Sega Sammy Creation, the casino supply subsidiary of Japan’s Sega Sammy Holdings, is looking to its range of recently released COVID-friendly electronic gaming products to drive recovery in 2021 after receiving positive feedback from operators last year.
The company’s President and CEO, Scott Winzeler, told Inside Asian Gaming it has seen particularly promising results from Baccarat Maximum Fortune – a standalone ETG that allows players to socially distance while still enjoying their favorite features from the hugely popular card game.
“With all of the social distancing requirements, you can’t have crowds of people at the baccarat table but Baccarat Maximum Fortune is in a slots cabinet so it can be placed just about anywhere,” explained Winzeler. “We’ve seen a lot of success with operators placing it nearby the baccarat pit.
“You’re by yourself so you can be spaced out and it’s got some good play characteristics. There are two features that are particularly cool, including the ability to build your own trend line or histogram with no wager.
“It’s also got a really good feel on the card squeeze, even though it’s digital. The combination of having some really great play characteristics while also keeping people spread out is quite rare.
“The game was already performing well before the shutdown but we’ve seen increased use now that options are limited.”
Like most in the industry, SSC has felt the impact of COVID-19 with Winzeler admitting 2021 is likely to follow the lead of the past 12 months and fall well below initial expectations.
“Just like everyone else, we had orders cancelled, projects delayed, things that had looked promising not able to be converted into sales because the operators have had to wait,” he explained.
But the company has been active behind the scenes, regularly engaging with customers to ensure it has new products ready to go now that business levels are showing signs of improvement.
Two of those, standalone Sic Bo and roulette games operated from a regular slot box to provide operators with greater long-term flexibility, will be pushed hard in these first few months of 2021.
“We also have a couple of others, such as the Wealth Rush series, which has four games that are Asian and Western themed and fairly volatile, but linkable,” Winzeler says.
“In addition to the link series, we have also released a slot game called ‘Dragons Foo’ offering popular elements for Asian players such as Chinese Dragon theme, volatility selections and high volatility math.”
Key to recovery, however, will be recognizing opportunities as they emerge.
“Every jurisdiction is different at the moment – it is country by country specific,” Winzeler explained when asked where SSC will focus its energies in 2021.
“We have a good relationship with our distributor partner in the Philippines.
“We do have a couple of things going into the Philippines now, Cambodia is still okay, Vietnam is a little sketchy. Each country has its own idiosyncrasies you have to be wary of but we’re just doing what we can.
“We’re also working closely with operators on new and creative ways for them to acquire our products.
“Obviously the best option is to sell machines outright but we can also look at a participation or capital lease. Normally the operators are opposed to daily feed or rev share but with a lot of capital budgets cut significantly, if they want a refresh on the gaming floor this is a great option for them.
“We’ve seen more interest in that since late 2020.”