Exclusive Interview With AvatarUX’s Managing Director, MARCUS HONNEY

  • May 05, 2021
  • 8 min read

SlotsMate.com had the pleasure of interviewing Marcus Honney, Managing Director at AvatarUX, a casino software company that provides entertaining games focusing on the user experience. Keep on reading to find out more about this awesome game developer, as you will learn many exciting things that will definitely turn you into an AvatarUX fan! Enjoy!

Q: Greetings Marcus! We appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions. Let’s get started by telling the slot industry and players about yourself and of course, AvatarUX.

Marcus: Great to talk & thanks for having me! So, how did I end up as MD of AvatarUX? Firstly, I've always been a gamer at heart going back to when I was a kid playing computer games; the graphics were naff but the thrill was always there and over time it's amazing to see how things evolved as consoles emerged.

The online casino world is doing exactly the same thing – we started with a better foundation, but the quality of slots and casino gaming innovation is amazing! – I started my casino career as a croupier which enabled me to enter the casino and gaming world product supply vertical which became a passion resulting in now, over 25 years' experience in the industry, to date, both on and offline. 

I've worked with everyone from huge global casino brands, to small startups, including setting up and establishing NetEnt’s live casino studio, working as Head of Table Games at Yggdrasil and working as a Casino and Gaming Consultant for over six years. This journey finally led me to AvatarUX Studios in 2019

Q: AvatarUX was founded in 2018, so not very long ago. Nonetheless, can you tell us what are the biggest challenges AvatarUX has faced so far?

Marcus: The online slot market is growing fast and new global markets will open up as the number of global gamers with internet access keeps growing. The challenge for a new studio like AvatarUX, is penetrating a highly competitive market and having the logistical power to get our games before the eyes of players. 

Step one was to operate on the YGS Masters Platform, giving us the power of a global brand and even inclusion with YG promotions.

Step two has been forging partnerships with slot game distributors and online casino brands – such as the two new distribution deals with Hub888.io and Azure Tech to ensure our games go wild across Asian markets, and a deal with CasinoGrounds that includes special promotions featuring our games. These deals also expose us to streamers, which is a hugely exciting concept for brand promotion directly with users on forums and social media platforms.

Q: What inspired the company’s name and the branding? Is there an interesting story behind it?

Marcus: Slot gaming's ultimately about the user experience, so the 'UX' in the brand name is as simple as that. As for the fusion with Avatar, video games and slot machines have often featured mystical themes – something innate to the concept of the word 'Avatar'.

Traditionally, 'Avatar' came from Hinduism, denoting the descent of deities from the spiritual realms and a transformation into an array of physical manifestations. This really resonates conceptually with slot game developmentgreat games come from creative minds and you end up with a physical manifestation that gives the players an AvatarUX!

AvatarUX BountyPop

Q: What games from your portfolio do you think are the most successful?

Marcus: We've released six AvatarUX games to date. Our launch game was Lilith's Inferno, which was an instant hit and attained fast traction to attain impressive debut stats. Once we knew we had the real-world capacity to create high-end video slots, we went ahead and created a series of games featuring our now iconic PopWins™ mechanic, which expands the reels to create thousands of paylines and big win potential. 

AvatarUX Lilith's Inferno

The current PopWins™ portfolio features PopRocks™, WildPops™, CherryPop™, BountyPop™, TikiPop™ and HippoPop™. I must mention that CherryPop™ is our top game and really helped boost our exposure.

In terms of big wins, the games are really getting competitive with each other – with BountyPop™ having its nose in front in terms of max payouts. The best win on the game was gained by a Swedish player in December 2020 – they landed SEK1.7 million (approx. $202,000), just four days after the slot's release!

AvatarUX WildPops

Q: You recently released a new game, TIKIPOP™. What inspired the creation of TIKIPOP™?

Marcus: Mayan-themed slot machines have been en vogue for decades, and this magical theme remains a winner online – which is why we decided to release TikiPop™ in February 2021. 

The rich and immersive theme gave our Hong Kong creatives the perfect opportunity to create a game that looks like a genuine Asian-style slot game – complete with our trademark PopWins™ mechanic for an authentic big win chance. 

We infused the game with lots of volatility but a base game average hot rate of just over 67% – something that can generate some amazing winning runs for lucky players. TikiPop™ can payout up to 32,000x a player’s payout: €6,400 for €0.20 – and €1,600,000 if a rare high-roller stakes €50.00.

AvatarUX TikiPop

Q: What do you think will be the direction for AvatarUX in this new decade and what should we expect from your upcoming game releases?

Marcus: In 2021, we have five games set to be released, including TikiPop™ and HippoPop™ – plus three hot releases that are still under wraps at the AvatarUX studio. In the future, you can expect lots of new slot releases from the team – something that meets the demands of today's dynamic casino gamer. 

Q: Are your games designed for different player segments? If yes, could you give us examples of games for each segment of players?

Marcus: At AvatarUX, we aim to make our games appeal to the mass market slot player while providing titles with a wide range of betting levels and potential payouts.

Along with exciting and diverse themes to pick from, our slot games feature a range of volatility levels and average hit rates, offering different types of slot players, the option to pick the games that resonate with their experience, budget and general playing preferences.

Q: What can you tell us about the collaboration with Yggdrasil? In what way helped AvatarUX?

Marcus: When we launched AvatarUX, we knew we had the skill and experience to create incredible games. But we also knew we were entering a fierce industry where getting games to market fast and gaining player traction, was a big challenge for a new niche studio. 

That's why we made a strategic decision and collaborated with Yggdrasil, via the YGS Masters programme. The net effect is that we can produce our games faster, easily integrate slot mechanics and maximise brand exposure – all while maximising ROI and retaining our own brand identity. 

We've even managed to feature in one of Yggdrasil's famous slot promotions, with our own 20K PopWins™ Prize Drop, featuring in the second phase of Yggdrasil's 80K Lucky March promo.

AvatarUX PopWins

Q: Lastly, are there any markets you’re targeting right now? Are you looking to enter new markets in the near future?

Marcus: We really feel we launched AvatarUX at a key time in the online casino gaming world, with player numbers globally, expected to rise dramatically in the next 5-10 years. 

We are continually looking at new opportunities and will push into those new markets when we feel the time is right, and with the right partner(s), as we did and are doing with Asia. There are predicted to be more players from across the world into slots, so our themes need to cater for all tastes, globally!

Final Thoughts

We hope you had a lot of fun reading this interview and that you are now eager to try out some of the free Avatar UX games, here at SlotsMate! Best of luck!

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