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TENTPOLE GAMES LIGHTNING BOX: CHICKEN FOX


Te key differentiator is the bonus that doesn’t have classic wins in the free spins. Instead, it offers the chance for a fox to steel cash out from under the chickens. Tat’s the “ChickenFox”. Tere is also a “double Fox”, who steals the cash twice of course! If the player hasn’t spun up the fox and chickens together, they can still get an “egg”, which delivers additional free spins and extends the bonus round fun.


The game was exclusively live with Kindred Group brand Unibet before general European release across Lightning Box's network of operator partners. How was the game received during that exclusivity period? Did you have any inkling that the title would go to become one of Lightning Box's best performing slots?


It started strongly and stayed strong, which is the mark of any good game. We do exclusive European releases with almost all of our games and it is a good way to get the backing of an operator, who will push it to their players. But that can also provide a false dawn if it is tried out and an initial spike gives way to a flat line, because people only tried it because it was put in front of them.


Fortunately, that doesn’t happen too often. It certainly didn’t happen with Chicken Fox. We had a great feeling that this was a good one and we’ve always been pleasantly surprised ever since – in an understated Aussie way, I hasten to add. We’re not ones for popping the champagne corks, more blowing the froth off a couple for us!


How quickly did Chicken Fox impact the market?


It wasn’t an overnight smash-hit. Few games are these days, to be truthful. But it grew very steadily in popularity and, most importantly, stayed popular. Te players who found it, kept coming back to it. Beyond an initial honeymoon period, many modern games burn brightly before fizzling out, particularly with so many new ones coming onto the market every week. Chicken Fox held its own and continues to do so, giving it an ongoing longevity. Tat’s very satisfying to all those involved in its design.


How important is having a standout title such as Chicken Fox within a developer's games portfolio?


With over 200 suppliers in the European market, you need a must have game, just so you get a look in with new casinos. Ten you need to back that up with a strong


portfolio. It can’t be the only one. Luckily for us, we have strong games not far behind like Lightning-Horseman, Silver Lion/Pride and Lightning-Leopard, as well as our Stellar Jackpots range. Tese games can provide a real core upon which to build the business.


Quantitively, how successful has Chicken Fox been for Lightning Box?


It’s been a strong game in Europe but has been really smashing it in the USA and Canada, where it typically sits in the Top 10 of established slot games. Te beauty of it is that it’s doing well in all markets around the world and across different verticals too. Tat universal quality is gold dust to any supplier like us and our operating partners. You just need to wind it up and let it go and you know people are going to play it.


How did the success of Chicken Fox shape Lightning Box's subsequent roadmap of titles?


It did and it didn’t. When you have a successful game, the natural reaction is to try to replicate it each and every time. Sadly, you can’t. Nobody can, otherwise we’d all have retired to our own island in the Caribbean many years ago! I guess the trick is to try to properly analyse what made it successful and recreate some of those elements in the games that follow.


We were obviously able to create Chicken Fox5x Skillstar as a direct nod to the original, which we knew was more likely than not to be successful. But otherwise, it’s about trying to put your finger on the elements and features that made it popular, without simply skinning the game, which


It wasn’t an overnight smash- hit. Few games are these days, to be truthful. But it grew very


steadily in popularity and, most importantly, stayed popular. The players who found it, kept


coming back to it. Beyond an initial honeymoon period, many modern games burn brightly before fizzling out, particularly with so many new ones coming onto the market every week. Chicken Fox held its own and continues to do so.


nobody wants. Continual incremental improvement as opposed to just simply cloning titles.


How much licence do you take in terms of iterating upon Chicken Fox?


It wasn’t so much about changing the game around. It was about adding the Fox5X and the Skillstar retro mini-game. Te Skillstar game has no impact on the regular game RTP. It does give the player the exciting opportunity to become the day’s top scorer on the high score leaderboard. With lots of


people playing it, that adds another element that many players enjoy. It wasn’t so much about creating a Chicken Fox sequel, therefore. It was more about adding interesting features to the original.


What is the legacy of Chicken Fox?


I think more than anything it is a door- opener for Lightning Box. It is a game that we have become known for and operators appreciate that it will be successful in whichever market they choose to launch it. It has also introduced a new generation of players to our games who we might not have been reaching previously. Tese players have tried other games of ours and the whole thing keeps rolling forward. Good games are a good game in their own right, but they open up other opportunities too.


What is the future for Chicken Fox?


Well, I wouldn’t want to give too much away, but there’s a reasonable chance there may be a prequel in the making! As any Hollywood film studio will tell you, the trick to producing a good prequel is taking the story back to its roots whilst retaining the popular elements of the original. We don’t want to do one for the sake of it, therefore, but watch this space.


P28 WIRE / PULSE / INSIGHT / REPORTS


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