Earlier this month, Light & Wonder released Stargate Megaways, the first slot under their new brand. Julian Beck, the studio’s Creative Director, takes us through the famous sci-fi slot, revealing how it came to be and the features and mechanics players should look out for.
CasinoBeats: Congratulations on the release of Stargate Megaways, can you start by telling us what made Light & Wonder decide to launch this slot as their first since rebranding from SG Digital?
Thank you! We’re delighted with the early reception this new release has received, and we have high hopes that Stargate Megaways will be a long-term success with players in markets across the world. The opportunity to develop a Stargate branded slot initially came from our land-based team, as they’d already established a strong relationship with MGM Studios over the years.
A couple of years ago, our team examined MGM’s portfolio of incredible IP and it became apparent that there was an opportunity to licence a Stargate branded slot. We opened discussions as soon as we could and after we’d drilled down into the important details, they were happy for us to proceed with development.
Ultimately it was pivotal that we mark our arrival as Light & Wonder with something spectacular, and there’s nothing more spectacular than a big-name branded slot. Stargate is a cultural phenomenon that’s transcended television and movie screens.
CasinoBeats: There have been a number of successful branded slots released in the last few years, what makes Stargate Megaways stand out amongst the crowd?
Stargate has been culturally relevant for almost three decades now, any IP that has this much longevity with fans has potential to succeed as an online slot game. There are games out there that don’t really go to the lengths they could’ve to cater for hardcore fans of the brand, but Stargate Megaways does. We know our audience, and we hope they’re happy with what we’ve delivered.
When developing Stargate Megaways, we were tasked with creating something as close to the original television shows and movies as possible, respecting the brand for what it is.
Every aspect of the game revolves around the Stargate, and coordinates, fans of the brand will know just how important this is in terms of the plot. In addition to this we have licensed music, which really is the cherry on top of the cake. I truly believe we’ve achieved something special here.
CasinoBeats: Light & Wonder have billed Stargate Megaways as more than just another Megaways slot, can you explain what makes this game different from your standard Megaways title?
Most Megaways slots are known for having cascading symbols and an additional reel which helps players unlock those elusive 117,649 winning ways, but that’s often where the innovation ends. We wanted to add an entirely new layer onto the game, so we invented the Stargate Trail.
Players work their way up the Stargate trail every time they register a cascading win, unlocking modifiers and one of three free spins rounds. When the fifth segment of the trail is reached a random modifier will be activated, which boosts their chances of triggering up to seven free spins.
These modifiers include random wilds, wild reels, expanding reels, mystery symbols and regenerate, which clears the game grid and sees a re-spin occur with the same number of Megaways in place.
In addition to all of the above we’re also set to launch a version of Stargate Megaways that features a buy bonus, something we felt was a must have for players that are looking to inject even more excitement into their gameplay.
CasinoBeats: The same can be said for Stargate Megaway’s free spins bonus, which also strays from the norm. Can you tell us what makes this feature different and more exciting than others?
The free spins bonus in Stargate Megaways is certainly one of our favourite aspects of this slot. When players reach the seventh, eighth or ninth segment of the Stargate trail star coordinates will align, allowing players to step through the Stargate into a distant world.
When this occurs, the player is awarded between five and seven free spins, but first they must play a pick and click bonus game. There are 15 closed doors on screen, players must open seven of them. Behind these doors are symbols that award modifiers that are carried into the free spins bonus.
Modifiers in the bonus game include win multipliers, additional free spins, ways to increase, cash prizes, additional and expanding wilds. These really boost the winning potential of the game, to add to this there’s also the chance the Eye of Ra symbol can land on reel 6, resetting free spins.
CasinoBeats: Does the release of Stargate Megaways mark a new direction for Light & Wonder, can we expect to see the same kind of games going forward?
We’re incredibly proud of Stargate Megaways, and there’s no doubt in our minds that we’ll continue to develop and deliver spectacular slots such as this one, however, we won’t be making any drastic changes in terms of our overall business model.
As you can see from all of our future roadmaps, we’re not going to deviate from the plan. You can expect to see a number of games from our most beloved franchises return, such as Rainbow Riches as well as new and exciting titles from our talented partners studios Lightning Box and ELK.