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Mike Johnson March 4, 2021 5 min read
Mats Westerlund and Fredrik Johansson: Elemento and Why There Is a Lot to Learn from “Guest Chefs”
Mats Westerlund, co-founder of Quickspin and ex NetEnt, and Fantasma Games’ Fredrik Johansson are in their element when collaborating on innovating the iGaming experience for the hundreds of thousands of players worldwide.
This is precisely what is happening with Elemento, Fantasma’s ambitious upcoming game that puts together Mats and Fredrik’s development prowess in a bid to bring more rewarding products to the iGaming space.
Elemento comes a-packing a lot of cool features designed to boost engagement and deliver a rewarding experience. Loaded with events such as the Fire Wild, X Flood, Demolition, and Tornado, as well as available in 27 languages, Elemento is a plunge into the fathomless ocean of iGaming innovation.
Today, we have the pleasure to sit down with Mats and Fredrik who can walk us through the game and if such industry collaborations are the key to creating better products for the end customer.
Q: Can you give us a quick rundown of what Elemento is?
Mats: Hi! Pleasure to be here. It’s great to finally be able to talk about this brilliant game!
Elemento is Fantasma’s first cluster game. The setting is a cartoon style and fun take on the four elements. Each feature is resembled by an element that interacts with the rest of the game.
The free spins bonus presents a growing multiplier which is the Fifth Element, and this is where the real volatility is with wins up to 16000x.
Fredrik: We also introduce Fantasma’s first “Buy Free Spins” feature which will be great for the players who want to go straight for the volatility of the game.
Q: How did you come up with the idea about the game?
Mats: I have been very inspired by the changes and trends in the industry the past few years, and apart from my normal high volatility favorites, I have also really fallen in love with cluster games. The idea of elements has been growing within me for quite some time and with Fantasma I found a perfect partner to create this game with.
Fredrik: I think there is a lack of games on the market with a less volatile base game and a high potential bonus game, so we worked with Mats on that too. I also think it is super important to have a clear theme that ties in with your features, and in Elemento I really think we nailed it.
Q: Since you are both accomplished developers, did you find it hard to reach the creative middle-ground?
Mats: It was definitely less of a problem than would have anticipated. It actually went really well. We do have different perspectives and experiences, but that is sort of the point with this. I think I brought a lot of experience from my 15+ years of producing games, but Fantasma has that young energy that really challenge me to look at things from a new perspective too.
Fredrik: I think it has been a great collaboration where we have learnt a lot from each other. Mats contribution was not only for this game, but he shared knowledge that we can use to improve the overall quality of games in the future as well.
Q: Do you reckon this type of collaboration is going to be more common in future?
Mats: For sure! I think it is a very interesting way for a studio to gain more knowledge and challenge the way they work. Especially for smaller or mid-sized studios. But even if you are a large studio I there’s a lot to gain from having a “guest chef” that can bring new flavors to the plate so to say. This is something that is done in many other creative businesses so why not in this one.
Fredrik: From our perspective it is great to get input from other people in the industry. Not only for the game itself but also in the way we work, and how the teams are set up. I think we have something to give back with the experience and creativity we have at Fantasma.
Q: How does the end-player benefit from the creative brainstorming two companies bring to the table?
Mats: I think this means that you will get a bigger variety of games. And new perspective on games, and how to build them, as mentioned before.
Fredrik: I agree. The players will only see benefits from creative collaborations as this.
Q: If you could start Elemento from scratch, do you reckon you would have done something differently?
Mats: I probably speak for all producers out there when I say that there always are things you discover at the end that you would have done differently if you had the time…haha. There is always some kind of tweak that you notice once the game is finished, but the game must be released at some point.
You also notice things once the game is released and you try it out for real money for the first time. I would consider myself fairly good at pretending I’m playing for real money when we’re producing the game, but you always discover things when you play it for real once it’s released.
You can almost compare our situation to a chef at a restaurant who is only allowed to smell, but not taste, the dish before sending it out to the customer.
Fredrik: I would have given Mats even more time to produce the game… J
Q: When are you getting together for your next project?
Fredrik: We have not set a date yet, but we are looking forward to the next game already. Now both parties know how to collaborate in the best way to get the most out of it, so the next game is set to become even better – stay tuned!