Interview With Katarina Hudecova & Ivelina Balova From GONG Gaming

CasinosHunter has organized a new Q&A, this time a double Q&A, with GONG Gaming! For the first time, we’ve got two Speakers - Katarina Hudecova, Commercial Manager, and Ivelina Balova, Game Producer at GONG Gaming, revealing more about this new and innovative software developing company!

Interview With Katarina Hudecova & Ivelina Balova From GONG Gaming
13 min read

About GONG Gaming

GONG Gaming, an online casino software developing company, is a new one. It was founded, as it may seem, under very unfavourable conditions - in 2020, in the middle of a very complicated situation globally for all industries. However, GONG Gaming is unique, because despite the fact that the company itself is new, the team behind it has some impressive experience in the industry. 

Today, GONG Gaming has two international licenses - one by the UKGC, and one by the MGA. It develops 1 game every 1,5 months, but its productivity constantly grows, and soon, the provider hopes to deliver 1 brand new game each month. Considering how unique are the games by GONG Gaming, and how much effort is put into graphic and soundtrack behind each product, little surprise that such a young studio makes 1 slot per month - for now. 

Another complete proof that online casinos games by GONG Gaming are worth the time and effort put in them is the fact that GONG Gaming has already managed to become one of the software suppliers for Microgaming. Now Microgaming will help GONG deliver its games to more regulated markets around the world, which is a good thing for all of us. 

Why? Because GONG Gaming has a unique vision of its casino games. The company develops its own technologies - like Genome - to create exactly what they want to create. GONG combines classic features and innovations to make the online slots loved by players, and at the same time, to attract younger, more technologically advanced audiences, too. 

So, GONG Gaming is truly a unique company in the niche, and this Q&A will help you learn more about it.

About Katarina Hudecova - Commercial Manager

I create the commercial strategy of GONG Gaming and I am the face and voice of the company in front of clients. I also act as an intermediate person between Microgaming and GONG Gaming.

Katarina Hudecova's favourite slot or game by GONG Gaming:

Empire Shields definitely, because of its unique features and the fluency of the game.

About Ivelina Balova - Game Producer

I have experience in both online and land-based casinos and I have been part of the industry for 15 years. At GONG I ensure all processes and procedures run smoothly and that our games are innovative and up to date with industry trends.

Ivelina Balova's favourite slot or game by GONG Gaming: 

It is difficult to choose. I have two favourite slots - Maya U Max™ and Pirate’s Quest. Both of them have very appealing features that are complemented by extremely innovative game mechanics. Maya U Max™ is the one that really stands out and it is one of a kind with its impressive increase of ways up to 248832. What I most like about Pirate’s Quest is the Map feature, which keeps me entertained as a player and motivates me to play further and make progress to reach higher levels.

Q/A Session With Katarina Hudecova & Ivelina Balova From GONG Gaming

Hello Katarina, and Ivelina! Thank you for finding time to take part in our CasinosHunter Q&A session. For starters, could you please tell our readers a little bit more about yourself and your work for GONG Gaming? 

Katarina: I have 10 years of experience in the industry and I have been working at companies like Yggdrasil, Pariplay and Entain. Right now I am the commercial manager of GONG Gaming and I am responsible for the commercial strategy of the company. Moreover, I present the studio and its games to clients and operators and lead overall communication with them. In addition, I act as an intermediate between GONG and Microgaming.

Ivelina: I am proud to be the Product Owner in GONG, and as such, I am making sure that processes are running smoothly on all ends. I am the person that observes and manages all procedures from A to Z. As someone with a creative background, I am ensuring that all of our games are innovative and up to date with all business trends. Keeping in mind that high quality is crucial, I give it all to produce the perfect games by working closely with the whole team. I have 15 years of experience in the industry and I have worked both for online casinos as well as land-based ones. This makes me quite versatile in my understanding of slot games and so I try to bring the real-life casino feeling online. I want our players to feel like they are in a loud, exciting live casino without leaving the comfort of their homes.

GONG Gaming was founded in 2020, which was a complicated year for all businesses, globally. What challenges did the company have to face? 

Katarina: “Moving from the office to remote work at home has strengthened our team. Unfortunately, I wasn't part of the team at the beginning, so I don’t have any observation on how my colleagues coped with the lockdowns.”

Ivelina: “Yes, 2020 was hard for the whole world and every industry had to adapt and face challenges of their own. But we see 2020 as an incredible year because this is when GONG Gaming was founded and our family was born. We also faced some challenges because of the pandemic however our partnership with Microgaming was a headstart for the studio. With such a powerful partner we were able to successfully reach the global market for slot games. “

GONG Gaming was created by people who have already worked in the online gambling niche for many years, and had some impressive experience. What was the inspiration behind GONG Gaming? Was it a desire to pursue newer approaches, or maybe innovations, that bigger companies are so reluctant to accept? 

Katarina:

GONG is all about the new approach and innovation.

We are not afraid to experiment with classical features and give them a GONG-feeling or create games with completely new features. We try to add something exceptional to all games and make them somehow unique.

Ivelina: The founders of GONG have been part of the industry for many years with a huge love for business and games.

The driving force of the company is to be competitive and reach a level where we can compete with established slot game developers.

