A lot has happened since the media day presentation of FunFair Games’ AstroBoomers: To the Moon earlier this year with the game having officially hit the Betsson Group portfolio on April 27 and running as an exclusive title on select brands through May 11.
Inspired by the crash style we have seen in the crypto gaming space, AstroBoomers is a social gaming experience that prioritizes engagement with younger generations through a community-driven, decision-making gameplay.
FunFair Games COO Lloyd Purser walked us through everything that is we need to know about the game, its distribution and the particular appeal it’s expected to hold with younger demographics.
Q: AstroBoomers: To the Moon is an intriguing game inspired by blockchain gaming but not necessarily using blockchain. Could you tell us a little about the game’s underpinning game concept and tech?
We know that Gen Y & Z players enjoy games that are social, active and simple. These are the concepts that we have seen work incredibly well in blockchain gaming and are looking to provide our range of games with.
AstroBoomers is our first game to follow these principles and is based on a crash style of play. Up to 25 astronauts can board the rocket on the launchpad, where they place up to three bets before lift-off. The players can then choose when they bail out as the multiplier climbs, but the higher they go, the more they risk losing if a fiery cosmic meteor impacts their shuttle.
This style of play is incredibly popular with our target demographic. Players choose when to bail out and take their winnings, and by design, it is a much more engaging style of game. Further, the community feeling with live podiums, leader boards and added emoticon chat ensures the social elements they expect are there. And finally, it is a very simple game to pick up and play with no needed learning curve.
While this type of game first appeared on blockchain technology, we are looking to bring a more polished version to the masses by distributing through the EveryMatrix platform. We wanted to ensure that operators have minimal integration needs and the EveryMatrix platform provided that for us.
Q: What was the leading motivation in creating AstroBoomers the way it is now? Did you look at existing successful crypto games that could work in mainstream iGaming or was there something else at play?
FunFair Games leading inspiration came from the types of games that haven’t been on offer in online casinos for a crypto audience. We want to create active experiences that traditional slots don’t provide, and as a result, draw that younger demographic back to engage with our titles.
So while we took our inspiration from successful crash games like Bustabit, which exploded into the blockchain world back in 2015, we wanted to build on and improve this experience.
With AstroBoomers: To The Moon! we’ve not only replicated that thrill but enhanced it by giving gamers multiple chances to decide the optimum point at which to cash out before the spaceship crashes. Combined with mobile-friendly design, simple gameplay, and dynamic creative design, we believe we have created an industry-leading crash game.
Of course, this is our launch title. Our next game, ‘Wheel of Steal,’ is also built upon social, active, and simple characteristics. But it is not based on anything found in blockchain, and we are excited to see how the Gen Y & Z audience reacts to it.
Q: FunFair Games’ motto is that you produce a new genre of games for a new generation of gamblers. What is this new generation of gamblers? What doesn’t work anymore and what do you need to address specifically?
Since 2017, FunFair Technologies has been deeply involved with blockchain and during that time we have been developing games for early adopters of this new technology. What was very apparent is that this audience is generally gen Y & Z, i.e younger.
These generations have grown up in the digital age playing immersive and social video games. We believe that passive single-player online gambling experiences are not enough to keep them engaged. And the research confirms this – only 44% of younger generations play slots compared to 72% of all other ages.
Games that are community-driven, require decision making (hence making them strategic), and are simple yet truly engaging to play, will plug that gap. This has been demonstrated with the hugely popular crash style games.
“AstroBoomers, To The Moon!, is all of those things, which is how it will help operators attract a different audience to their casino tabs.
Q: One interesting aspect of the gameplay is that it takes roughly 30 seconds to complete a round. Do you reckon this would have a positive effect on how players spend their money more efficiently and safely?
AstroBoomers is a new style of game, however it’s not the speed of the rounds that we believe will have the greatest impact on player spending patterns, it’s the engaging gameplay. Unlike slots, where for example a player may be less involved in the base game (many players leave games on autospin until they hit a bonus round and then engage), the base game in our games always requires interaction and decision making. So the time between rounds is longer but also the autospin option is not something that players want to do, as they’re totally consumed in the base game, which is simple yet very engaging.
Q: Do you think there are many ways to innovate and improve upon the “crash game” experience? In this sense is AstroBoomers: To the Moon just the first chapter in the FunFair interstellar gaming saga?
The crash is just one of the multiplayer game mechanics we’re doing, we have foundations that we work within our multiplayer game development which are social, active, and simple. So our second game, Wheel Of Steal, takes its inspiration from live dealer wheel-based games. Our third game is a totally unique pinball mechanic. Our fourth game will be an iteration of the crash but with a very different interface and theme with the addition of features like avatars and further betting rounds. All these games have the foundations we work to ingrained in them. We are not in the business of just reskinning existing concepts, we always look to improve and innovate with our games, as we have done in the crypto space for many years now.