This time last year we had the opportunity of sitting down with Terence Igesund, Founder and Executive Producer at Stormcraft Studios. Thanks to our little heart-to-heart, we managed to learn a bit about Stormcraft Studios, as well as their goals and plans for the future. Most importantly, we managed to get some scoop on the fantastic Thunderstruck® franchise.
This time, we will continue where we left off, and see what the studio has been up to until now. Furthermore, Stormcraft is cooking up another Thunderstruck® release, and we are more than happy to see what players can expect this time around.
- Hello, and welcome to CasinosOnline! Let’s start with a short introduction, would you mind telling our readers a bit about yourself?
Of course! Thanks so much for having me! My name is Terence Igesund, and I am the Founder and Executive Producer at Stormcraft Studios. I’ve been lucky enough to be in the industry since the very beginning. Would you believe me if I told you that I designed and produced the first online slot? I was one of four guys that designed, developed, and launched the first online slots into the marketplace. As the creative on the team, I was responsible for researching and originating the game brand, mechanics, graphics, animations and sounds for the game. We spent a lot of time in the land-based casinos playing slots and watching what games people preferred to play.
The past 25 years have been an incredible journey, with so many highlights. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working with so many talented people and the privilege to work with some amazing brands licensed brands to create games like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider™, Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones™. What I am most proud of however, are the slot brands that I created and produced, and which have evolved into commercially successful fan favourites, like Thunderstruck®, Immortal Romance and Mega Moolah.
- It has been a year since we have spoken with Stormcraft Studios. Can you tell us are you satisfied with how much the studio has accomplished in the past year?
‘Satisfied’ is a very interesting choice of word for this question. My team would tell you that I am not easily satisfied, and they would be right. As a detail-oriented perfectionist, I am inclined to always see opportunity for improvements in everything. That said, I am very pleased and super excited about Stormcraft’s accomplishments over the past year.
We’ve just celebrated the 1-year anniversary of the launch of Thunderstruck® Wild Lightning which broke several commercial records and continues to be the game to beat. What makes that accomplishment even more significant is the fact that the game was designed, developed, and delivered by the Stormcraft team while working from home. I am so proud of what the team were able to achieve during those challenging times.
Building on the success of Wild Lightning, we have been hard at work on the next chapter in the franchise, Thunderstruck® Stormchaser, which will be launched very soon. We have also invested time and energy into growing our technology stack to be able to support our future endeavors and global ambitions. We also moved the studio into exciting new premises, and I am certain our amazing view of the Indian Ocean will inspire many exciting new products and innovations in the years to come.
- Stormcraft Studios has developed a few sequels of popular online slots. Can you tell us what the most important aspect is of developing a great sequel to an already outstanding game?
Great question! The most important thing to remember when developing a sequel to a blockbuster game title is not to panic! The weight of the responsibility to deliver on everyone’s expectations can be very intimidating, and the higher the profile of the brand the greater the expectations. Take Thunderstruck® for example, when we decided to reboot the game franchise, we spent months planning and strategizing the right approach, constantly second-guessing our decisions. Having produced the original two games, I was intimately aware of the history and lore surrounding the brand, however, I was also very conscious that it would be easier to fail than succeed at a third iteration of such a classic fan favourite. The eventual success of Thunderstruck® Wild Lightning could be attributed to respecting the DNA of the brand, understanding what can and shouldn’t be evolved, and then creating a beautifully crafted and entertaining player experience.
- Last time we talked about Agent Jane Blonde Returns, however, in the meantime, the studio released Agent Jane Blonde Max Volume. Has the newest release managed to achieve the success you have anticipated?
She sure did! Agent Jane Blonde Max Volume totally lived up to its name and has been the top performer in the series of Agent Jane games. We were also trying out a new game design and development process strategy, which proved highly successful in the end which was an added bonus for the studio.
- Another title we were happy to discuss last time was the latest Thunderstruck® release – Thunderstruck® Wild Lightning. Only a year after, another release is cooking at your studio. Can you tell us anything about Thunderstruck® Stormchaser?
Absolutely! In this new chapter in the series, Thor returns to the Ragnarok battlefield to retrieve Gungnir, his father’s sacred spear, before he can ascend the golden throne of Asgard. Our hero will face many new challenges in Stormchaser, including the arrival of an enigmatic figure from his past in the form of Thyra, the Goddess of WildStorms, who has the power to summon the powerful Wildstorm feature in both base game and in Free Spins.
Thunderstruck® Stormchaser is a beautifully crafted 1024 Ways slot game featuring exceptional 3D and hand-painted artwork. The visual experience is accompanied by an original soundtrack, combined with innovative features and game mechanics. Thor is Wild and substitutes for all symbols except Scatters and Multipliers. The popular Rolling Reels™ mechanic features in the base game and Free Spins, where combinations of multiplier symbols can be awarded in the new Multi-Chase feature. Winning multipliers are banked during Free Spins, creating epic win potential.
Landing three or more Scatter Hammer symbols will activate the Asgardian Wheel of Fortune. Spinning this golden device will determine your number of Free Spins, your starting Multiplier, as well as a mystery number of Wildstorm tokens. Thor transports you to the dangerous realm of Svartalfheim to play out your Free Spins, while Thyra hovers in the background, waiting for her opportunity to strike. While collecting and banking multipliers to improve your wins, keep an eye out for any Scatter Hammers that land, as they award Wildstorm tokens which are collected throughout the Free Spins feature. Collecting enough tokens can award you up to 3 Wildstorm features at the end of Free Spins, where Thyra can turn up to five reels Wild.
- Developing one sequel is challenging enough. We cannot imagine creating multiple. With that in mind, are you planning on continuing with the Thunderstruck® series?
I’m so glad you asked! Yes, we absolutely do have plans to continue with the evolution and development of the Thunderstruck® series and grow the global brand value of the franchise. I have new characters and compelling story arcs that I can’t wait to manifest, along with innovative new mechanics and game play strategies.
- Revamping a classic slot is not an easy endeavour, especially when you consider satisfying fans of the said classic. How important is the fan feedback to Stormcraft?
First prize for us is always to deliver a game that players love and keep returning to. This will ensure that operators see the value in the game and continue to promote and position it optimally in their lobbies.
Getting feedback from players has been limited in the past, but the advent of streamers and social media has helped to create a reliable platform for us as game creators to get feedback directly from the player base, which is awesome.
— Terence Igesund, Stormcraft
- Out of all slot games in the Stormcraft portfolio, including the popular sequels we have mentioned, is there a slot game you like the most?
This is like asking which one of your children is your favourite! I would have to say that I am most excited about our latest creation that is in the final process of signoff and certification. Thunderstruck® Stormchaser is looking amazing, sounding awesome and playing beautifully. Feedback from the business thus far has been very positive and we are really looking forward to taking the game live later this year.
- Besides Thunderstruck® Stormchaser, are there any other releases planned until the end of the year?
Stormchaser will be the last game release of the year for Stormcraft, however, the team is hammering away at the forge and in the process of crafting several incredible slot titles for release in the new year.
- Do you have a message for our readers? Something we might have forgotten to ask?
I guess I could draw attention to our social media campaign for Thunderstruck® Stormchaser that has already kicked off but will really be picking up the pace next month with weekly media blasts. So, follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube to find out more. We also plan to release the original songs and music that we composed specifically for Stormchaser on Spotify in advance of the game going live.
I think that about covers everything. I look forward to our next interview as I found your questions insightful and really enjoyed unpacking them for your readers. I am sure next time we meet you will probably have a thousand questions for me about Immortal Romance 2!