Dragon Kings – Betsoft Q&A with Annamaria Anastasi
Dragon Kings looks epic! Tell us a bit more?
Dragon Kings is epic in both the modern and the traditional sense: it tells a legendary story through awe-inspiring modern art, music, and gameplay. The game draws from the deep well of Chinese folklore for its inspiration – specifically the story of the dynasty of dragons that once controlled the four seas. But this isn’t a simple retelling; Dragon Kings remixes that ancient myth to create a cast of fresh characters, and brings the experience roaring to life with a deluge of unique game mechanics.
A lot of games that appropriate Asian myths and legends tend to give them only surface-level treatment, but with Dragon Kings, our objective was to really revitalise a traditional legend and make it relevant for everyone. To achieve that aim, we made sure that the strong story informed equally strong core mechanics and special features with universal appeal. For example, we wanted players to seek the favour of the four ocean-dwelling spirits the same way ancient sailors once prayed to them for safe passage, so we gave each dragon its own unique power – all of which can turn the tide of the game in an instant.
Players take on a traditional tale, and a 3×5 slot game where the symbols are the real stars. How does this add to the excitement?
In Dragon Kings, the dragons themselves are the standout symbols – thematically and mechanically. Every reel in the base game is the realm of a particular dragon character, and each dragon has its own distinctive visual design as well as their own unique way of affecting the ebb and flow of gameplay.
We also updated another legendary figure: the golden Dragon King, who takes pride of place on the centre reel and rules over the other protectors of the seas. A full-height animated character, the King captures players’ attention, doubles the payout of winning lines, creates wave upon wave of multipliers, and can offer safe passage to the Dragon Kings’ creative tiered jackpots.
By placing the dragon characters front and centre, and by making them the keys to all the game’s marquee features, we made a mechanically complex game accessible to almost any kind of player. Spin by spin, players know that the four basic dragons are wild – standing in for any other non-dragon symbol – and that each of them has its own desirable special power, including instant respins and multipliers. The gameplay is also constantly focused on the centre reel, since the Dragon King is essential for unlocking the game’s biggest wins.
Having a single set of symbols (and one key symbol that takes up the full height of the middle reel when it appears) that control every important feature helps to make the game clear to understand, and compelling to play – without compromising on the thrills that more experienced gamblers look for.
In what ways does Dragon Kings differ from previous releases?
The pearl is also the key to tapping into deep reserves of free spins – up to a total of 50, doubling the maximum possible from scatter symbols alone. So when one of the four dragons appears alongside the Dragon King, or the free spins feature triggers, players will feel the tension as the sixth reel becomes the last to lock into place – they know it can make the difference between a minor payout and a major win.
Which game features do you think will attract the player the most?
The most unique single feature in Dragon Kings is probably its progressive jackpots. This is one of the first games to use our equitable jackpots model – larger stakes confer better odds – and the tiered model, coupled with the suspense generated by the sixth reel, make qualifying for a jackpot in Dragon Kings feel really special.
Moment-to-moment, though, players will also be captivated by the almost-constant features offered by the individual dragons. From awarding instant prizes to creating chains of wilds, having a unique feature on every single reel means that something different is never far below the surface.
Is Dragon Kings targeted at any particular market place?
The game is obviously inspired by an ancient Chinese legend, and its art, music, and animation have a distinctly Asian flavour. With its crisp new take on tradition, standout characters, and cutting-edge features, we believe Dragon Kings will appeal to players anywhere in the world.