You Probably Love Emoticoins, But Do You Know How It Started?

Friday, Oct 13, 2017 10:40

You can’t have been playing online slots for long if you haven’t seen the Microgaming name plastered all over the very best slot games around. And this is for a very good reason, all of those amazing slots were developed and produced by the Microgaming Company with a huge amount of care and love for the genre.

These games then get sold to online gaming sites for big bucks and they eventually make their way to you, that is why the importance of quality of both the idea behind a game and its execution are incredibly important to Microgaming.

Which is what makes their in-house creation competition both brave and brilliant. Every year Microgaming hold a competition for their staff called the Microgaming Idea Factory, an innovation initiative which won The Spark Award 2017. This competition allows all of their staff who might not normally have much of a say in the game creation to put in their idea for a new slot. It is fantastic for staff morale and no doubt inspires healthy rivalries in the office around competition time. The best part of the competition is of course that the winning team’s pitch for a game will actually be made into a real product and sold to gaming sites! So they can see their own creation in motion and how everyone reacts to it!

First submitted to the Idea Factory contest in June 2016, Anna and Rob highlighted the use of emoticons in today’s world. For example, including emoticons in Facebook posts can increase the number of likes by 57% and Face with Tears of Joy is the most tweeted emoticon with over 16.5 billion tweets to date.

The themed slot idea gained the sponsorship of the Business Intelligence team from an early stage, helping the duo refine EmotiCoins by suggesting game features that were most likely to be successful, based on the typical emoticon user. Using these insights, Anna and Rob pitched a unique set of emoticons alongside the feature sets to complement the game’s theme at their final pitch to the Decision Panel (a selection of senior executives) in November.

EmotiCoins was subsequently announced at the staff Christmas party in December 2016 as one of five winning ideas out of the 27 put forward, and its journey from prototype to reality was kick-started. Just one month later, one of Microgaming’s game development teams fully embraced the game and began to bring the online slot to life.

“It was amazing to see what they did with the research and background we developed. We really love the completed game!”

Rob Mercer, Enterprise Solutions Team

Fast forward to August and EmotiCoins was finally able to delight players with a mixture of vibrant graphics, upbeat soundtrack and exciting wilds, brought to life by a crew of cheerful emoticons including favourites such as Tears of Joy, Kiss and Winking Face.

EmotiCoins boasts not just one, but two brand new wild features in both the base game and free spins: Wild Blast™ and Wild Stickers™. Players can trigger Wild Blast™ on any spin to grant them five extra Wilds and award a guaranteed win, and landing three scatters in the base game will trigger 10 free spins with Wild Stickers™.

The game has really caused a storm at most of the online gaming sites that it is on so congratulations to its two progenitors for that. And because of that, you’ll have pretty much no problem finding it at your favourite site!