A week after launching its five-reel and 45-payline Oink Country Love title and online casino games innovator Microgaming has premiered the new EmotiCoins video slot following over a year of development.

Now live on the Microgaming and Quickfire online casino platforms, the five-reel and 30-payline EmotiCoins was initially conceived by staff members Anna McChesney and Rob Mercer before the idea was pitched to the staff-powered Idea Factory innovation initiative in June of last year.

From there, the initial concept behind the emoticon-themed game received the support of Microgaming’s Business Intelligence team while its design was subsequently refined based on research into the typical users of the pictorial language.

“As a marketer, to me the use of emoticons in social media and communication is fascinating; they have essentially become a universal language,” read a statement from McChesney, Public Relations Manager for Microgaming. “Ninety-two percent of the world’s online population use emoticons so developing a themed game would automatically target the demographic of our operators’ players.”

The duo then pitched a more refined EmotiCoins concept to a decision-making panel made up of senior executives in November before the final go-ahead was unveiled at a Microgaming staff Christmas party in December.

A Microgaming games development team then got down to work and began to bring the online video slot to life complete with the tears of joy, kiss and winking face emoticons as well as a pair of bonus features designed to complement the title’s overall theme.

“It was amazing to see what they did with the research and background we developed,” read a statement from Mercer, who is a member of the Isle of Man-based firm’s Enterprise Solutions Team. “We really love the completed game.”

Offering a minimum bet of $0.30 as well as the chance to wager up to 92,000 coins, EmotiCoins moreover comes complete with vibrant graphics, an upbeat soundtrack and the Wild Blast and Wild Stickers bonus features. During its free spins game, players can trigger the Wild Blast innovation to collect up to five extra wild symbols for a guaranteed win while landing a trio of scatter icons in the base game will initiate Wild Stickers for a maximum of ten free spins.

“We are super excited to be taking live the first game concept driven from the Idea Factory by staff members who would ordinarily not be involved in game conception and it’s a great game to be our first,” read a statement from Lydia Barbara, Head of Innovation Strategy for Microgaming.