VegasSlotsOnline News Talks to 4ThePlayer Co-Founder Henry McLean

  • 4ThePlayer began in 2018 with a mission to create the most exciting games for the player
  • McLean says the supplier talks to a lot of players to turn pain points into pleasure points
  • The firm is in multiple regulated markets, now also making games specifically for the US
  • 3 Lucky Witches offers all the fun of 3 Lucky Leprechauns with some vital improvements
4ThePlayer co-founder Henry McLean chatted with VSO News about his company.

Gaming supplier 4ThePlayer deems itself a “challenger brand” in the iGaming space and it’s easy to see why. The five-year-old company has now released a wide range of slots with the distinctive 4ThePlayer style that puts player entertainment first.

The newest release in that series, 3 Lucky Witches, is due to go live on October 17. The slot title has made it into VegasSlotsOnline News’ latest Slots of the Week due to its unique features and spooky theme that works well as we approach Halloween.

To find out a bit more about that game and the company itself, VSO News sat down with one of 4ThePlayer’s founders, Henry McLean. He currently serves as the supplier’s Commercial and Marketing Director.

Can you tell us a bit about why you, Andrew Porter, and Chris Ash decided to create 4ThePlayer in 2018?

It was Andrew’s baby. He’s the CEO and he was the one who first came up with the idea of wanting to do something different in the space. We all saw a real opportunity. We saw there were too many gaming providers focusing on quantity rather than quality.

focusing on what matters: the player

Instead, we aimed to strip it back and do something different. That’s where the idea for 4ThePlayer was born, focusing on what matters: the player.

It wasn’t until November 2019 that your first game came out. Were there any challenges in creating that first game?

It was quite tricky because we had to set up all of our processes but it was a lot of fun at the same time. The process isn’t too different from what it is today. But something worth mentioning is that 9k Yeti continues to be one of our top-performing titles even to this day – so we obviously did something right!

Your mission is to “create the most exciting games for players.” What are some ways you make sure you succeed in this mission?

The biggest thing we do is talk to a lot of players. It could be on social media, forums, or streamer chat rooms. We engage with them and find out what they like, or more importantly what they don’t like. We will flip that pain point into a pleasure point. So for example, with our recent releases, we will ask people what they enjoyed in the game and what they didn’t enjoy and then learn from it. We also spend a lot of time talking to the casinos that take our games to learn what they know about players and then leverage that information.

We spend a lot of time enjoying slots ourselves so we can feel those pain points

The other thing we do is we play a lot of games. We spend a lot of time enjoying slots ourselves so we can feel those pain points. It’s amazing when I go to conferences the amount of game developers that don’t actually enjoy playing slots. I would say slots are one of my hobbies, so we definitely understand.

Are there any player trends you’re seeing currently based on this information?

It depends on market by market. In the UK, we’re seeing a flip to less volatile games because you can’t have autoplay, the spins are a bit slower, and you can’t buy a bonus. So players like less volatility and a game that keeps them engaged while they wait for that bonus.

Meanwhile, in the US, lines versus ways is a very noticeable difference. If you go on the casino floors it’s all lines games, and this is where a lot of US gamblers have been playing for many years. So we’ve looked at that for our US approach, as traditionally our games are ways games.

How is that US expansion going? Do you have to approach it in a different way than Europe?

It’s a very different market. We’re actually in New Jersey and Michigan, and then we have two more states we are about to announce as well.

we’re starting to work on our first titles that are made totally new for the US

In terms of approach, we have typically taken our top-performing content from outside the US and brought it into the market. Now, we’re starting to work on our first titles that are made totally new for the US. With those ones, we’ve taken our learnings about the market to cater to players.

3 Lucky Witches is your next release. Can you tell us a bit about what makes this game so great?

This is a great example of us talking to players and casinos and using that to improve something. We released 3 Lucky Leprechauns and that proved a big hit, so we decided to do a sequel to it but only after speaking to people to determine what we could have done better.

The biggest thing people all said was that the ladder felt a bit unachievable, or took too long to climb. In the game, there is a ladder on the side of the wheel that you can work your way up with 17 layers. So we squashed this down and made a wheel with five segments. We also sprinkled the prizes throughout so rather than having all the best prizes at the top of this ladder, players can now get some bigger prizes in the earlier layers.

3 Lucky Witches slot reels by 4ThePlayer

Another fun thing we did with this one is we got players to choose the names of the witches on social media. We did a little vote, which included some really weird names that we couldn’t use, but it was a great little exercise.

Finally, what’s next for the rest of 2023?

We have actually got four more games coming out this year. We have 4 Fantastic Lobsters and 1k Yeti. 1k Yeti is a really interesting one because the Yeti is back but it’s a low-volatility game. That’s actually our first lines game as well, a 40-line slot. We’ve then got 21 Thor Lightning Ways which is coming via Relax Gaming. Then finally we have 9k Yeti going into retail via our relationship with Reflex Gaming.

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