Gold Coin Studios
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About the Company
Gold Coin Studios is a privately held online casino slot developer based in Reno, Nevada.
The firm launched in July 2018 and is headed up by CEO, John Duffy a former Vice President of IGT in Sydney and Reno.
The studio's name came to the forefront in mid-2020 with a Microgaming announcement of the firm as a new studio partner and the July launch of Arthur's Gold online video slot. Prior to the Microgaming announcement, the studio may have also been known as Fortunam.
The team has combined experience of over two centuries with major players clocking time at Playtech, IGT, Gamesys, Gala Coral, Spinmatic, and other well known and successful studios and labs.
The Gold Coin products will be released exclusively through Microgaming.
CEO Duffy managed studios over 25 years around the world for IGT and still hasn't slipped off an Australian accent. During that tenure, his teams created premium content for floor machines of every type.
One of the major maths minds behind the studios is Istanbul-based Dorukan Yılmazkulaş.
After some time in University as a student and a teacher of mathematics and geometry as well as a brief stint in the US as a lifeguard, Yılmazkulaş spent about a year modeling nearly three dozen slots for Spinmatic in Turkey.
His maths drove games with features like cluster hits; 'ways to win'; sticky, stacked, and moving wild symbols; nudge mechanics; progressive contributions, and pick'em bonuses.
At Gold Coin, his list of responsibilities is too vast to list in such a brief review. In general...
While we have not identified every cogwheel nor every tooth, there are a few more critical team members we'll mention.
Daniel Blokland worked at Ash Gaming and Playtech in London for about 5 years and has a decade of experience in managing art in the role of game creation. Blokland was the go-to guy for brand owners such as Warner Brothers and DC Comics as Playtech translated the intellectual property into real money games.
Overseeing three studios, one in Bulgaria and two in the UK, Blokland was responsible for the productions of over 40 Playtech games.
Another IGT alum, located in the local market is Alan Washburn - the studio's core 2D artist. Washburn spent a little over 2 years as an artist at IGT while logging a dozen years as a freelance graphic artist, designer, and illustrator.
Prior to his work at Gold Coin we see Alan's art and design sense appear in such epic gambling games as:
- Wheel of Fortune: Wheel Across America California Coast (IGT)
- Fort Knox: Majestic Gorilla (IGT)
- Wheel of Fortune: Pink Diamond (IGT)
- The Price is Right: Plinko (IGT)
- The Price is Right: Showcase Showdown (IGT)
Much of his conceptual art is related to epic heroes, but we also find a dark sense of humor in a post-apocalyptic robot piece that portends great things for as yet developed games from his new home firm.
A game designer with all-around slot production experience here is Lewis Stephens. A Londoner, Stephens spent a good amount of time in maths at Gamesys in his hometown. He worked with prototypers, producers, and other mathematicians to develop and optimize game math models.
This interaction extended to working with artists and game producers to make sure the execution came off with greater ease. In short, he's the guy that takes the mythical math powers and brings them to life in the visual game world.
Software and Games
As of review time and the first game's launch, the studio had been too busy making awesome slots to bother with a footprint on the internet. It only makes sense to deprioritize "advertizing" since they only work for Microgaming.
We can reasonably assume that all of their products will be delivered in HTML5. With that, all of the content will be cross-platform and multichannel. In a nutshell, you can play the games on any device with a web browser and an internet connection.
We only know of three titles at this point in time. The first was launched on July 9, 2020.
- Arthur’s Gold
- Aquatic Treasures
- Animals of Africa
Arthur’s Gold is a highly volatile 5-reel spinning game set in the storied medieval land of Camelot. You'll find the game under the Microgaming category at your favorite Quickfire-powered online casino, and see the Gold Coin logo on the splash screen as the game is loading.
The theoretical return to player percentage (RTP) is over 96%. The precise number is not very important when it comes to highly volatile slots like this one for any players who don't plan to spin tens of millions of times.
That RTP number can and will swing a few percentage points higher or lower for someone who does play millions of games. Volatility creates wild swings, there's no getting around that fact.
The double symbol mechanic has been worked into this 20 payline game. Each Arthur or another double symbol will create an additional win line when it is part of a winning combination. This can translate into pays for 10 of a kind rather than 5 of a kind, and obviously more.
Land three scattered treasure chests to trigger 10 bonus spins. During the feature, scatters are removed from the reels. A new wild symbol mechanic is added to the reels. These expanding wilds can land on any or all of the three central reels.
Lock up one, two, or three wild reels to trigger a respin of the remaining reels with the wilds locked in place. New wilds trigger additional respins.
Respins do not lower the number of bonus spins remaining.
The top line win is 4000x bet per line. All 20 lines are played every game.
Please see below for links to reviews on additional games as they are released. As of Game 1 launch day, we find one piece of art not related to the three games we've been able to sleuth out. It's a cat with a wizard's hat. We'll leave that to your imagination.
The Final Analysis
Gold Coin Studios comprises a barge load of talent and experience. Like many of the Microgaming Studio Partners, it's not a raging pot of seething potential bristling with a young entrepreneurial spirit, but a well-contrived machine that seems to have been assembled for one particular purpose.
We have reason to believe this studio was created by Derivco and Duffy as a studio partner. Without any state business registration for the Gold Coin entity, we have to look at Fortunam which does list a Derivco director as a director along with Duffy.
Be that as it may, and it really doesn't matter how or why Microgaming studio partners come into play (this one was through Velo Capital Partners and RNG Foundry) it's always good to see new titles hit the market - titles that live up to the quality standards of Microgaming.
It's especially exciting to see new studios come onto the scene with the synergy that can come from such important and lengthy experience at disparate firms such as Playtech and IGT. How could games created by collaborators such as these be anything but good for the playing public?
We believe it's all for the betterment of the industry and greater enjoyment and engagement of the players.
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