Some slot machines only perform better with age
Each month at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, we publish a Cabinet Performance Report utilizing the EILERS-FANTINI Central Game Performance Database (GPD).
The Cabinet Performance Report focuses on new cabinets and their performance, and this year we have indexed over 60 slot cabinets a month.
Though indexing so many cabinets each month provides incredible detail on the most relevant cabinets, many still wonder how the other 200 cabinets that are indexed in our database perform in comparison. It’s a complex question with a simple answer: it depends.
Pulling together stats for this exclusive analysis, we compare current indexing from more than 220,000 slots machines tracked in October 2019. In addition to October 2019 indexing, we also analyzed month-to-month trending to monitor how performance of older cabinets drift near the end of their individual lifecycles.
Starting with the most saturated segment of the slot floor, we dissected performance from the major three suppliers (IGT, Scientific Games (SG), and Aristocrat) in the core video segment for low-denomination performance (see chart above right).
- Comparing SG’s Alpha 2 Pro Wave to the new Twinstar Wave XL, we note the performance of the newer Twinstar variation indexes 0.49x higher than the older cabinet, a 44 percent increase.
- IGT’s CrystalCore, in comparison to the newer CrystalCurve, shows a performance gap of 0.34x in favor of the newer cabinet, a 33 percent increase.
- Aristocrat’s Arc Single, which still delivers exceptional performance in the segment at 1.75x, is still not a match for the new Mars X with an index currently at 2.09x, a 0.34x difference representing a 19 percent increase.
In summary: the new cabinets are the clear winners in the core video reel segment in comparison to their counterparts released roughly five years ago. Naturally, in this segment at least, the performance gap gets worse as we compare older video reel games from each respective supplier to the likes of the V22, G23, and Viridian WS.
Pivoting to the core mechanical reel segment, we divide this group into low and high denomination and limit the suppliers used to IGT and Scientific Games, as Aristocrat mechanical reels are still emerging. Analyzing the two suppliers, we compare IGT’s S2000/Barcrest to the S3000 and SG’s S6000 to the Twinstar Stepper.
For low-denomination mechanical reels, there is a performance disparity similarly found in the video reel segment. The S3000 bested the S2000 by 0.27x, a 35 percent increase, and the Twinstar surpassed the S6000 by 0.25x, a 31 percent increase.
Moving from low- to high-denomination mechanical reels, our previous results begin to distort as older cabinets outrank their newer counterparts. Again, focusing first on IGT, the S3000 slightly outperforms the S2000 by 0.09x, a 9 percent increase. However, when adding in the incredibly popular Barcrest variation of the S2000, the older cabinet out-indexes the S3000 by 0.59x. The same trend is found in the SG’s S6000 to Twinstar Stepper comparison, as the analysis illustrates the Twinstar failing to meet the indexing of the older S6000 cabinet by 0.29x.
While performance among the mechanical reel segment is divided between denominations, the analysis favors the low-denomination segment which outnumber the high-denomination mechanical reels three to one.
Of course the data insights highlighted in this article will not necessarily continue being true, and there will always be outliers. In fact, the outliers frequently present us with the most interesting indicators of performance trending (see chart page 8).
Exploring the data outliers and remaining consistent with our analysis, we compare Aristocrat’s older Arc Single to the newer Flame 55 for the premium segment. In doing so, we see that the Arc Single still dominates performance. The Arc’s strong performance, which is heavily reflective of the Dragon Link series, indexes at 3.39x, 0.49x better than the Flame 55 and, in fact, indexing higher than any new premium cabinet currently in the GPD.
Another metric worth highlighting is the monthly trending as slot cabinets near the end of their lifecycles. For example, the rebound in performance as the once dominating Konami Podium makes an exodus in the core segment and the SG Gamescape in premium continues its replacement cycle.
- From May to October of 2019, operators in the GPD removed 124 of the 8,329 Konami Podium cabinets as the observed performance increased from 0.89x in to 0.95x over that same time.
- The SG Gamescape units fell from 180 to 170 as performance improved from 1.34x in May to 1.49x in October.
So why are operators removing cabinets with increasing performance indexes? When slot managers make the product management decisions to remove games, they often don’t target specific cabinets, but the poorest performers of those respective cabinets. This selective and targeted process, in turn, increases the overall indexing of the collective group—survival of the fittest.
These highlights and additional insights from North America’s largest independent repository of slot performance, the EILERS-FANTINI Central Game Performance Database, are provided complimentary to all participating slot operators while subscriptions are available to all non-operators.