Interview with Eduardo Aching, Vice President of International Gaming Operations

"The latest releases for Konami’s Concerto Collection have seen outstanding success at G2E"

"Our customers from Europe to Latin America are looking forward to top upcoming series such as Money Galaxy, Sparkling Roses Color Bloom, and Triple Sparkle," the executive assured.
Reading time 4:46 min
A few weeks after G2E Las Vegas, Konami's Vice President of International Gaming Operations, Eduardo Aching spoke to Yogonet. The executive provided details on this year's edition of the Global Gaming Expo, and also delved into the company's plans for the future.

Can we have your final assessment of your presence at G2E? What response have you received regarding novelties and launches showcased at your stand? Have you met your previous expectations?

We are very excited about the response to this year’s G2E event. The latest releases for Konami’s Concerto Collection have seen outstanding success—from the Star Watch series to Celestial Sun Riches and Celestial Moon Riches—and now we’re building even further upon that with popular symbol-driven mechanics and integrated progressives. Our customers from Europe to Latin America are looking forward to top upcoming series such as Money Galaxy, Sparkling Roses Color Bloom, and Triple Sparkle.

What kind of feedback did you receive on your new KX 43 video slot cabinet? How about Concerto Collection?

Through the show we saw overwhelming enthusiasm for debut releases on Konami’s all-new KX 43 video slot. This machine has a perfect slant top design that players enjoy, but with a sleek frame to fit in many areas across the floor. KX 43’s Ba Fang JinBao linked progressive series was of special interest for Konami’s international customers. This original series showcases proven mechanics from popular Cai Li Si Ji titles like Wealth of Dynasty and delivers it in a single screen format with even more player bet options.

Operators are also pleased with the strength of Konami’s latest game developments for the Concerto Collection. Extended ROM linked progressives like Power Boost Inferno and Jackpot Streams Evolution are SeleXion multi-game compatible and able to combine with a variety of popular base game themes, similar to the functionality of Smash Smash Festival. There is also a strong interest in the new Strike Zone games, such as Star Watch Jungle, Agent: Magnifying Jackpots, and Rising Koi.

Could you provide us with more details on SynkConnect solution?

SynkConnect is a multi-channel “cardless” solution for Konami’s SYNKROS casino management system that gives casino players a variety of secure methods to augment or replace a traditional player loyalty card at the EGM, including their personal mobile device, fobs, a room key, and more. SynkConnect helps increase “carded” play activity by giving players more ways to connect and engage with property loyalty programs. This year Konami also premiered SynkConnect Mobile, which is an accompanying mobile application to give players all the benefits of touchless authentication directly through their smartphone. It empowers players to login to any equipped EGM through the app and enjoy all the tools to view and manage their loyalty account from anywhere.

What are the main innovations produced by SYNKROS casino management system in order to make the difference in the market?

This year our award-winning SYNKROS casino management system is especially focused on enhancing player convenience, in-game marketing, and branded loyalty program touchpoints.In addition to SynkConnect, SYNKROS is introduced MarkerTrax and the next evolution in Konami’s True-Time Windowing technology. MarkerTrax allows casinos to issue, record, manage, and track slot credit that is extended to player accounts in SYNKROS with comprehensive electronic tracking, for optimal credit collection and AML compliance measures. By tracking not only the extension of credit, but the use of the credit, MarkerTrax can significantly improve both credit collections and compliance.

A key product of Konami’s SYNKROS casino management system, True-Time Windowing creates a full canvas of possibilities to deploy an array of incentives, bonuses, account functions, notifications, streaming video, marketing promotions, custom branding, and more, directly onto the screen of most any video slot without interrupting game play. This year Konami’s next generation True-Time Windowing technology was showcased live with portrait and HD screen compatibility, as well as web services that allow operators to bring any HTML-based site or program to video slot screens for all-new marketing possibilities and player conveniences.

Could you name some examples of technological innovation applied to your business areas, in line with the new and future trends within gaming industry, especially for North America?

Integrated symbol-driven progressives are a key attraction for players across U.S. markets. There’s a very powerful element of excitement and anticipation in each spin when players can see the special symbols reeling across the frame as progressive meters tally higher. Konami has recently released a number of symbol-driven progressive releases for single screen Crescent and Stack that have had exceptional results, including games like Star Watch Fire, Star Watch Magma, Lucky O’Leary Jackpots, and Dragon Emblem Jackpots. Our new 65-inch 4K Ultra HD Opus also arriving to market this fall with a new Triple Sparkle series that features a symbol-driven linked progressive. Bringing back Konami’s popular Sparkle Feature from Solstice Celebration and Riches with Daikoku, this exclusive launch series for Opus showcases a third symbol transformation for the chance at instant jackpot prizes.In many ways, Concerto Opus is the next evolution of our Podium Goliath cabinet, which saw strong popularity as an oversized cabinet with great game content and reasonable floor space requirements.

The U.S. market has also shown a strong demand for progressive games with a ‘what you see is what you get’ mechanic. These games give players the instant satisfaction of watching their awards tally higher and higher as they collect a series of multiple prize symbols. Konami’s Money Galaxy linked progressive series features this type of “Stick & Spin” play mechanic. Throughout primary play, any 3 or more bonus prize symbols appearing with a wild symbol on reel 5 trigger the Money Galaxy feature. Those positions become fixed while the remaining positions transform to independently-spinning reels, for up to 3 rounds of collecting credit symbols and progressive jackpot awards, up to the ultimate linked Maxi jackpot. Thunder Arrow is another new linked progressive series with a “Stick & Spin” mechanic. In this game series, the bonus feature begins with instant credit prizes and progressive jackpots already fixed across the reel frame. Blank symbols and glowing target symbols spin behind the prizes, sending arrows flying whenever a target lands and awards a corresponding prize. Both were featured at G2E Concerto upright.

Konami is also active in delivering the latest game screen enhancements to the casino floor, including 4K Ultra HD resolution. 4K resolution allows us to showcase original content with pin-sharp game graphics and a captivating depth of visual clarity in every spin. It’s an enhancement that pops from across the room and engages players that want to enjoy that premium experience, with the popular game styles they recognize and enjoy. The new 65-inch Concerto Opus cabinet includes a 4K Ultra HD screen, as does our new KX 43 cabinet, with a 43-inch 4K display. Both cabinets offer players a memorable and engaging experience from top to bottom.

How's Konami's agenda regarding further projects and events for the next months?

Konami will be in London next February for the ICE Totally Gaming Show. There we will be highlighting the latest releases from SeleXion to KX 43.

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