Today, Casinos Online has the honor of talking to Mike Bauerlein, Market Readiness & Logistics Lead at one of Microgaming’s leading partners, Triple Edge Studios. We have spoken about this admirable independent gaming studio many times. Now, it is time to meet Triple Edge Studio face-to-face.
- Hello, and it’s great to meet you! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Could you take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers?
Thank you for your interest in Triple Edge Studios! Like most people growing up in the 80s and 90s I spent much of my free time playing video games, and I continued to develop an interest in all aspects of interactive entertainment. My academic training focused on digital arts as well as computer science. Where most of my peers followed a career in the video game or film industry, I have been lucky enough to break into the exciting world of iGaming.
I first started working for Triple Edge Studios in 2015, back in the Flash programming days. It was just a small start-up in those days, so I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing all the major milestones and successes of the company along the way.
My current job title is a somewhat unique term to our company and it’s something I grew into. I head up Market Readiness and Logistics. In other companies it would be a mix of responsibilities from the Producer and Program Management role. Focusing on effective communication across the internal and external teams enables me to ensure our games are developed to the highest level.
- What is your favorite thing about your job at Triple Edge Studios?
I think the ‘fun’ answer here is that one of our offices is located literally across the street from the ocean, so we take advantage of it with company barbecues and beach workouts! For the more business-focused answer, we are constantly evolving our strategy and the content we create to ensure we stay at the top of our game. At Triple Edge Studios, everyone has a seat at the table and the option to contribute to our change in direction. Having that level of ownership across the team has been critical to our ability to adapt to the challenges and opportunities that have presented themselves over the years, in ways that push us ahead of the competition.
- Triple Edge Studios has majorly contributed to the popularity of Microgaming titles. Could you tell us more about the relationship with Microgaming?
Our partnership with Microgaming has allowed us the freedom to focus our time where we are the most skilled: designing great games that will resonate with our users. Ever since our partnership began in 2018, it’s been vital to our continued success as we rely on Microgaming’s well-established pipeline to provide access to hundreds of top online casinos across the world.
- Recently, Mega Moolah Absolootly Mad ended up on our biggest jackpot winners list. Congratulations! What is your stance on this particular progressive jackpot slot?
When we first discussed the concept for Absolootly Mad, the team was very excited at the thought of leveraging the huge brand recognition behind the Mega Moolah progressive jackpot. To see the end result – which not only looks fantastic and plays great, but also repeatedly awards players with massive jackpot wins – has been a huge achievement. Our studio has continued to consider the benefits of integrating with the Mega Moolah or WowPot progressives, as in the case more recently of Ancient Fortunes™: Poseidon WowPot Megaways™.
- Are you a slot player or a table game player?
I’m a bit more social when it comes to gambling, so I’d prefer to arrange an evening of Texas Hold’em with some co-workers over playing slots. However, I will admit that before really scrutinizing land-based and online slots once it became part of ‘research and development’ for work, I had no idea how sophisticated the graphics and underlying mechanics have become. There is an increasing bar for production value and polish as more talent from games and film studios cross over into this space.
- Triple Edge Studios has released dozens of slots to date, such as Lara Croft Temples and Tombs, Wicked Tales, and Assassin Moon. What is your favourite Triple Edge Studios slot of all time?
I’ve got fond memories of so many of our games; each one has their own ‘wow’ factors that separate them from the pack and offer a great experience. More recently Legacy of Oz was released to the market pushing an even bigger win potential in free spins. I personally think Legacy of Oz ticks all the boxes; the Hyperspins™ respin feature gives players the ability to big line wins or trigger free spins, and the free spins only require two books to unlock special symbols.
- Let’s talk about the thrilling Book of Oz slot series. Integrating the exclusive paid respin feature, Triple Edge Studios created an instant classic. Moreover, your gaming studio added a feminine twist, landing thereby Sisters of Oz WowPot. Could you give us more inside info on these spectacular releases?
Book of Oz features iconic slot mechanics with special expanding symbols in free spins. The theme is instantly recognizable yet distinct, and the signature Hyperspins™ respin feature allowed players to apply an additional level of pseudo-strategy to unlock the free spins or pursue the big five-of-a-kind wins! After the initial success of Book of Oz, we released the sequel, Book of Oz Lock ’N Spin. In this version of the game, players have even more control over which reels to respin. As we alluded to earlier, Sisters of Oz was another title of ours that taps into the WowPot progressive jackpots. With each new game added to the series, we’ve really enjoyed creating more beautiful characters to fill the fantastical world of Oz.
- We maintain that Triple Edge Studios games are easily identified. What is it that Triple Edge Studios do that no one else does?
Most studios have the same internal makeup of team members, creative ideas and market analysis. I think one thing that makes us stand out is our strong belief that everyone on the team is personally accountable for the quality of the game and empowered to share their input. Our games are the result of countless minor tweaks at all levels – from the technical side to the aesthetic side – and these incremental improvements come from the entire team. Harnessing the collective brainpower and allowing the team that level of ownership produces games that appeal to wider audiences.
- What goes into the complex process of making a Triple Edge Studio slot and how long does it take?
Our product teams are comprised of members from many different backgrounds, including mathematics, game design, illustrations, programming, quality assurance, and more. When we are considering the core math model, we blend our research with our own innovative tweaks to produce something that players should find fun. Throughout production, the team iterates on the design in creative and meaningful ways, typically hosting internal game tournaments to simulate real player feedback. Ultimately, each game’s timeline is based on the complexity of the features, with production taking anywhere from 2 to 4 months.
- We know that Triple Edge Studios advocates responsible gambling. How do Triple Edge Studios make sure that players feel protected?
All of our games follow the regulations per market requirements, including third party certification to ensure our games have been thoroughly tested to promote responsible gambling. Players have access to auditing tools like Playcheck to verify each game result, as well as session timers to safely limit gameplay. We are closely monitoring the regulatory climate shifts to anticipate and update our games in order to give our users the best experience.