New gaming content provider finding plenty of interest in slot, mystery products


Magic Momentum

New gaming content provider finding plenty of interest in slot, mystery products

Content is king, the adage goes, and nowhere is that more true than on the slot floor, where a game’s fate may be sealed in a matter of days or weeks.

Slot manufacturers can spend a fortune developing a game that appears to be a hit but once on the floor just causes players to shrug and move on.

Magic Gaming, a division of TournamentOne Corp., is striving to improve those odds, according to Thomas Kidneigh, vice president of Magic Gaming.

By paying special attention to research and customizing its offerings, Magic can deliver games or mystery products that are specially tailored for a specific market or demographic, increasing their odds of success, Kidneigh said.

Magic debuted some of its initial offerings at the 2007 Global Gaming Expo, showcasing its Masterpiece Mysteries. The first four titles are “Mysteries of the Nile,” “The Caper,” “Lost Mine” and “Money Factory.” Each is designed to tell a complete story and to look like Hollywood feature films. Displayed above a bank of machines, Masterpiece Mysteries feature high-quality graphics and engaging characters and story lines. The mystery products are geared to attract new players to slots and engage traditional slot players so they play longer, Kidneigh said.

“Mysteries can really add to the overall handle and the energy and excitement on a bank of machines,” Kidneigh said.

He attributed much of the interest in the product and company to its focus on quality and service. “I think a lot of it is the overall quality and the fact that we’re providing them complete source files with the games,” something some content developers won’t do, he said.

The company, which has a content agreement with Progressive Gaming, attracted a lot of attention from domestic and international casino operators as well as manufacturers seeking content development, during both G2E and at the International Casino Exhibition this year in London, he said.

The Masterpiece Mysteries are extremely attractive to operators, as well as the advertising packs that Magic also can provide companies. These packs include content to provide internal property marketing for specials on rooms, player club promotions or show specials, he said.

“It’s really starting to pick up well. The domestic market is really starting to look at these. They’re definitely miniature movies, so they’re generating a lot of interest,” he added.

Kidneigh said he’s seen more interest from slot makers as well. “We now have a lot of manufacturers looking at us saying what can you do for us over the next three to five years,” he said.

Magic seeks to develop long-term content development relationships with its customers, not merely one-off deals, Kidneigh said.

“Part of what we have to offer is we come in with the content and work directly with the customer on the development of content” particularly suited for its needs, he said. “That added level of service is something that’s really attractive to them.”

Magic currently is developing product not only for the domestic market, but also product for the European, South American and Asian markets.

As the game cycle continues to shorten, more companies will be turning to developers such as Magic to help with content creation, Kidneigh predicted.

“This market’s in its infancy, and it’s definitely going to grow,” he said. “It’s a very competitive market. There’s a great need in the marketplace for content providers like my company, and we’re here filling that need.”

But providers must have a strong understanding of the gaming industry and its particular nuances, he said. “You definitely have to have some experience with gaming and understand what the market will bear and understand the different demographics that come into play.”

Outside content developers can be helpful for slot manufacturers, because they bring “fresh eyes and a fresh perspective” on game development, he said. Moreover, he said, it often saves the manufacturer money and frees the firm to focus on other aspects of their business. “It really does impact the bottom line.”

There’s also a built-in incentive for content providers to bring out high-quality product. “Our success hinges on theirs,” Kidneigh noted.

Soon after the Advantage 5 five-reel mechanical slots were installed in late October at the Mount Airy Casino in Pennsylvania, Konami Gaming officials knew they were on to something.

“The games are packed constantly. That’s just been pretty much the norm,” said Alan Cripe, director of sales for the East Coast region.

Konami’s Advantage 5 features five full-size spinning reels, and incorporates top-box lighting with 3-D visual effects and backlit reels that can display up to 256. “We’re doing some unique things with the LCD top box, unique bonusing and a nice graphics display,” Cripe said.

The first game in the new format was “Vibrant 7s.” It made its national debut in Pennsylvania, followed by a Nevada rollout at Harrah’s Las Vegas. It will be available soon at state-regulated and Native American casinos around the country.

The game’s five-reel configuration has 25 pay lines with a four-level progressive. The four jackpots (mini, major, mega and maxi) are accessible by players who line five green “7s” on an active pay line. This sets off the “Numbers Bonus” that awards one of the four progressives.

What players love about the game is its unique look, said Charlie Thornton, director of sales for the West Coast region.

“It’s an eye-catcher. If you’re a customer just looking across the floor, this product really catches your eye,” he said.

That gets them to sit down and try the game, and then the game’s math takes over, Thornton said.

In addition, the five-reel segment continues to be hot, he said.

“The customer is really gravitating toward it. It’s really pulled that three-reel customer back in,” Thornton said. “It’s something that the industry still needs, and they’ve made that very clear.”

