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By Dale Shelabarger, Updated:
Yggdrasil is currently blazing a trail in iGaming. With three pioneering pokie game mechanics and a raft of high-profile deals under its belt, the company’s goal of becoming a leading worldwide gaming publisher seems entirely feasible.
Earlier this week, the Swedish outfit (now based in Malta) announced a major partnership with top operator High 5 Games that will see its entire portfolio of games delivered to multiple European markets.
According to Yggdrasil’s Chief of Global Market Operations, Björn Krantz, the move is part of a wider goal to ‘to reach untapped markets and provide…premium content to more players than ever before’. As a result, High 5 casino customers will be able to play the latest online pokies to feature the GigaBlox™, MultiMAX™ and Splitz™ mechanics.
Those of you that stay abreast of the latest innovations in pokie game development may already be familiar with the above game engines. But why are they causing such a stir in casino-land? Well, it’s mainly about the max win-potential. Here’s a brief fun-down of each one.
The GigaBlox™ engine was unveiled in 2020 with the release of Lucky Neko. The framework comprises dynamic reels in a 6 x 4 configuration that can generate stacked winning symbol blocks of up to 6 x 6, fully stacked. This can lead to some pretty significant pay-outs – the Lucky Neko game for example has a max win potential of x6953. A second title, Hades GigaBlox™ was unveiled late last year and followed the same format, albeit with a larger potential jackpot of x11129.
Multipliers will be central to MultiMAX™ pokie games. We say ‘will’ because only one has been released so far: Multify – a feature-laden five reel pokie with 243 bet-ways. During the base game, each reel that contributes at least one winning symbol to a bet-way is assigned a progressive reel multiplier. Such a feature has the potential to generate wins of up to 10,000 times your stake.
The actual core game of these titles is fairly conventional, requiring the player to land at least three or more matching symbols. However, the Splitz feature marks something of a departure from standard reel-spinners. In contrast to normal mystery symbol rounds, Splitz symbols are triggered randomly and fall onto the reels, splitting into smaller ones. Given that it’s possible to land twelve smaller symbols per stack, players have the chance to win up to 64,800 their stake. The framework is currently available in three Yggdrasil Games: Syncronite, Neon Rush and Temple Stack.
Following news of the High 5 Games alliance, CEO and Founder, Anthony Singer rightly made mention of Yggdrasil’s ‘diverse pokies portfolio’. And this portfolio isn’t just made up exclusive games either. Some of the titles now available to High 5 Games customers have been created in collaboration with independent game studios as part of the Yggdrasil Master Program.
The Masters Program was set up in 2018. It’s an invite-only scheme in which Yggdrasil works with third-party studios to produce and distribute gaming content. Those accepted as partners are provided with access to the GATI toolkit – a suite of development tools that allow casino game creators to craft and distribute pokies to Yggdrasil’s expansive client base. The initiative, which is pretty unique in iGaming, has attracted plenty of interest since inception. Developers such as Northern Lights, Rabcat and Fantasma Games have already signed up as has Relax Gaming.
Last December the masters program was extended to include the Gigablox™, MultiMAX™ and Splitz frameworks. Speaking at the time, Yggdrasil’s Head of Partner Programs said:
‘Our proprietary mechanics have been a revelation…so much so that we have had to recalibrate what successful releases look like. Driven by these triumphs we are thrilled to now share this opportunity exclusively with our YG Masters partners. We are excited to see the first titles in this new wave of games launch in 2021, helping our studio partners grow and expand their offerings and delivering on our shared vision.’
Standout games created as part of the Master arrangement include Gizi Infinity Reels and Atlantis Megaways, both of which were developed by Reel Play. The most recent addition is Labyrinth of Knossos MultiJump – a five reel pokie from Dreamtech Gaming. Judging by the success of the YG Masters scheme, more games are sure to follow. We will of course keep you updated about these so be sure to check back!