The latest edition of G2E Las Vegas is a special one for the major gambling industry event. The expo marked the largest for the show since the pandemic, just shy of pre-Covid 2019 numbers. Hundreds of attendees and global gaming firms gathered at The Venetian to showcase their products and discuss the latest in gaming through the course of the three-day event, proving the industry's resilience.
Among the companies present at the show was Konami Gaming. The designer and manufacturer of slot machines and casino management systems took the opportunity to present an expansive list of gaming entertainment and technology, through a showcase rooted in "the winning experience."
In an exclusive interview with Yogonet, Eduardo Aching, Vice President of International Gaming Operations at Konami Gaming, reflects on the company's participation at the event, explains the key features behind Konami's latest titles, and shares his view on what's next for the sector.
What is the balance you make of your participation in G2E this year? How did you experience this recent edition of the show, in which we could see a return to normality after the pandemic?
As reported by show organizers, G2E 2022’s total attendance was just shy of pre-pandemic 2019 numbers, at about 25,000 people. This year’s event saw exceptionally high attendance from our key customers across international markets.
Konami and its exclusive international distributors enjoyed the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with operators at the show—discussing the latest observations from the field, exploring opportunities to support their business, and creating plans for both the immediate months and long-term future.
Of the offerings you presented, which products were the most attractive to visitors at G2E?
Visitors at G2E Las Vegas responded very positively to the latest Konami entertainment. Our international customers are returning to business with the ability to take advantage of proven reliable DIMENSION hardware and top-performing games. These products have been tested in the market, and demonstrated success, which we’re excited to deliver to our customers in markets abroad.
Ocean Spin was one of the top highlights at G2E 2022. Ranked the industry's #1 new premium series according to ReelMetrics, Ocean Spin features cross-machine animation effects, spanning into the topper and across multiple game cabinets. Throughout primary play, bubbles of potential jackpot opportunities float seamlessly across game screens of every connected machine.
Whenever any 3 or more trigger symbols are collected, the Ocean Spin Feature is awarded, and the player is invited to spin the bonus prize bubbles that appear across all screens. Once the player swipes the screen to spin, prize bubbles rotate across all screens until the spinner lands on an instant progressive jackpot or bonus award.
Konami’s Triple Sparkle series is another key showcase. This is a top new series that takes popular Konami base games like Solstice Celebration, Lotus Land, and Imperial Wealth, and adds a symbol-driven jackpot mechanic. Many may recall the popular sparkle feature in Konami’s classic Solstice Celebration, which awards a bonus symbol transformation when any two or more framed Action Stacked Symbols appear fully on the reels, potentially resulting in large line wins or free games.
With Konami’s new Triple Sparkle games, this symbol transformation can include instant progressive jackpot awards. The additional progressive jackpot chance has already shown success in the field, and today we have 5 different Triple Sparkle games available to operators. This series has ranked in the industry’s Top Indexing New Games, Core, Video Reel for 9 months.
We also saw positive feedback for Fortune Mint, ranked in the industry’s Top Indexing New Games, Core, Video Reel for 11 months. Fortune Mint debuts a random Question Mark Feature to amp the mystery and anticipation. It randomly places big red question mark symbols over the Coins in the center reels. Each Question Marked coin is revealed one-by-one to award the player instant Maxi, Major, Mini, 10x, 3x, or 2x prizes, with dramatic effect.
Triple Sparkle, Ocean Spin, and Fortune Mint are available now on Konami’s portrait screen DIMENSION 49, ranked the industry’s #1 Top Indexing Portrait / Portrait Slant cabinet for 10 months.
Of the major international exhibitions, G2E is arguably the first face-to-face event with a large presence of products for land-based casinos. Based on this, what trends do you think will set the direction of the industry in the coming months in this segment?
We can expect to see a lot of fresh gaming entertainment hitting casino floors, as operators look to bring the latest popular games to their guests.
I also believe we’ll see more cashless and cardless options at casinos, as operators look to enhance digital conveniences for guests, who are using digital loyalty and payment options in other areas of their day-to-day.
How much do you consider the opening that has been seen in the online gaming segment, both in the United States and in Latin America in the last two years, influences the product development strategy of the main companies in the industry?
Online gaming remains a strong growth opportunity. Konami is proud to offer its proven popular games for iGaming partners to deploy on their online social and online for-wager sites/apps. Konami has its own Remote Gaming Server (RGS), which integrates with most of the industry’s top Internet Gaming Server (IGS) providers to deliver top titles like All Aboard, China Shores, and Cobra Hearts to online players.