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Mission: Macau

Friday, 29 December 2017 02:13
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IGT is confident its new range of titles developed specifically for Asia will make a major impact when deployed in Macau next year.

Global gaming manufacturer IGT is preparing to deploy its first trial units of a number of new slot machines games onto Macau’s casino floors in early 2018 after a successful unveiling at November’s MGS Entertainment Show at the Venetian Macao.

Among the newly developed series of games are IGT’s Prize Disk and Hyper Hits concepts which represent a turning point for the company, having been developed with new math models designed specifically for the Asian market.

Prize Disk, which currently boasts two games – “Elephant King” and “Wolf Ridge” – introduces an innovative feature whereby potential bonus wins, free games and jackpots scroll continuously above the five reels and are won whenever a prize disk lands on that reel.

Hyper Hits, featuring titles “The Golden Bow” and “Lotus Princess,” aims to take player and operator flexibility to new levels, with games available as linked progressive or standalone progressives. Operators can also configure denomination, RTP and six jackpot start-up options, with players able to win five different bonus prizes plus jackpots.

“The thing that keeps coming through throughout the region is that operators are looking for a point of difference,” explains IGT Managing Director Asia-Pacific, Andrew Hely, in regards to Prize Disk and Hyper Hits.

“They’re not looking for the ‘me too’ stuff, they’ve had good success from a small range of games from an even smaller range of suppliers so they want points of difference and they are prepared to trial them.

“We’re still awaiting our approvals from the DICJ but we anticipate that both of these series will be approved around January, so we’re hoping to have a large part of our portfolio on the floors in Macau in the first quarter of next year and look forward to seeing some strong results when we start our trials then.”

Prize Disk and Hyper Hits lead what IGT hopes will be a new era for the company, which has recently overhauled its entire business model to place greater focus on individual regions.

“There has been a lot of talk about market-attuned products in recent years,” Hely continues. “One thing we’ve focused on doing is to move away from just skinning a US game with some Asian themes or graphics and trying to get to the core of the game – making sure we’ve got a math model that is attuned to the particular marketplace.

“Once we get that right we can ensure everything else is culturally attuned around that in terms of theming and graphics. It’s a combination of things that we think are going to work better than in the past.”

While it will still be a few months before players get to experience these new games in Macau, they have already been deployed in Australia and New Zealand with promising results.

“Which is not to say that what happens in the ANZ market is a prescription for success here but we know anecdotally that if some things work well in, say, the high end of the club market in NSW, there is normally a good chance they will get a decent hearing in Macau given that the players have been conditioned to those styles of games,” Hely says.

“We’ve taken some comfort from the fact that we’ve had solid performance from these games for four to five months now in the ANZ business and we’re hopeful it will signal a resurgence in Macau. We think we’ve got the right product, we’re just waiting to prove our performance.”

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