Microgaming Launches Emoji-Themed Slot Pitched by Staff
The Isle of Man-based software developer, Microgaming, has launched a brand-new slot game themed on the popular emoji craze titled, EmotiCoins.
The five reel, 30 payline slot uses emoticons from popular social messaging services as symbols and features bonus features, named Wild Blast and Wild Stickers. The game is playable with a minimum bet of £0.30 with wins of up to 92,000 coins in a single spin.
The game is the result of a staff-powered initiative aimed at driving innovation. Two employees, Anna McChesney and Rob Mercer, pitched the game to the Microgaming Idea Factory, and internal programme where employees can bring their own ideas to the table. Earlier this year, the project won the Spark Award – an industry prize celebrating organisations that experiment with ways of working differently.
Emoji comes from a combination of two Japanese words – ‘e’ (pronounced ‘eh’), meaning ‘picture’, and ‘moji’, meaning ‘character’ in script. Emoji were first used by the big Japanese mobile phone carriers, NTT DoCoMo, au, and SoftBank. Since 2010 the special characters have been standardised and incorporated into Unicode, a system for indexing characters.
Research suggests that including emoticons in Facebook posts can increase the number of likes by up to 57%. The most popular emoji, the face with tears of joy, has been tweeted more than 16.5 billion times.
We are super excited to be taking live the first game concept driven from the Idea Factory by staff members who would ordinarily not be involved in game conception. And it’s a great game to be our first – the game studio did a fantastic job. – Lydia Barbara, Head of Innovation Strategy at Microgaming
Anna McChesney, PR Manager for Microgaming, said: “As a marketer, to me the use of emoticons in social media and communication is fascinating; they have essentially become a universal language! 92% of the world’s online population use emoticons, so developing a themed game would automatically target the demographic of our operators’ players.”
The game is now playable at Microgaming and Quickfire operators on desktop and mobile in the UK. The slot game follows the recent emoji movie, released in July 2017 courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation. At the time of publication, it has a score of 8% on Rotten Tomatoes.