best innovation within the iGaming industry?
Joe Wakim: This one’s a no brainer. The best innovation within iGaming in the last decade has to be Big Time Gaming’s Megaways mechanic. You only have to take a look at how many other big-name suppliers have licensed the mechanic to realise that it’s something special.
Reel Modifier Technology changed the way online slots are designed and have paved the way for other studios to create a whole host of exciting new features that we’re seeing now. It’s been a game-changer.
What do you think makes Lightning Box slots stand out from other games on the market?
Joe Wakim: We’re different because we aim to create memorable online slots that have a distinctly old-school aesthetic. We want players to feel like they’re playing a classic land-based slot they might expect to find in a Vegas casino.
We have quite a specific niche and our players have fallen in love with our games for their classic look and feel.
Lastly, can you tell us what's next for Lightning Box?
Joe Wakim: I can’t give too much away in terms of specifics, but what I can tell you is that we have some very exciting plans in the pipeline for 2022.
You can expect prequels to some of our most popular slots, progressive jackpots and some really special new releases!
Learn more about Lightning Box or get in touch
Be sure to check out Lightning Box's latest slot Outlaw Waysfecta as it's truly one of the most unique slots we've encountered with absolutely incredible features! Discover more about Lightning Box Games or contact them here to find out about all they have to offer.
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