hat products is Konami showing here at G2E?
We are exhibiting a wide range of products. And obviously, for the many international markets that focus more in video, we have product line extensions for our K2V video products. For instance, we are showcasing a new version of our very popular KonXion product line. The original KonXion featured a unique 3-4-3-4-3 reel symbol configuration. The new KonXion titles feature a 4-5-4-5-4 reel symbol configuration, which creates higher hit frequency and volatility than the original version. We are also featuring new titles in our MultipleLines series with 50 and 100 line configurations. In addition, we are featuring a new product line called MirroReels, in which the reels “mirror” each other in the bonus round to create larger wins. Through these innovative product lines, we have strived to separate Konami from the competition.
Another product we are working on is “Beat the Field”, which will be released in the United States in Q2 or Q3 of 2009. Beat the Field is a community bonusing game which features horse-racing in the bonus round. Beat the Field is similar to our “Sport of Kings” product, which was a very successful product for us in Australia. We changed the name of the product to “Beat the Field” because “Sport of Kings” had already been licensed in the United States.
How was the show this year?
It’s been great. As you noted before, people have speculated that foot traffic is down 10 to 20%. But we have had more traffic in our booth this year than we had in the last two years, when times were a lot better, so we think it is because our product line is so compelling. We also would like to think that our open booth layout has attracted many customers as well.
What’s your opinion about the impact of the global crisis in this market and what do you think about next year?
It’s difficult to forecast economy, we all know that. We don’t have a crystal ball, but we do know that being a smaller manufacturer on the rise, we don’t have to sell 200 to 300 units at a time to make our revenue targets. If we can sell 20 to 50 units at a time along with some large unit placements for casino openings and expansions, we’ll continue to be successful. As a former casino operator, I can tell you first hand that many of the biggest casino operators have had cutbacks in their capital spend. However, thanks to the strength of our product line, those companies are still spending more on Konami than they ever spent with us in years past…so that’s a big win for our company.
Which is Konami strategy for this year?
Konami’s strategy for the next year is to continue developing great products to expand our existing product lines both domestically and internationally. Domestically, our advantage lies on five-reel stepper products (Advantage5), which have been among the most successful products released in the gaming industry. Internationally, we need to continue identifying opportunities in the South American and Latin American markets. We have a lot of opportunity internationally, therefore, the focus is to get into markets where we don’t have as much of a presence.
Are you planning to go to other shows next year?
We are going to the International Gaming Expo in London in January, as well as SAGSE. We plan to attend all the major shows in 2009 to showcase our products.