IAG JANUARY 2015 - page 10

In Focus
to family outings inMacau, which amazes him still when he thinks
about themassive changes that gaming has wrought on a city that
still bore the sleepy trappings of its colonial past when he first set
foot in it.
He recalls, “I’d been back two or three times with customers
from Australia, and it hadn’t gottenmuch further than the first big
casino you see when you get off the ferry, and I hadn’t seen the rest
of the development that had taken place until I came up earlier this
year. The thing that’s really bowled us over is the scale of what has
happened, and the speedwithwhich it’s happened, and the quality,
and it’s really the quality thing thatmadeus sit up andgo, ‘Wow!’”
He’s joined Aristocrat on the heels of a banner year marked by
an 11.5% surge in global EBITDA on revenues that grew by 7% over
2013 tomore thanA$870million. The leadership thecompanyenjoys
in East Asia was a big part of the story, and when he looks across
the region, at markets in the throes of transformation such as the
Philippines, he’s doubly confident in the company’s prospects.
“As an Australian resident outside gaming I had no idea,” he
remarks. “I knew aboutMacau, and I guess I’ve always had a special
interest inMacau. But amazing things are happening inManila, the
development that’s happeningnow. There’s a lot goingon.”
Which touchesonsomethingabout the largerstrategydiscussion
he finds especially appealing: the sizable investment the company
makes in reaching across different market segments with games
that embody awholedifferent development paradigm—lines like the
E*Series—designed inpartnershipwith the likesof JoeKaminkowof
IGT fame andDanMarks, oneof the foundersofHigh 5Games. The
E*Series boasts six colorfully themed titles currently available on the
workhorse ViridianWide Screen, all graphically rich and engineered
for fun, accessibilityand timeondevice.They includeSkyRider,which
takes Aristocrat’s popularMax Stacks technology—stacked symbols
added to the reels on each spin, with both the symbol and stack
generated randomly—and spices it upwith a bit of 5 Dragonsmath
in the formof selectable freegames.Another isStormQueens,which
offers a less volatileexperience that innovatesonMaxStackswithan
oversized block symbol that unlocks the feature when it appears on
reels 2, 3 and 4 and can combinewith stacked symbols on the ends
to fill the screen.
“We’vegot thisgreat collectionof creativegeniuseswhoproduce
this great content for us,” says Mr Kelly. “And we’ve been able to
accommodate their creativity and their geniuswithin the confines of
acorporation,which isnot alwayseasy todo. I guess this is like, from
my previous life, having your own in-house advertising agency.”
It’s a life he believes has prepared him well for ensuring at his
end that the creativity rolls on.
As he puts it, “The older you get themore you realize that your
success is determined by the success of your team. … You will
undoubtedly not know as much about the product, the customers,
themarket, the players, as they do. But you don’t have to onDay 1.
Because if you’re lucky like me and you’re surrounded by a whole
group of people who really know their markets, really know their
products, reallyknow their customers, reallyknow theirplayers, really
know their regulations, you can learn, and you can also concentrate
onhelping them tobe the best that they can anddo the job for their
customersand their stakeholders in thebestwaypossible.Hopefully,
that’s something I can sharewith them.”
“If you’re lucky likemeandyou’re
reallyknow theirmarkets, reallyknow their
products, reallyknow their customers, really
know theirplayers, you can learn, andyou
canalso concentrateonhelping them tobe
thebest that they can..Hopefully, that’s
something I can sharewith them.”
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