I am pretty sure that Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2018 will go down in the gaming history books as the much-awaited coming out party for sports betting products and technologies.
This was really not much of a surprise—ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) earlier this year, clearing the way for sports betting legalization on a state-by-state basis, the industry has been abuzz with the potential of this market segment. It was only natural that the international gaming supplier community would respond with devices and systems to help operators ease into this sports wagering future, and such products and services were the focus of the G2E sessions and tradeshow floor.
Unfortunately, one of the outcomes of this sports wagering concertation was that a lot of innovate and improved slot games and cabinets may have been somewhat overlooked during visits to vendor booths. The editors of Slot Management & Marketing were attentive to everything gaming machine however, and what follows are some game and cabinet highlights from various G2E vendors, with the companies describing their products in their own words:
AGS showcased its newest cabinet innovation—the Orion Upright. This addition to the company’s high-performing Orion family featured dual 27-inch displays, a 21.5-inch LCD topper, LCD button deck, high bright accented bash buttons, a USB charger and the Orion’s distinctive starwall design featuring 420 game-synchronized full-color LED lights for an innovative gameplay celebration. AGS is launching the Orion Upright with a library of exclusive new titles and AGS greatest hits.
For its Orion Slant platform, launched in May 2018 and already boasting an installed base of more than 630 games, AGS highlighted new Xtreme Jackpots titles, along with the new Fai Cai Shu and Kingdom Ca$h families which offer themed banking, linked progressive jackpots and a variety of math models.
Also garnering attention at the AGS booth was a Vegas Golden Knights-themed promotional game on the company’s massive Big Red slot machine cabinet.
AINSWORTH GAME TECHNOLOGY
The Ainsworth booth featured the North American debut of the EVO cabinet, its newest dual screen offering. This upgraded cabinet featured twin 24-inch high-definition monitors, an LCD touchscreen button deck and sleek edge lighting. The EVO was shown with the new four-game PAC-MAN link series and Top Pays 30-line multi-denom games.
Ainsworth also displayed brand-new game titles on its A640 cabinets. Following the U.S. success of the QuickSpin wheel games Super Charged 7s and Super Hot 7s, casino operators got their first look at three new QuickSpin titles. Super Money 7s and Super Crystal 7s feature the giant wheel that made the initial QuickSpin games among Ainsworth top performing for the past year. Plus, Super Charged 7s MultiPlay will give players the chance to play four reels of Quickspin—with every reel set giving the chance to win a spin on the wheel.
New linked and standalone games with a series of new sign packages also populated the Ainsworth booth, including the recently released Top Pays 30-Line Multi-Denom series with three visual appealing titles—Bubble Bucks, Tres Chiles and It’s Lit.
Aristocrat showed deep and broad support for each of its cabinets.
Appearing on flame55 was the all-new Buffalo Diamond 10th Anniversary Edition, released to mark the 10th anniversary of one of North America’s most popular games, Buffalo. Adding to the flame55 library was an all-new version of The Big Bang Theory along with the new Billions Slot Game, based on Showtime’s hit TV drama. The new WESTWORLD slot game was also featured on flame55, but with a unique play experience that allows players to experience two separate base games either simultaneously or through an integration of the two games.
Aristocrat’s large-form cabinet, Edge X, showcased new titles that included Madonna, Mad Max: Fury Road, Farmville, and the latest theme in the Walking Dead franchise, The Walking Dead III slot game.
Aristocrat also remained firmly committed to its RELM and RELM XL stepper cabinets, and the booth was filled with new stepper titles and game themes. New game themes for RELM included Buffalo Gold, 5 Dragons Gold, Gold Stacks 88 and Wicked Winnings II, bringing some of Aristocrat’s most popular video titles to the stepper player.
The new Helix XT was the latest portrait cabinet from Aristocrat complete with curved 4K monitor, and top products for the cabinet included Mighty Cash – Double Up, Ultimate Wheel Blast with its industry first “metamorphic” wheels, Really Wicked Winnings and Sun & Moon Gold.
The ground-breaking Lightning Link slot game was the inspiration for the all-new Dollar Storm, with a first-of-its kind multi-level progressive action game that combines with a $100,000 MSP jackpot. Aristocrat also showcased its Lightning Link Lounge concept and its sister gaming experience concept, Dragon Link Den for the popular Dragon Link game.
