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Interview With Thierry Semoff, CEO of PearFiction Studios

PearFiction Studios was founded by Thierry Semoff back in 2014, and the company started its way as a developer of mobile casino games for iOS and Android devices. Showing excellent graphics, the company however strived to achieve bigger outcomes, so in 2016, it switched to making online casino slots, which proved more popular, and also more in demand.

Online casino games allowed PearFiction to learn even more, and enhance its technique and approach, too. Altogether, the skills and talents of the team enabled the studios to sign a game-changing agreement with Microgaming, as one of its exclusive software suppliers. This was in November 2019, and since then, PearFiction has had many impressive collaborations with other important players in the online gambling niche.

Partnership with Microgaming helped the company to develop the best quality graphics and add the state of the art innovative technologies to their products. Moreover, due to Microgaming’s huge distribution network, PearFiction Studios is able to offer its games to various markets all over the world.

Today, PearFiction is an independent online game developer making casino games for Microgaming, but fueling these games with its own innovation and talent. The company’s headquarters is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The products by PearFictio bear licenses by Alderney and the UKGC. All games are mobile-compatible and meet the industry standards.

To find out more about PearFiction and its amazing games, please check out this interview with Thierry Semoff, founder and CEO of PearFiction Studios.

Q/A Session With Thierry Semoff, CEO of PearFiction Studios

Hello Thierry, we are happy to have an opportunity to discuss PearFiction Studios and its products with you, within our CasinosHunter’s Q&A. For starters, I would like to ask you to tell our readers more about yourself, and your role in the company.

Greetings and thank you so much for inviting me CasinosHunter! It’s truly appreciated.

I'm Thierry Semoff, founder and CEO of PearFiction Studios. I've been in the iGaming industry for just over five years, having started in 2016, when we made the switch from making mobile games to online casino games.

My business history included a wide range of ventures before I founded PearFiction Studios. I began my career as an aerospace technician and transitioned to multimedia entrepreneurship in the mid-90s, managing the development of a few multimedia companies, then directed the development and design of a few educational programs, applications, and mobile games.

Although I wear many hats as CEO, my primary responsibilities are to lead the studio's game design, pipeline, and direction.

What main mission, tasks, and goals does PearFiction Studios have, and what makes it stand out from the crowd when compared to other online casino games developers in the niche?

At PearFiction, we try to give each game a personality, a story that it can tell, a mark that bears the PearFiction seal.

Our games combine a mix of humor, amazing artwork, depth of features, high survivability, and high potential bonuses – but most importantly, a satisfying gameplay experience.

We often talk about the players and the road leading to the bonus game. Our goal is to make that journey for players as varied and thrilling as possible. The bonus is just one part of the game; players should be entertained and engaged while spinning and waiting for that big potential bonus to hit.

PearFiction Studios has an impressive portfolio of games. All games feature high quality designs, soundtracks, and gameplays. Does it allow us to state that you would rather make one high quality slot than a dozen of regular ones?

Absolutely, it's all about quality, not quantity.

With so many games being released each month, it's important to develop unique games with a high production value and quality.

Both the players and operators are demanding this and we’re delivering on that demand.

How much time does it take to develop one slot game at PearFiction Studios? From the moment when the idea is born, and to the moment of release.

Not enough time some would say! Seriously, it depends on the game features, depth, and complexity. I would say between five to six months on average, from the game concept to the final delivery.

We take the time to playtest, playtest, and playtest our games some more to make sure that the math, hit rates, art, visual effects, sounds, and feature balances are just spot on. Even at the late stage of development, we don’t hesitate to go back to the drawing board to improve the gameplay experience.

Two of your most recent slots, Blazing Mammoth and Chicago Gold, actually serve as proof of my statement about quality. Could you please tell our readers more about these two games and their specific nuances?

Chicago Gold™ was our first exclusive game for Microgaming and it’s been quite a success to say the least! A few months have passed by since its launch in February of 2021, and the game is still going strong today.

The game is showing some of the best players' KPIs within the Microgaming portfolio of games.

I think the look of the game is what draws players in at first. The team did an amazing job with the 1920s Chicago theme. The thug, the crooked cop, the femme fatale, and the big boss characters are simply awesome.

However, good looks are only skin deep!

I think that the main reason for the game’s success is the hit rate balance. The math is just right in Chicago Gold. With a frequent hit rate on the collect feature, combined with 129x your bet potential, this makes for an entertaining and enjoyable base game.

The whopping 5,626x max win and the average win of 61x your bet in the free spins game, provides a thrilling chase and a healthy win potential for players.

The Respin Collect seems to be every player’s favorite. Once you land a jackpot symbol on that respin reel you become a fan for life.

Our second game, Blazing Mammoth™ went live June 30 to all Microgaming customers.

At the time, we were given the opportunity to develop Blazing Mammoth using the popular EpicStrike™ engine first seen in 9 Masks of Fire.

