Chipy’s Exclusive Interview With David Little, CPO And Co-founder Of Lightning Box

Diana Nicolae
Diana Nicolae
Jul 05, 2021
9 min read
Chipy’s Exclusive Interview With David Little, CPO And Co-founder Of Lightning Box image had a delightful conversation with David Little, CPO and co-founder of Lightning Box, an online gaming software company that specializes in slot game design, as well as providing a large variety of game styles and bonuses to suit every player's needs. Enjoy!

David Little CPO Lightning Box

Q: Hello David, and thank you for accepting to do this interview! Can you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us more about Lightning Box?

A: Sure. I’m David Little and I’m the Chief Product Officer and one of the founders of Lightning Box. We’re based in Sydney, Australia, but our original intention was to supply games to the North American market. 

This was in the land-based casino industry at first, but we have expanded to incorporate the online gaming industry as that is being regulated state by state, as well as social gaming

Alongside that, we have a long-standing presence in the European online market, where many of your readers will have tried out our games. 

Q: Lightning Box has been around since 2004, so you have plenty of experience in the iGaming industry. When it comes to your products, which one do you think it’s more beneficial? Reinventing yourself or staying traditional?

A: That’s a good question and the answer probably lies somewhere in between. I don’t think it’s at all possible to reinvent the wheel every time you create a new game, but nor is it desirable. There is a reason why people play slots – or do anything for entertainment, for that matter – and it involves comfort, familiarity, and engagement. 

People want to know what they’re playing and don’t want to have to plow through pages of fresh instructions each time because they have been innovating for the sake of it. At the same time, they want things to be kept fresh or to have ‘moved on’ from last time. 

They don’t want every game to be the same in the same way they don’t want each movie or new music album to be a carbon copy of the last one. That mixture of the old and the new is the sweet spot.

Q: When and why did you start working in this industry? What part of your work do you enjoy the most?

A: I started working in the industry in the early 1990s as a game designer at Olympic Video Gaming before moving to IGT. I then formed Gameworks International as interest in Australian five reels slots began to take off. 

We were one of the world’s first third party slot developers. I then teamed up with Peter Causley to form Lightning Box. I guess the part of my work that I enjoy the most is still the same thing as it was back in the day: coming up with new game ideas and concepts then helping bring them to life as an engaging product. 

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

A: We were looking for a name that could have both a strong visual presence and an equally strong audio sting. We had a lot of fun trying to come up with all kinds of names and had almost settled on Mad Bugle. 
Fortunately, we settled on the yellow Bolt in Box and a thunderclap. From this Lightning Box was born.  

Q: You’ve developed and released a fair amount of slot games. What do you think is the most important asset of a slot game?

A: The most important thing is that people enjoy playing it. Everyone’s got a different take on what makes a good game, and you won’t always get consensus, which is why it is important to have variety in your portfolio. But every game has to have a certain universal appeal. 

For it to be commercially successful, that appeal has to endure. Lots of games peak pretty quickly, but the better ones stick around because what made them engaging when they were first played remains there weeks, months, and even years later.

Q: Out of all the Lightning Box titles, which ones are your favorites? What makes them special?

A: Gosh, that is like asking which of your children is your favorite! I would have to say that Dolphin Gold put us on the iGaming map. It is quite a straightforward game, but it really resonated with players. Astro Cat has been a huge hit in both land-based and online casinos. 

I’ve loved watching players on YouTube yelling out for the cat: “Here Kitty, Kitty!”. My current favorite is Golden Yak. The excitement you get when the Wild gets to a 100x multiplier is intense!

LIghtning Box Golden Yak

Q: What games from your large portfolio do you think are the most successful slots of 2020?

A: Blown Away was a real surprise hit and Golden Yak has been a steady performer. Then there’s Lightning Leopard. It was launched at the back end of 2019 and was a bit of a sleeper at first. But it is enjoying an increasing following and is a steady performer. With its recent release in New Jersey and Canada, it has now hit the top of the charts.

Lightning Box Blown Away

Q: When it comes to slot games, what future trends do you think are going to be the most popular? Do you have any iGaming industry future predictions?

A: Predictions are always hard – and often the quickest way to get egg on your face! I suspect in many markets there’s a lot of new regulation on the way. That might limit design studios to what they can do or certainly prompt them to create new ways of engaging players. 

The ones that are able to work within regulations whilst still entertaining a variety of players will be the ones that are successful.

Q: What benefits does Lightning Box offer as opposed to its competitors? What makes you stick out from the crowd?

A: I think our games have a fairly distinctive look and feel. Players who have been around for a while would most likely spot them in a crowd. We’re not hidebound by it, but a lot of games have animal themes and African influences. 

Many of them have had enduring appeal and we’ve adapted some of them, such as our most recent game Chicken Fox 5x Skillstar, to add exciting new elements to tried and tested products. I think our maths modeling is pretty good too, providing the right mix of excitement and entertainment.

Q: Regarding promoting new games, what channels Lightning Box uses for this? What role does social media play in your marketing strategy?

A: We’re pretty active on LinkedIn as it’s important to keep our casino partners up to do date with what’s going on. We are doing more and more with affiliates such as yourselves too, as we realize it is important to talk directly to players. 

They are the ones who’ll be playing the games, after all. We always welcome player feedback as it informs our decision-making when we’re creating new games.

Lightning Box LinkedIn

Q: Personally, do you like to play casino games? If yes, do you have any favorite titles or game developers?

A: I love playing slots and it is the reason I got my break in the business. I try to get to the casino every few weeks and really enjoy playing the new releases. Being Australian, I do like Aristocrat’s games. One of my all-time favorites is their Wicked Winnings. ReelPlay are another Australian company I like. They are coming out with some very innovative ideas.

Q: Undeniably, Lightning Box fans are always looking forward to new game titles. Can you share with us some “behind the curtain” details about your upcoming slots?

A: We have a surfing slot coming in the new year, which we’re hoping will make a few waves! (groan!) We’ve done slots about Australian flora and fauna before, but as a Sydney-based studio, it was high time we took inspiration from the world-famous Bondi beach on our doorstep. That’ll be out in the new year, so players can start waxing their boards in preparation!

Q: Lastly, we would like to say thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions. Is there anything else you would like to mention?

A: I’d just say keep playing the games and keep enjoying them. That’s why we do it all, for as we’re players first and foremost. I’d also just like to reiterate some pretty important messages about staying in control and betting within your limits. Stay safe and look after yourselves!

Final Thoughts

Thunder is impressive but it is lightning that does all the work! We couldn’t agree more, as Lightning Box has really caught our eye after this interview. We recommend that you check out some awesome Lightning Box titles on our Free Lightning Box Games page. Good luck!

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