Shaun Brassington on Mercenary X Release and bet365’s Originals Portfolio

The game comes fused with NoLimit City’s “xMechanics” and is one of the most significant titles to appear in the company’s library and prompt GamblingNews to seek input from Shaun Brassington, bet365 head of games software production, who tells us more about the game, its origins, and the company’s ambitious “Originals” series.

Q: Shaun, can you tell us about the success of the “Originals” project over the past couple of years?

Hi, we went live with our first in-house developed games in March 2018. This was a few core titles including Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, and a selection of more classic and simple slots in order to introduce our players to ‘Originals’. It was a really exciting and nervy period but we quickly realized the content was well received and we had faith in our ability to go on to create a high-quality, unique, and innovative experience for our players. In the five years since then, we’ve launched over 120 games covering all of the popular game types in order to give bet365 players our own take on each of them. For example, we’ve produced multiple table/card games, slots, instant wins, video pokers, Keno, and many more!

We developed our 8 Immortals jackpot slots series which is a more traditional progressive jackpot system and our Dual Drop Jackpots product. Dual Drop is available in 18 unique slots, which offers both a community jackpot that pays thousands of prizes when it reaches £100,000 and also a weekly jackpot that pays out aspirational sums to one individual every Sunday evening. Both jackpot products have proven to be very popular on-site and we’re looking to develop them further going forwards.

Q: How is “Originals” allowing you to service the bet365 customer base better?

In short, it enables us to be extremely agile, and react to industry trends and our players’ requirements very quickly. We can also experiment with unique features and themes which we may not have readily available from other suppliers which again helps us to learn more about what works and of course what doesn’t with our player base.

Entry into new and emerging markets is also easier as we have end-to-end control of the product so in general wherever you see bet365 gaming you’ll usually see the ‘Originals’ brand too.

Importantly we very much view ‘Originals’ as something which should be complementing the overall gaming experience we offer. That is to offer the best in class suppliers across the industry plus our own unique content which can’t be found anywhere else.

Q: You recently launched your newest in-house title, Mercenary X, featuring a range of mechanics from Nolimit City. How important is this release to you and why?

We were looking for an opportunity to do something different, something which isn’t out there yet and would give us a chance to give our players an experience they’ve not had with us so far. Nolimit City is one of the most innovative and entertaining suppliers around. They’re renowned for developing potent features such as their xWays®, xNudge®, and xSplit® mechanics to produce some of the very best content in the industry right now. We’re delighted to have the chance to bring these proven features into our own games, it’s been a great experience and one which we’ve tried to maximize.

Included in this game is our new multi-feature bonus buy which is available in markets where permitted. This allows the player to buy both Free spins, and Super Free spins features and also to activate ‘Mercenary Bet’ which at a cost of 3.5x stake will guarantee an xWays and/or xNudge landing on each spin as well as significantly increasing the chances of triggering Super Free Spins (by over 10x!). It’s a really fun way of playing the game.

Mercenary X has been live for over two weeks and the feedback is very positive.  We’re close to launching our next game featuring xMechanics. ‘Apocalypse Returns’ is a sequel to a game we released a few years ago called ‘Underground Apocalypse’ and is a Zombie/Survival themed slot that will focus on xWays and infectious xWays as well as having an extremely entertaining feature. This game will also utilize our multi-feature bonus buy so players will already have some familiarity here.  

Q: What does the future of the “Originals” brand hold?

We’re really excited about the future for ‘Originals’, learning from results, and using data to help formulate some of the best exclusive and localized content out there. It’s an extremely fast-moving industry, whether that’s player requirements, technology advancements, industry trends, or regulatory landscape it’s important we don’t take our foot off the pedal.

It’s been a really fantastic journey so far and we’ve learned a lot along the way which we continue to apply to our products going forwards so watch this space!

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