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Interview With Björn Zethraeus, CEO at Snowborn Games

CasinosHunter was happy to be able to talk to Björn Zethraeus, CEO at Snowborn Games. Being an exclusive software supplier to Games Global, Snowborn boasts outstanding technologies and unique graphics. To learn more about this recent but promising online casino software provider, check out our Q&A!

Snowborn Games software provider is based in Stockholm and Helsinki, and was initially founded in 2017. The first online slot by this company was released in March 2020. The company initially put a lot of effort into creating its own RNG and RGS platform, building strong math models and technological approaches from the very beginning.

It is still a comparatively small studio, but already providing its software exclusively to Games Global, one of the biggest providers that offers its suppliers technological, legal, and marketing support. At the same time, Snowborn is independent in its creative processes and its ambition to make both entertaining and high-quality slots with balanced math.

There are still few slots by Snowborn but the number increases every month because the talented team behind the brand works tirelessly. One of the really cool things about slots by this provider is customization.

Another cool thing about slots by Snowborn is the fact that the studio does not just build games as they see them, but looks for ongoing trends like mobile-first, popular bonus features, etc. This way, the player gets really high-quality user experience, and the games do not feel “too simple” just because they are made by a comparatively small studio. The slots are packed with bonus features and are really fun to play.

Considering that Snowborn Games is the desired find for many online casinos and its popularity will only continue to grow, CasinosHunter was happy to find out more from Björn Zethraeus, CEO at Snowborn Games.

Q/A Session With Björn Zethraeus, CEO

Björn Zethraeus CEO at Snowborn Games

Hi, and thanks for having me! I’m Björn Zethraeus, CEO at Snowborn Games. I’m actually quite new to the industry. I have always loved to play casino games, but until joining Snowborn Games in 2017 I had never worked within the iGaming industry before (or with offline gambling). I started out as co-founder and investor in Snowborn Games and, given my background in both entrepreneurship and finance, I was offered the dual role of CEO/CFO. During the past 12 months I have been working much closer with game design and since we started working on Cat Clans™ released in Dec 2021) I’ve also acted as a Game Producer. This might sound like many roles and lots of multitasking, but we are still a small studio and many of us within Snowborn Games have multiple roles to play."

Snowborn Games is a pretty recent company; some sources say it was founded in 2017, others in 2020. What is the correct year, and what was the journey of the company by now?

I understand why this might be a bit confusing. The company was founded in 2017 but we released our first game in March 2020.

During the first two years, we were not more than seven people in the entire company, and focused on building our own RNG and RGS platform, as well as the first slot games in parallel. This was a big task for a small team with high technical ambitions. The idea was to build a modern, flexible RGS platform without any of the legacy problems the older and bigger providers were facing, and we did.

But in the end, the road to profitability became too long and complex for a studio of our size with our own platform, so we decided to put the RGS on ice, and instead focus entirely on developing great slot games.

In your opinion, what is the main strength of the company, taken that it has impressive competition?

Even though Snowborn Games is still a small studio, we have an extremely talented team with many years of combined industry experience.

It’s in our studio DNA to constantly learn and improve with every new release.

This is something we have certainly demonstrated with the recent games, ending last year with our first big performer Cat Clans™, following up with another great release in Masters of Valhalla™, and then most recently with Pile ‘Em Up™ which is one of the best performing games on the platform.

Also, given the studio’s strong tech background, we have built a bespoke client framework that allows us to develop games efficiently and makes it possible for non-developers, such as a Product Owner or Art Director, to tweak features, timings, and functions without having to touch any code. I see this as a big advantage going forward.

When it comes to game design, we have developed a good setup for close collaboration between CPO, mathematician, AD, and producer.

I think multiple viewpoints are better than one to make sure we have the highest possible game quality from all aspects when ready to release.

Can you tell us more about games by Snowborn, including the newest forthcoming release, Cats of the Caribbean? What are the features and the possible wins?

Cats of the Caribbean™ is a thematical follow-up to Cat Clans™, taking simple but action-packed gameplay to another fun setting with the popular cat characters - this time as pirates in the bright and sunny Caribbean.

The core game mechanics revolve around wilds (and multiplier wilds) both in the base game, as well as Free Spins – as in the original Cat Clans™ but this time we’ve introduced a new and original take. In the base game, the core gameplay is about collecting wilds and getting them returned to the player in one spin with the “Wild Cannon Feature”. This feature hits randomly and awards between three and fifteen wilds in one spin – plus the wilds can land on top of each other creating a multiplier wild up to 5x.

The same core logic applies to the Free Spins feature, where the mechanic adds a twist to the classic free spins thinking – meaning that instead of focusing on how many spins you receive, the player is guaranteed a certain number of wilds that can land during those spins.

There are three different free spins options. Which of the three free spins options you win is decided by the color of the free spins trigger symbol on reel five during the triggering spin. Free Spins offer a variety of guaranteed wilds during the feature – the most rewarding one guaranteeing 90 wilds to land during the feature. If wilds don’t land on a certain spin during the feature, that is actually okay for the player as they are guaranteed to land all the wilds during the remaining spins for even bigger wins. This builds up the excitement towards the very end of the feature - the more wilds that are left on your last spin the more exciting it can be!

The Cat Pots Bonus game is another way for the player to reach the game’s maximum potential of 10,000x bet. This adds another dimension and excitement to the base game with a quick wheel of fortune mechanic.

I also have to mention a few words about our recent release Pile ‘Em Up™ which is truly a studio-defining game. The early game KPIs during the exclusive release looked incredibly strong.

Now we’re into global release and the game is completely smashing it. It is hard to single out a single key success factor of Pile ‘Em Up™ as it has so much going for it.

Players seem to love the retro style and happy tunes; the math is well balanced, and features are quite simple but nicely executed with the multiplier build-up for cash collect wins that carry over to the Free Spins and bonus games. Gameplay is absolutely spot on and there is plenty to keep players engaged.

Personally, this is my favorite of all our games released so far, but it is a very close call between Pile ‘Em Up™, Masters of Valhalla™, and Cat Clans™ the latter two being slightly more volatile.

These titles and tons more are exclusively available via the Games Global platform.

What trends have you been noticing in the online gambling niche lately? To what extent do they shape the company’s strategy?

Longer-term trends such as mobile-first and portrait mode are getting even more significant, so we design our games to be optimal in portrait on a mobile device. Same thing with the popularity of buy feature alternatives for jurisdictions where this is allowed.

Competition is getting tougher, a lot of studios out there are producing high-quality content so I think it is important, especially for smaller studios, to find your own niche in which you can excel as it’s hard to be a jack of all trades.

We are talking a lot about how we can build and strengthen the Snowborn Games brand identity. We want to be recognized for games where there is entertainment, excitement, and win potential both in the base game and bonus features. When it comes to volatility, we are passionate about building games with good win potential – we try to cater to the players who enjoy bonuses with a chance to hit a nice win. At the same time, we try making the journey there enjoyable as well. We are not about making the base game a placeholder to grind until a feature finally drops.

What are Snowborn Games’ plans for the future?

Continue to make great slot games that the players enjoy and continue to constantly learn and improve. When it comes to game quality, including game flow, art, animations, mechanics, and mathematics, we definitely aim to establish Snowborn Games as a top provider and a well-known name in the industry. We will leverage the knowledge gained by building top performers to grow and innovate, including totally new features.

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