Live casino has become increasingly popular in recent months and the big suppliers are constantly driving to bring the latest innovations and never seen before experiences to market.
NetEnt Live has been at the cutting edge of live dealer for some time now, and its latest release, Roulette Max, delivers a thrilling live casino experience with the chance to win big.
To learn more about Roulette Max and how NetEnt Live has created a highly volatile game without any RNG mechanics, we sat down with the provider’s live casino head honcho, Andres Rengifo.
But before we do, check out a video of Roulette Max:
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Roulette Max is like nothing we’ve seen before in the live casino environment. Can you tell us about the game and the inspiration behind it?
Roulette Max is designed to bring authenticity to the new genre of volatile live casino table games. It features multiple wheels: one main and three additional X wheels, which increase the pay-out potential from your usual bets while multiplying the excitement by four as each ball lands.
What really makes the game unique, however, is that it introduces multiple features in one game: a maximum win of 5,000x, an entirely new concept in live casino; spread bets and combination bets; and game presenters which commentate on the round.
Combined, these three elements create a high volatility gameplay that has a huge amount of action throughout.
The idea was born out of our drive to create a product that truly challenged the market standard. For a long time the live casino sector has been reluctant to stray too far from the land-based experience, but we believe there is huge appetite for bigger and better products that leverage all the capabilities that online technologies have to offer.
Roulette Max is our mission statement: there’s opportunity to do so much more, and we’re ready to deliver it.
Can you tell us more about the how the project developed from the initial ideas through to launch?
At the end of 2019 we launched our Auto Roulette Studio, which featured multiple camera angles to display the action from different viewpoints.
The game has been a fantastic success ever since, but we recognised there was potential to experiment with the format more and immediately started to explore how we could combine the outcome of the wheels.
The concept fit nicely into a second ambition of ours: to bring the opportunity of life changing winnings to our players. The combination of the two drove us to create a whole new concept.
It’s been a journey with a lot of changes and necessary iterations, but we remained true to the original concept and the essence of what we wanted to achieve. We always maintain a “quality above all” mindset, which guaranteed the outcome was a product that was reliable, fun, and entertaining for our customers.
Creating an entirely original version of roulette must have been a complex yet fun experience. What were the biggest challenges?
Given that Roulette Max introduces a new way of playing live casino, the greatest challenge was to ensure it was understandable.
We wanted the concepts to be simple and easy to grasp, especially since players are not yet familiar with them. There were technical complexities too, such as keeping the wheels in sync and ensuring that all actions, camera changes, animations and moments of excitement were aligned.
This was something we had to test, try and repeat many times to meet a standard we were happy with.
We also had a lot of compliance boxes to tick, since we are a company that has led the way in regulated markets in the last few years. Fulfilling the requirements during development was a complex but necessary task since Roulette Max is like nothing that’s been done before.
Overall, we’re immensely pleased with the final product and excited to see how it is received. As always, getting feedback and acting on it with the right speed will be the biggest challenge, but we are ready for it.
How did the idea of the new ‘game presenter’ come about?
You might notice some similarities with the style of presenting seen in streamer videos and this is exactly where we drew inspiration.
Players enjoy live casino because there is a level of real-life interaction with the dealer. We wanted to take this a step further and introduce another layer of direct communication.
Rather the spinning the wheels or being behind the tables, the game presenters commentate on the play to build anticipation during the whole game round and are also there to teach players about the new bet types.
The game is highly volatile and offers a maximum payout of 5,000x but with no RNG game engine. How have you been able to maintain the pure live casino mechanics?
In essence, the three X wheels were added to the standard auto roulette wheel with the sole purpose of boosting the multipliers in the game.
This increases volatility without adding any RNG overlay so players can win big with a small stake on every round, with the main bet pay-out directly linked to classic RTP and probability.
The increased maximum win has a huge impact on the experience and we’re incredibly pleased with how well the concept applies to roulette.
Roulette Max introduces spread bet and combination bet types. Can you explain how these features work and what they add to the experience?
These are both essentially side bets that bring an extra thrill. The spread bet is based on the combined sum of the results of all the wheels, while the combination bet is based on the same number landing on all the wheels.
They both bring a whole other dimension to the betting style and will no doubt become a staple of any future roulette variant. They’re not difficult to understand either, which was an important consideration for us when we were experimenting with different betting options.
With all these new mechanical innovations, how did you create the visuals to match?
To create an environment that enhances the mechanics, we needed the visuals to be equally as bold. The colours, lasers and flashing lights all helps to emphasise the rhythm of the game.
The music is nothing like any other products out there either. Combined with the presenters, the whole experience has a much more 21st century feel.
And finally, what more can we expect from NetEnt Live?
More of the same! Roulette Max has been a major project of 2020 and it’s incredibly rewarding to see it finally being unveiled.
To complement the release, as well as the launch of Baccarat and several product improvements we’ve made throughout the year, we are continuing to explore how we can innovate on the live casino offering.
I believe the industry is reaching a turning point – and it’s exciting to be a part of it.