We are confident that with innovation and having Microgaming alongside us we will achieve it all and soon be part of the big players in the industry.

In your opinion, what makes GONG Gaming as a company stand out from the crowd of competitors? And what makes the company’s games special if compared to other games? 

Katarina: Our approach is unique and innovative, we have a different view on how games should look like. Moreover, to reach a broader target group we combine classical, loved by players features with ones that are new and innovative. We do that to attract and appeal to younger audiences.

Ivelina:

We combine classics and innovation, and create harmony between the two.

Also, we are not just a team, we are the GONG family. We believe that bringing together experienced professionals from the industry and fresh, creative people are the perfect combination for success.

GONG Gaming has already agreed an exclusive deal with Microgaming as a supply partner, which is huge success for a young company. Congratulations! What new opportunities this partnership has opened for the company?

Katarina: We are exclusive partners of Microgaming which is why we can benefit from all the opportunities they are offering.

Ivelina: In my opinion, the most valuable aspect of our partnership with Microgaming is being able to reach the worldwide market for slots via their diverse distribution and communication channels.

As far as we know, one of the best things about GONG Gaming products is the combination of fresh, unusual themes and designs, with a story behind each game. What is the creative process for game development at GONG Gaming? How much time and effort is needed to make a slot game, from idea to release?

Katarina:

We endorse a 360 degrees approach and all decisions are collectively made by everyone in the company.

Firstly, each project starts with ideation and brainstorming and our inspirations come from the whole gaming industry, not only slots. Of course, every team member is welcome to offer new game ideas and has input about designs and features. We make sure everyone is involved in the whole process from ideation to building. Unfortunately, I can’t say how much time is needed to make a slot as each game has a different number of features which changes the level of complexity.

Ivelina: As a cohesive team and family all projects are discussed and executed with the participation of all team members. It is very important that everyone is open-minded towards the comments and feedback of others. Every game is different and so is the time and effort we spend on creating it, but we make sure we do everything needed to develop high quality, innovative games.

Are all GONG Gaming slots mobile compatible? Are there any particular challenges for the company when making mobile games, compared to desktop casino games?

Katarina:

Yes, all games are mobile compatible.

In fact, we use a mobile-first approach for all slots because a significant portion of our user group has a preference for mobile devices. This inspires us to constantly innovate the mobile interface and for this reason, at the beginning of the next year we will introduce an improved UI for mobile devices.”

Ivelina: Yes, they are! There are always challenges and that’s why my job is so interesting and diverse.

How many slots does GONG Gaming make per month?

Katarina: For 2021 we will have 9 games in total - that makes it approximately one game every month and a half. For next year we are planning on releasing one game per month.

Ivelina: From 1 to 100 * laughs* It depends on the month, February is too short, so maybe up to 80. Joke aside, we will do as many games as possible, but always keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity.

It is said that two Microgaming releases by GONG Gaming - Pirate’s Quest, and Skulls Heap games - are very successful. Can you name other games by GONG that are popular among gamblers?

Katarina: Lucky O’Mega is our latest release and we are very proud of its success during the first few days after it went live. I have big hopes for Empire Shields, coming out on 6th December 2021. I received great feedback and have noticed a high interest and demand from operators during the presentations. If I were to say what’s the next hit, it would be Empire Shields for sure.

Ivelina: Maya U Max™ with its original GONG feature the U Max™ symbol is our most innovative game and attracts players with its up to 248832 ways. And as Katarina mentioned already, we are very happy about the huge interest in the recently released Lucky O’Mega.

We have noticed that currently, there are only slots in your portfolio. Any plans on making other types of casino games? 

Katarina: So far, we have only slots, but we are looking into other products as well. So, let’s see what the future brings for GONG Gaming!

Ivelina: We are less than 2 years old, so we are quite young. Nevertheless, once we are grown enough we might surprise our fans with something new and exciting like table games or even something that players have never seen before in the business.

Can you please tell us more about Genome technology by GONG Gaming? What are its unique specs and features? 

Ivelina: Genome is an iGaming Platform and the sacred weapon that allows us to work as efficiently as possible. This is done in the real environment simulator that gives us the opportunity to plan ahead and preview content during early stages of game development.

Could you please tell us a bit more about the upcoming games by GONG Gaming - namely, Buffalo Ways, Witch Feature, and Wild Bonanza?

Katarina: The next two releases will be Royal League Zuma Riches, going live 22.11.21 and Empire Shields, coming out 06.12.21. I can't share much about the other games as Witch Feature and Wild Bonanza are still work in progress and we are preparing some exciting GONG-special features. And, Buffalo Ways is heavily influenced by Skulls Heap, one of our most popular games, as you already know.

Ivelina: Buffalo Ways has a very common theme, with classical mechanics and features which make the game attractive. We are very excited about Witch Feature and Wild Bonanza because they are extremely entertaining with their various innovative features and beautiful graphics and animations. I am really looking forward to our next releases that Katarina mentioned, especially Empire Shields which I have big hopes for. And of course, Royal League Zuma Riches will be a great addition to our Royal League game series with its Cash bonus, Token collection, Golden Spins, Boost mode and Royal League Jackpot.

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