The whole of the news and blogosphere is buzzing lately with all of the important post G2E thoughts, as people discuss the new games that were on show as well as the reaction of the general public to everything that was going on in the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. It seems as though the worry that is uppermost in the minds of the game developers is not if people liked their new slot machine games – but whether or not that admiration will actually translate into sales.
Licensed brands were the big message for the slots at the Global Gaming Expo, with lots of new slot games based around recognisable themes: the rock band KISS now have their own machine along with singer Dolly Parton, the NASCAR racing series has thrown its name into the ring, and movies and television shows have all been immortalised in the slots – which analysts say is an attempt to move with the times. Chad Beynon from Macquarie Securities Gaming said, “For the third year in a row, suppliers have made a concerted effort to produce games focused on a younger generation,” showing the way that they believe brands can speak to and convince younger players to get involved with slots.
Traditionally it has been the big names – Bally, IGT, and WMS – who dominate the floor, but this year there was a lot of interest in smaller companies such as Multimedia Games, Aruze, Spielo, and Ainsworth. “We were encouraged by the product that was on the floor, however, the increased competition was clearly evident at the show with smaller, more nimble players having a strong presence,” Beynon added on this subject. “The reality is that there is just a huge amount of content out there, making it harder for all suppliers to differentiate themselves.”
Even though the Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli was of the opinion that the line up was stronger than last years’, he still has no illusions on the state of the industry. “We do not believe spend levels are about to accelerate in 2013,” he said.