Advantage 5 also has been well received at Harrah’s Las Vegas, Thornton said. “The performance of the games has just been really strong against some of the other competitors’ five-reel product,” he said.

Thornton noted that adding Advantage 5 also has helped to round out Konami’s offerings. “It makes us more of a complete company,” he said. “It’s interesting to see how many of the operators have been stopping in there because they’ve heard about it. Our goal as a company is to be well-rounded. It’s to be well balanced in terms of having steppers and video.

Now, Advantage 5 is installed in some 20 casinos and offers four game titles: Vibrant 7s, Diamond Spinner, Dragon Crystal and Pele Hawaiian Goddess.


Advantage Konami

New five-reel mechanical spinner capturing player interest

providing them complete source files with the games,” something some content developers won’t do, he said.

The company, which has a content agreement with Progressive Gaming, attracted a lot of attention from domestic and international casino operators as well as manufacturers seeking content development, during both G2E and at the International Casino Exhibition this year in London, he said.

The Masterpiece Mysteries are extremely attractive to operators, as well as the advertising packs that Magic also can provide companies. These packs include content to provide internal property marketing for specials on rooms, player club promotions or show specials, he said.

“It’s really starting to pick up well. The domestic market is really starting to look at these. They’re definitely miniature movies, so they’re generating a lot of interest,” he added.

Kidneigh said he’s seen more interest from slot makers as well. “We now have a lot of manufacturers looking at us saying what can you do for us over the next three to five years,” he said.

Magic seeks to develop long-term content development relationships with its customers, not merely one-off deals, Kidneigh said.

“Part of what we have to offer is we come in with the content and work directly with the customer on the development of content” particularly suited for its needs, he said. “That added level of service is something that’s really attractive to them.”

Magic currently is developing product not only for the domestic market, but also product for the European, South American and Asian markets.

As the game cycle continues to shorten, more companies will be turning to developers such as Magic to help with content creation, Kidneigh predicted.

“This market’s in its infancy, and it’s definitely going to grow,” he said. “It’s a very competitive market. There’s a great need in the marketplace for content providers like my company, and we’re here filling that need.”

But providers must have a strong understanding of the gaming industry and its particular nuances, he said. “You definitely have to have some experience with gaming and understand what the market will bear and understand the different demographics that come into play.”

Outside content developers can be helpful for slot manufacturers, because they bring “fresh eyes and a fresh perspective” on game development, he said. Moreover, he said, it often saves the manufacturer money and frees the firm to focus on other aspects of their business. “It really does impact the bottom line.”

There’s also a built-in incentive for content providers to bring out high-quality product. “Our success hinges on theirs,” Kidneigh noted.

Soon after the Advantage 5 five-reel mechanical slots were installed in late October at the Mount Airy Casino in Pennsylvania, Konami Gaming officials knew they were on to something.

“The games are packed constantly. That’s just been pretty much the norm,” said Alan Cripe, director of sales for the East Coast region.

Konami’s Advantage 5 features five full-size spinning reels, and incorporates top-box lighting with 3-D visual effects and backlit reels that can display up to 256. “We’re doing some unique things with the LCD top box, unique bonusing and a nice graphics display,” Cripe said.

The first game in the new format was “Vibrant 7s.” It made its national debut in Pennsylvania, followed by a Nevada rollout at Harrah’s Las Vegas. It will be available soon at state-regulated and Native American casinos around the country.

The game’s five-reel configuration has 25 pay lines with a four-level progressive. The four jackpots (mini, major, mega and maxi) are accessible by players who line five green “7s” on an active pay line. This sets off the “Numbers Bonus” that awards one of the four progressives.

What players love about the game is its unique look, said Charlie Thornton, director of sales for the West Coast region.

“It’s an eye-catcher. If you’re a customer just looking across the floor, this product really catches your eye,” he said.

That gets them to sit down and try the game, and then the game’s math takes over, Thornton said.

In addition, the five-reel segment continues to be hot, he said.

“The customer is really gravitating toward it. It’s really pulled that three-reel customer back in,” Thornton said. “It’s something that the industry still needs, and they’ve made that very clear.”

Advantage 5 also has been well received at Harrah’s Las Vegas, Thornton said. “The performance of the games has just been really strong against some of the other competitors’ five-reel product,” he said.

Thornton noted that adding Advantage 5 also has helped to round out Konami’s offerings. “It makes us more of a complete company,” he said. “It’s interesting to see how many of the operators have been stopping in there because they’ve heard about it. Our goal as a company is to be well-rounded. It’s to be well balanced in terms of having steppers and video.

Now, Advantage 5 is installed in some 20 casinos and offers four game titles: Vibrant 7s, Diamond Spinner, Dragon Crystal and Pele Hawaiian Goddess.