Aurum Signature Studios: Fifth anniversary Q&A
Madelein Ozok, Head of Aurum Signature Studios, talks bespoke games with European Gaming as the studio celebrates five years.
Aurum Signature Studios supplies bespoke content, exclusively for Games Global customers. Read the full interview below, originally published by European Gaming on 5 February 2024.
Established in South Africa in 2019, Aurum Signature Studios is a supplier with a strong reputation for developing bespoke and custom content for operators around the world. Over the last five years, not only have they created more than 75 market-leading titles, but they are responsible for iconic titles such as 9 Jokers of Fire, Casino Rewards 20 Year Celebration and House of Jokers.
As Aurum celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, European Gaming spoke to Madelein Ozok, Head of Aurum, to take a deep dive into what has made the studio successful during this time and discuss what is on the horizon.
Congratulations on celebrating your fifth anniversary as a fully-fledged studio! Can you start by giving us an insight into how the journey began?
Thank you! I am extremely proud of Aurum Signature Studios and it’s fantastic to celebrate our five-year anniversary this month, having established the studio in January 2019. We are specialists in developing bespoke content that meets the specific needs and preferences of both players and operators, something that’s also hugely important to Games Global.
In a world with endless content, we saw that customers were asking for something that their competitors didn’t have, and that’s where we come in. We have carved a fantastic niche out for ourselves and have ultimately been able to give customers a competitive advantage.
Many studios don’t ever make it this far, how important was it that you built a strong, dependable and close-knit team to keep the company firing on all cylinders?
I’m very lucky to have such an incredible team at Aurum, probably one of the best in the industry! I was in a fortunate position where I could handpick each team member individually, so I know that they all bring great talent to the table and to every bespoke creation.
Each person is talented in their own right, but the epitome of our long-term success has to be the tight-knit family culture that we’ve fostered over the last five years. As the team has grown, we’ve ensured that each new member both fits and adds to our culture, holding our values close to them. The entire Aurum team is supportive and collaborative, and each is driven by the desire to improve in everything we do.
Aurum has built a strong reputation for developing bespoke games, talk us through your creative process and how you tailor each game for its intended audience.
Developing a bespoke game is a collaborative effort between ourselves and our customer from the very start of the creative process, right through until the player takes the first spin.
Our bespoke games are a combination of what works well globally, what is trending right now and what works well for their market and players. We use this data to guide customers and what we believe will be a winning game for them.
At the early stage, data analysis is a key indicator for our team to gain an important understanding of what has worked well for the customer in the past. From there, we create several concepts that are displayed on a mood board which are carefully analysed and approved.
Once we have the core ideation sorted then the mathematics follow. Aurum has access to the best-performing math engines from Games Global’s exclusive studios, such as Immortal Romance™, Mega Moolah™, Power Combo™ and Epic Strike™ to name a few. We offer a range of options for the customer to choose from, keeping the best performing mechanics for their market and players in mind.
Once we’ve come to the end of the creative process and the customer is happy that the game meets their needs creatively, as well as expectations from a performance basis, we’ll share a comprehensive marketing pack to support game promotion, ensuring that it is smoothly rolled out to players and that it performs as best as it can.
This holistic, collaborative approach to understanding and fulfilling our customers’ vision has proven a success time and time again, with games such as BV Group’s 9 Bubbles Pop exceeding expectations. It’s also helped us ensure our localized content hits the spot with players in specific markets, such as NLO’s Netherlands-targeted 9 Jokers of Fire, as well as Danske Spil’s Danmarks Vikinger and hugely successful follow-up Danmarks Vikinger 2: Power Combo™, tailored specifically to the Danish market.
You’ve developed a whole host of Mega Moolah™ and Maple Moolah™ slots over the last few years. How satisfying has it been to play a big part in the history of such an iconic jackpot?
Considering the Mega Moolah™ network jackpot has deservedly earned its place in the iGaming history books, it’s been fantastic to deliver numerous bespoke titles to individual customers, as the jackpot significantly elevates the player excitement. As a studio we have been lucky to bring the Mega Moolah™ brand to life collaborating with the likes of William Hill, Napoleon Sports and Casino, and ComeOn.
What’s more, we were incredibly lucky to have become the first studio trusted to develop a sequel to Mega Moolah™, which is available exclusively to Games Global customers in all key jackpot markets. We were also the first to create a Maple Moolah™ title, debuting the Ontario-ringfenced jackpot in the quirky steampunk themed Gold Factory Jackpots™.
As you can imagine, we are extremely proud of these achievements and love being part of the great success associated with these mammoth progressive jackpots, helping to extend their reach to even more operators and players globally.
If you had to pick one just thing, what has been the crowning achievement for Aurum Signature Studios to date?
Goodness, there have been so many incredible moments over the last five years and it’s genuinely difficult to know where to begin. We’re proud of every single game we have created, especially those that have been top performers in their respective markets.
If I had to pick just one of our 75+ games, it would have to be the very first Mega Moolah™ title we were tasked with creating for a top operator during our first year of business. It helped put us on the map and allowed us to showcase what our incredible team were capable of doing, both creatively and technically, and from a performance perspective.
What are your goals for the next five years? What would you like to be looking back on with pride on your tenth anniversary?
In April 2023 I took on an additional role as Head of Bespoke and Custom Games, collaborating with other exclusive Games Global studios to deliver even more bespoke content to our customers across the globe. We have already enjoyed great success with these collaborations so far but it’s imperative that we continue to grow this side of the business, meeting the ever-growing demand for targeted, top-tier content, whilst helping customers to exceed their market ambitions.