The Aruze both focused on Muso, the company’s latest cabinet line. Featured was the Muso Triple-27 cabinet, which showcased LED backlighting that gives a 360-degree presence on the casino floor, and when the cabinets are connected, a sequential lighting feature occurs on the back panel which provides an exciting way to attract players. Muso contains other unique elements such as wireless charging functionality and a large glass-table button deck with 13.3 LCD interface, keeping player comfort in mind as well as innovation and floor presence.
At G2E, some 25 titles were displayed on the Muso Triple-27, showcasing the depth of product available.
Everi’s new Empire DCX premium video cabinet features dual curved 43-inch monitors with integrated edge lighting, a 4K display that provides an immersive player experience, enhanced game controlled lighting and premium 4.1 surround sound. Expected to hit casino floors in mid-2019, the Empire DCX debuted at G2E with two branded game themes: The Mask and The Karate Kid.
Everi also displayed Renegade 3600, its larger-than-life hardware platform. The wide-area progressive (WAP) banked solution features three 43-inch convex curved monitors which combine to create a unique visual bonus experience along with a sign-based speaker package that supplements the sound capabilities of the individual Core HDX gaming cabinets. The platform offers a unique floor-wide celebration environment that is sure to turn heads. The Renegade 3600 debuted two new games: Smokin’ Hot Stuff Jackpots, a new version of Smokin’ Hot Stuff based on the friendly and fiery comic book character, and Snoop Dogg Presents The Joker’s Wild, which is based on the popular new Snoop Dogg-hosted version of the classic TV game show that airs on TBS and where players compete by matching symbols on three reels and answering questions.
Empire Arena offered an immersive gaming experience and bank-wide bonuses across a six-pod arrangement of Empire 5527 cabinets, making it impossible to miss on the gaming floor. Empire Arena features edge-lit shelves and circular signage that amplifies the product’s merchandising capabilities. At G2E 2018, Empire Arena was featured with four base video game themes and Discovery Channel’s Shark Week bank wide bonus feature that brings undersea adventure to life in a spectacular way with big win celebrations. Showcased games for the standalone
Empire 5527 premium cabinet included Press Your Luck, based on the popular television game show which brings the excitement of table play tothe slot floor. Felix the Cat, a new game based on the iconic character that sprang from the age of silent films, offers seven interactive bonuses, progressives available on all bets and easy to understand all scatter pays.
International Game Technology PLC (IGT) revealed new slot games inspired by America’s highest-rated daytime game show, The Price is Right, and by celebrated entertainment icon, Adam Levine, at G2E.
The three new The Price is Right slot games include:
- The Price is Right Showcase Showdown Slots on the MegaTower Universal cabinet. The towering, three-reel, five-line game stands 11 feet tall and places lucky players in the middle of their own “Showcase Showdown” bonus events, where they can spin the Big Wheel for grand prizes.
- The Price is Right Video Slots on the CrystalCurve ULTRA cabinet. The vibrant three-level progressive features vignettes with game show host Drew Carey and comes to life on the cabinet’s 32-inch, curved lower display and its 50-inch, curved upper display. The highly interactive game features many of the TV game show’s most popular games such as Punch A Bunch, Cliff Hangers, and Rat Race.
- The Price is Right Plinko Slots on the CrystalDual+ Stepper cabinet. This three-reel, five-line game gives players the chance to play the widely loved The Price is Right Plinko game for a chance to win big prizes on a classic, mechanical reel slot.
The Adam Levine Video Slots game was shown on the on the CrystalCurve ULTRA cabinet. The game leverages a vast collection of popular Adam Levine concert imagery and entertains players with its six jackpot levels. The game includes a jukebox feature that enables players to select their favorite chart-topping songs as they enjoy the game and play for its in-game collector guitar giveaway.
A focal point within IGT’s booth was the company’s latest tournament solution, IncrediBELL! This action-packed, high-energy TournXtreme game is housed on the CrystalDual 27 gaming machine. Its cutting-edge technology makes switching from tournament mode to coin-in mode simple, enabling operators to take full advantage of IGT’s proven core video library with a truly versatile solution.
Building on the success of IGT’s Sphinx 4D and Ghostbusters 4D, the company also presented the latest title in its TRUE 4D family with American Gods 4D. This new game features scenes and characters from the namesake TV series, and ignites player excitement with its gripping graphics and multi-sensory gaming experience on the CrystalCurve TRUE 4D gaming machine. IGT also shined a spotlight on its player-favorite Wheel of Fortune theme and TRUE 4Dtechnology with the world debut of Wheel of Fortune 4D More Money Video Slots.
INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGIES (IT)
Incredible Technologies’ most recent hardware innovation debuted at G2E—the Infinity V55 Edge, the first 4K video wedge in the casino gaming industry, designed to be placed with its Infinity V55 cabinet. The Edge elevates and showcases the performance-leading V55 with motion graphic videos in crystal-clear resolution. IT displayed a myriad of configurations, including a never before seen sawtooth-shaped layout, and available video content at G2E—emphasizing the flexibility and configurability of the Edge.
In addition to the Infinity Edge Display debut, IT launched dozens of brand new titles for all existing product lines, including its first-ever multi-game, Incredistars: Money. The Infinity V55 title unites three of IT’s biggest hits, Crazy Money II, Money Rain and Money Roll on a new form factor with bigger and better bonus events. A catalog expansion for the V55 cabinet included new games such as Clinko titles; Winning Wall and the return of the smash-hit, King of Bling.
Konami Gaming had an exceptionally strong industry reception for the world debut of its new KX 43 video slot cabinet. Featuring a 4K Ultra HD display, slim profile and exclusive library of leading game content, the KX 43 showcased a symbol-driven linked progressive series with an original new Reels Up mechanic. Debut titles included Vegas Rise, Expanding Egypt, Hong Kong Lights and Mayan Times display Reels Up arrow symbols across all reels throughout game play. When players collect at least one of these symbols on reels one and two, remaining consecutive reels with the symbol will expand upward for the chance to spin bonus reels with increasing instant guaranteed prizes at higher bet amounts. KX 43 also premiered a multi-denomination linked progressive called Ba Fang Jin Bao, in which players can increase their extra bet in order to change increasing symbol sets to gold, with premium line pays.
Currently available across domestic markets, Konami’s big screen Opus cabinet features a 4K Ultra HD display and new linked progressive derivatives on popular classics including Solstice Celebration, Riches with Daikoku, and Dragon’s Law. Additionally, Opus premiered a linked progressive called Treasure Ball that features an animated prize ball machine and $10,000+ Supreme. Konami’s G2E 2018 display was also characterized by a record variety of integrated symbol-driven jackpot titles for dual screen Concerto upright and Slant. Series such as Thunder Arrow, Money Galaxy, Golden Blocks and Wish Dragons feature original symbol-based jackpot features with higher odds at higher bet levels.
The new slot title based on the iconic TV show of the 1980s—MacGyver—created a standout impression at G2E. Presented on the towering NOVOSTAR V.I.P. 3.50 and compact V.I.P. Lounge 2.32 cabinets, NOVOMATIC’s latest IP title proved a major attraction on the show floor. Appealing to a wide audience, this retro-style game joins Angus “Mac” MacGyver on a mission to unlock safes and defuse bombs for the chance to win prizes and three progressive levels. Visitors to the NOVOMATIC booth expressed great enthusiasm for the game while taking their photo with a giant roll of duct tape, paper clips and matches.
New titles driven for the U.S. market, created by the NOVOMATIC Americas studio and the Winfinity Games and 707 Games studios in Austria, were on full display and gave a clear signal that NOVOMATIC’s new, targeted content is making a mark in the North American market. The Enchanted Fortunes Linked Jackpot presented leading titles Asian Fortunes, Book of Ra Mystic Fortunes, Goddess Rising and Voodoo Fortunes on the new PANTHERA Curve 1.43 in 4K with compelling overhead signage.
Some of the dynamic new games and products Scientific Games showcased at its G2E booth included:
When it comes to innovation, no series demonstrates Scientific Games’ cutting edge-approach like the JAMES BOND series. The company showed platforms and innovative game mechanics through new titles that evoke the adrenaline and intrigue synonymous with the most famous British Secret Service agent ever, such as DIE ANOTHER DAY, GOLDENEYE and LIVE AND LET DIE. DIE ANOTHER DAY was the talk of G2E as the cabinet uses an illusion technique called Pepper’s ghost to create an exciting show for players.
The new TwinStar Wave XL cabinet, which builds on the celebrated ALPHA Pro Wave legacy, offering a bigger and better player experience. This cabinet showcases a curved, 49-inch, 4k resolution, ultra-high-definition display, generating the kind of graphics only seen in high-end home theatres. Games available on this cabinet include enhanced versions of player favorites such as Dragon Spin Age of Fire and Cash Wizard World, in addition to Jin Ji Bao Xi - Endless Treasure and Jin Ji Bao Xi - Rising Fortunes.