Light & Wonder Craig Turner Interview

Casinos Online is thrilled to introduce Light & Wonder! Formerly known as SG Digital, this company aims to build great games and franchises that offer players a seamless experience across platforms.

In February we enjoyed the opportunity of talking to SG Digital’s Rob Procter about the company and what they were currently working on. Today, we are talking to Craig Turner, UK Creative Director at Light & Wonder about their future plans, casino products, and new titles. Read our full interview bellow.

  • Hello, and welcome to CasinosOnline.com, we are thrilled to have you here! Let us start with a short introduction, could you tell our players a bit about yourself?

I’m the UK Creative Director here at Light and Wonder and have been with the company for 2 and a half years. I started in the industry as a Games Tester at William Hill just as iGaming was really taking off and fell in love with the product. It’s a great way to get into games design as you end up playing everything. From there I took over the bespoke roadmap at Hills and worked on games with suppliers such as Blueprint, Inspired and IGT.

  • You have been working in the iGaming industry for nearly a decade. Can you tell us what has working at Light & Wonder brought to you in terms of experience?

When you build games for a specific operator you only have to think about your player base and market. Moving to a company with the reach of Light and Wonder means you have to learn what will work across multiple markets. While my main focus is the UK you want to make sure that you have secondary markets lined up to ensure your games have the best chance at success.

  • As a UK Creative Director at Light & Wonder, what is the best part of your position? How does one working day look for you?

I get paid to make games – what a job! At any one point I will have around 20 games at various stages of development which means the days can be quite varied. You might start your day off playing a math simulation to see how that new mechanic is going to feel. Artists will require feedback on symbol design and animations. Client builds need to be played to ensure that the timings and flow of the game are correct. New game ideas need recording and pitching to the team. It’s pretty full-on as everything is constantly moving, but it’s great fun.

  •  Light & Wonder has previously operated under the name SG Digital. What are the most significant changes since you have rebranded?

It’s allowed us to reintroduce ourselves to the market. Over the last two years, we’ve massively improved the quality of the games that we put out, and I still think that is only the start of our journey. It’s allowed us to pitch ourselves as a new company that’s making new and exciting games with better features, better production value and better-quality engines.

  • Let’s talk about some releases announced for this summer. Another title from the Rainbow Riches series is coming this August. Can you tell us more about the Rainbow Riches Power Pitch?

Rainbow Riches Power Pitch gives the customer the classic Rainbow Riches base game feel and adds in a huge 9 x 6 Hold and Win bonus round. We’ve thrown in multiplying hot zones, extra lives and an expanding reel array for extra value. Anyone lucky enough to completely fill the reel array will be instantly awarded 10,000x.

Rainbow Riches Power Pitch New Slot Game

  • The Rainbow Riches has been extremely popular with players. What is the secret in developing an equally interesting follow-up?

This is always the biggest challenge with Rainbow Riches; we want to move the series forward but not by so much that you turn off the existing customer base. My team’s first attempt at a Rainbow Riches was a cluster pays game with a complete graphical overhaul of the brand. While it was a great game, it wasn’t a “Rainbow Riches” game and didn’t see anywhere near the numbers we expected.

We have a whole host of mechanics which are loved by UK audiences that have yet to be used in a Rainbow Riches title but still allow us to remain faithful to what makes a Rainbow Riches game great.

  • Are there any special features in Rainbow Riches Power Pitch players should look forward to?

This is the first new release where we’ve added in Premium Play. Premium Play allows the player to spin a 1 line, 3-reel slot where you can win cash prizes or be awarded instant access to the feature.

  • You have been involved in the design and production of some of the top-performing titles such as Jin Ji Bao Xi Megaways, Dave Lame: Bad Magician, and Rainbow Riches Power Mix among others. What is the most important aspect in creating a unique and interesting game?

Regardless of the mechanic it should be obvious what is going on. Players should understand the game and also understand where the win potential in that game is going to come from. In my eyes if a player has to read the paytable to understand what is going on then you’ve failed.

We have a whole host of mechanics which are loved by UK audiences that have yet to be used in a Rainbow Riches title but still allow us to remain faithful to what makes a Rainbow Riches game great.

— Craig Turner, Light & Wonder

  • You are responsible in designing games for the UK market. Are UK players different from players in other markets? If they are, in what way?

Due to the disablement of Autoplay and Buy Pass, you have to get value back to the customer quicker. A UK customer is more likely to move on if they’re having a bad experience. You have to find a way to keep the players engaged but offering low bonus hit rates and frequent modifiers so that they can see the value.

  • Can you tell us more about what is cooking in the Light & Wonders Studio that players can expect in 2022?

The one that I’m most excited about is our new Mighty Ways mechanic. Mighty Ways is a Ways game where for every winning symbol, the reels will increase in height, so it gives that ‘multiple ways’ feel to a game. We’re going to go big on that this year: we’ve done Cluedo Mighty Ways – which was a really strong game for us – but we’re going to go back and do 300 Shields as a Mighty Ways game. 300 Shields is just a crazy, volatile game, and what we’re going to do is have a super feature in that game that you can purchase for 1,600x that’s going to give you guaranteed 300x multipliers on every Spartan win.

I was playing the sim for it yesterday; it’s just crazy and I cannot wait for it! 300 Shields is one of my favourite games of all time, so to go back and do that as a Mighty Ways game is really exciting. We’ve Got Invaders Mighty Ways coming out later in the year, and then I think in November we finish with Raging Rhino Mighty Ways.