1. Can you tell us about you and give us a brief history of the studio?
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. Although I wear many hats as CEO, my primary responsibilities are to lead the studio's game design, pipeline, and direction.
The company was founded in 2014, with a focus on developing casual mobile games for iOS and Android devices. While mobile casual games were fun to develop, ROI was hard to achieve. Some of our most popular games were casino games and this encouraged us to make the switch to online casino games in mid-2016. In the fall, we presented a paper flip-book of slot designs at G2E and were able to land our first licensing agreements.
The following year, we signed The Smashing Biscuit as a licensed game with Microgaming and Goblins Go Wild as a bespoke deal with Casumo. These games and exposure led to other bespoke games contracts from late 2018 to mid-2019.
In November 2019, we signed an investment agreement with RNG Foundry to develop exclusive games for Microgaming.
2. Tell us about your studio personality and style direction?
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.
3. Why did you choose to seek funding from RNG Foundry?
The company had a full pipeline of bespoke games before signing up with RNG Foundry. We were able to pay the bills and grow the studio. Still, something was missing! Doing bespoke games can be truly rewarding and most clients gave us a lot of room to design and develop games that had our personality. That said, developing games for someone else is not the same as doing it for you.
Our intention was to develop our own games and focus on our own portfolio and concepts, and the funding provided by RNG Foundry made this possible.
4. How was the investment and subsequent onboarding process?
RNG Foundry has done dozens of these investments, so they have the process and support staff to help you. The investment, transaction, and wire of the funds is done the day the agreement is signed. The onboarding process also includes training for the studio on the Microgaming game development processes. This part takes a bit more time, it is quite complex and you soon feel like you are drinking from the firehose. However, both RNG Foundry and Microgaming assigned us to a team of technical coordinators whose role is to guide us through the entire onboarding process.
5. What’s it like working with RNG foundry?
This is going to sound like an infomercial, but the team is amazing. When you are running a studio and a start-up you don’t have a lot of time for complex reports, red tape, and bureaucracy. The RNG Foundry team is fully aware of the challenges we face at the helm of a small upcoming gaming studio. They provide the support we need to enable us to focus our efforts on developing amazing games. In the end, this why we partnered with RNG Foundry.
6. What have been or are your biggest challenges?
One of our biggest challenges was/is keeping up with the latest regulatory, operating system, and device changes. As we add more games to our portfolio, it's becoming our number one priority. The great thing about our partnership with RNG Foundry and Microgaming is that we are not alone anymore. Every RNG Studio can count on the support of an army of people who work hard to provide us with regulatory, technology, and operational updates. They give us guidelines, best practices, and examples on how to deal with these challenges.
7. What are your main goals for the studio going forward?
It has been a very exciting year for us, and we have an amazing roadmap ahead of us. Our main objective is to release about eight titles between now and the end of 2022. It might be less, but in the end it is quality that matters more to us and for the RNG Foundry team.
8. What would you say is the biggest lesson you have learnt since being part of RNG Foundry?
We began in the industry as an independent studio. Creating our own IP and games was our top priority, while developing bespoke games was done to cover the bills. As developers, we learned that creating great games is just half the equation. The other half is to get a good distribution that is able to deliver decent revenues.
By partnering up with RNG Foundry, we now have access to hundreds of operators through Microgaming's extensive distribution.
9. If you could give one bit of advice to a studio seeking funding from RNG Foundry, what would it be?
It’s the best decision we took for our studio. We couldn't have asked for a better outcome. By partnering with RNG Foundry and Microgaming, we are able to focus on building high quality games while taking advantage of the company's extensive distribution.
It’s the best of both worlds for us!