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Jumbo Technology's Flirting Scholar Tang stakes its claim as the first 100% Chinese slot game in Macau

Tuesday, 26 January 2010 00:00
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A slot product launch at MGM Grand Macau marks what could be a revolution in creating truly local rather than 'localised' casino games

The distinction between local and 'localised' may sound to some readers like splitting hairs. But Flirting Scholar Tang is not just a stand-alone volatile slot product of the sort favoured by many Macau slot players. The game from Taiwan-based manufacturer Jumbo Technology also has themes that are instantly recognisable for a Chinese audience. The story of a young man's search for a bride is a universal one across cultures, but the story of Flirting Scholar Tang strikes a chord immediately with Chinese players without any need to explain the context.

"In Flirting Scholar Tang, the bonus is exciting and difficult to obtain, because just like in real life, it's sometimes hard for the young man to 'find' the girl," points out Herman Ng, Managing Director of Asia Pioneer Entertainment (APE). APE is acting as Jumbo's distributor, service agent and adviser in Macau for the new games.

MGM premiere

A double bank of Flirting Scholar Tang and its supporting games were launched in MGM Grand Macau before Christmas at a ceremony attended by guests including Peter Johns, Director of Slot Operations for MGM Grand Macau, and Simon Liu, Vice President of Business Development for Jumbo Technology.

Mr Ng says he can't stress enough the significance of having in Flirting Scholar Tang a game produced by Chinese in Greater China for Chinese consumption. That's as opposed to a game created by a clever team of Chinese expatriates working in a research and development studio for a foreign manufacturer on the other side of the world. The use of an ethnic Chinese designer by a foreign manufacturer doesn't necessarily guarantee product acceptance in a market such as Macau, suggests Mr Ng.

"Take the graphics, for example," he states.

"The eyes of a character in the game might be done in Ching Dynasty style. But if the theme of the slot game is more contemporary, then the graphical style and the theme don't match. A Chinese player would notice that straight away. These things are important," points out Mr Ng.

Chinese brand

"Once we pass this first phase and Flirting Scholar Tang and its supporting games are well established and well accepted, we are pretty sure we will create for the first time a Chinese slot brand in Macau," says Mr Ng.

The supporting games referred to by Mr Ng have themes equally familiar to Chinese players. They are: MahJong, in reference to the immensely popular Chinese board game; Wukong, the traditional Chinese story of Sun Wukong, known in the West as 'The Monkey King'; Qin Empire, ruled by the Qin Dynasty of the third century BC (not to be confused with the later Qing Dynasty) and New Year, referring to the Lunar New Year and its central role in the rhythm of Chinese business and family life.

If Mr Ng's claim to have created a 'Chinese slot brand' sounds ambitious, it's worth reiterating that Flirting Scholar Tang and its supporting games are 100% Chinese in conception, execution and delivery.

"For example, only people growing up in Chinese culture know how things are done at Chinese New Year. They know the trends in Chinese culture over the last 50 years or so," he explains.

"Chinese people will be proud to see their culture truly being part of the slot industry for the very first time. We're making history."

 

Storyline

"With Flirting Scholar Tang, which we used as a theme for the launch, even the game itself mirrors the way Flirting Scholar Tang picks his wife," explains Mr Ng. "For players to get into the bonus feature, they have to make sure there are two girls on the screen. So the whole game and the whole theme relate to that shared cultural heritage. People know what it's about."

The launch of Flirting Scholar Tang and its supporting games in MGM Grand Macau is just the start of an ambitious expansion of Jumbo Technology's presence in that market with support from APE. SJM's new property, Casino Oceanus, next door to the Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal, has taken eight of the slots, and Mocha, the slot hall chain targeted at local players, has also expressed strong interest in the products.

"Before the Chinese New Year, we will be launching 24 machines in The Venetian [Macao]. Pretty soon we will also be launching in the Grand Lisboa. Mocha also will have some. In the next few months, we will be seeing around 100 machines in town, which I think for a new product is quite impressive," says Mr Ng of APE.

About Jumbo Technology

The Taiwan-based company was established in 2000 and specialises in designing, developing and manufacturing professional casino gaming products. It also distributes advanced gaming devices throughout the Asian market. Jumbo's product line includes video slots, bingo, sic bo, roulette, baccarat and Jumbo Club Management Systems.

About Asia Pioneer Entertainment

Asia Pioneer Entertainment (APE), Jumbo Technology's distributor in Macau, was established in 2004. Services offered by APE include: distribution of third party electronic gaming machines (slot machines, roulettes, and other multiplayer equipment); parts distribution and post-installation servicing.

APE also provides consultancy services to large gaming companies in Macau and helps to set up slot halls. It is responsible for installing and servicing more than 300 slot machines and multiplayer electronic gaming tables in Macau.

APE describes its workforce as dynamic, devoted and professional with strong commitment to customer service. The company's experienced technicians provide 24-hour service and support to customers seven days a week.

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