The Mammoth Scatter Jackpots are the core feature in this game – landing golden mammoth scatters can reward you with up to 2,000 times your bet. We made sure to celebrate those scatter jackpots in a grand way by launching a mammoth stampede for each jackpot. The more mammoth scatter jackpot symbols you match, the more mammoths are part of the stampede.

We wanted to create that classic, over-the-top casino feeling of landing bigger and bigger wins with a whole cohort of massive mammoths blazing across the screen. We wanted to make these win celebrations epic, thus was born the loud “BLAAZING MAMMMOOOTH” scream.

The other main feature of blazing mammoth is the free spins game. Landing three free spins symbols on reels two, three and four will trigger the free spins feature and activate the blazing free spins wheel. The wheel will allow you to spin and win between 10 and 30 spins at either a 2x or 3x multiplier. The free spins game can be retriggered with the same number of spins you initially got from the wheel.

The blazing mammoth features are straightforward, satisfying gameplay. There’s no need to study the paytable for hours on end. That simplicity of the EpicStrike™ engine is what will make this game a success!

We also cannot but discuss the new Squealin’ Riches by PearFiction Studios, which is to be released very soon. Please reveal more about this slot and its theme.

We are thrilled to announce that Squealin'Riches™ will be available to all Microgaming customers on October 12.

As its name suggests, Squealin' Riches features a cute golden piggy bank as the game host. Throughout the game, piggy will jump on the reels to introduce random game modifiers, such as adding an additional free spins symbol to trigger the feature, adding piggy gold coins to trigger the LockNWin™ game, upgrading the jackpot values, and other special modifiers that you will have to play to find out.

There are so many great features in this game. The LockNWin™, free spins, progress bar, bonus wheel, and bonus buy are some of the features offered in Squealin' Riches. You are not likely to get bored playing with piggy!

The free spins wheel is one of the most promising features of the Squealin’ Riches slot. A very similar feature can be seen in Blazing Mammoth. Is it one of the unique features in PearFiction Studios’ games?

The free spins wheel is definitely a big feature of our action packed Squealin’ Riches game. Upon entering the feature, you’ll spin a wheel to determine how many free spins you can play and will then have the opportunity to gamble those spins for the chance to win an even greater number of spins.

For example, if you land 10 free spins you can choose to gamble them for the chance at 15 free spins. You can continue gambling until you’ve won 30 free spins – the maximum possible amount. There’s always a chance that you might lose your free spins by gambling, but rest assured that even if you lose the gamble you still get a chance to land a mystery prize worth on average 22x your bet.

There are more piggy gold coins, more chances to land the LockNWin™ game and more chances to land a Jackpot prize during the free spins game. The fun can also keep going since landing three scatter symbols will retrigger the free spins feature.

Squealin’ Riches slot also has a Static Jackpot feature, and a LockNWin™ feature. What is the maximum possible win in this game?

One of the main features of Squealin’ Riches is the LockNWin™ game, our mechanic that puts a twist on the classic Links and Hold & Respin features. In Squealin’ Riches, you need at least six piggy gold coins from one spin to trigger the feature, awarding 3 respins. All piggy gold coins become sticky, along with the Mini, Minor, Major, Grand, and Epic Jackpots. Filling the reels with 20 piggy gold coins triggers the Epic Jackpot worth up to 10,000 times your stake!

We have designed a few unique features in our LockNWin™ mechanic that make it far more than a simple Hold & Respin game. Coin multipliers and jackpot upgrades can land in the feature to make it even more exciting. Multiplier symbols, as their names indicate, multiply the value of any piggy gold coins symbol present on the reels by up to 10x times their value.

The jackpot upgrade symbol is even more exciting. When they land they increase the value of all five jackpot levels, upgrading each of them to the value of the tier above and potentially making the Epic Jackpot worth double its initial value! For example, the default value of the Epic Jackpot is 5,000x your stake. A single upgrade symbol will increase the Epic Jackpot value to 6,000x your stake. Upgrades can land frequently; landing five jackpot upgrades during a LockNWin™ game would surge that Epic Jackpot all the way up to 10,000x your stake.

Are there any other specific aspects of the Squealin’ Riches slot you could explain more to our readers?

There’s more than one way to land jackpots in this game as well. The Squealin’ Riches bonus wheel has the potential to award one and of the available jackpot prizes, in addition to other instant cash prizes and a chance to trigger the free spins game. Every piggy gold coins that lands on the reels, whether it triggers LockNWin™ or not, is collected and added to the bonus wheel progress bar. Once the progress bar is completely filled (on average this takes about 300 spins), the bonus wheel feature is triggered.

Squealin’ Riches is coming out October 12 exclusively on the Microgaming platform.

What are PearFiction Studios’ plans for the near future? What other new titles can we expect to be released soon?

We are constantly observing industry trends, playing new games, and exploring the potential of new mechanics.

So much to love and experiment! This is what makes us tick, it’s one of the reasons why our industry is so amazing.

In the short term, you will see PearFiction pushing the edge of instant jackpots/prizes and EpicSrike™ mechanics with 15 Tridents™ coming out by the end of the year. We will also dive deeper and boost our LockNWin™ mechanics in Q1 2022.


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