Aristocrat’s adoption of the new GLI11-standards world base means that games developed for our largest mass markets, the United States and Macau, now require very few modifications to make them available elsewhere. A product of our rolling global release plan, this exciting new antebet game became available literally days before ICE opened, allowing us the opportunity of staging its global debut. Operators and players are already familiar with its featured characters – 50 Lions, Geisha, Miss Kitty, Magic Mermaid and Sun & Moon – and the combination of several proven performers in one game obviously created a big draw.
The company also decided to preview new games destined for release in late 2011. Why?
It’s fair to say that this strategy is no different to showing new games awaiting approval in some European markets. Unlike previous shows where the portfolio launched in London has defined our year ahead, this was merely a taste of what’s in store for 2011. It is important that the market understands the full extent of Aristocrat’s acceleration towards more customer-oriented product development and the feedback we received at ICE, particularly on several test-marketing concepts, will prove invaluable in the product release plan we have in place for the next 12-24 months.
Which novelties did the company showcase at the London show?
It’s difficult to know where to start here! Our stand featured a packed house of new VIRIDIAN WS widescreen models and over 30 new game titles drawn from Aristocrat’s global portfolio, many with multi-denomination capabilities, available with optional Nteractiv LCD programmable buttons. Exciting new game options included Hyperloop (comprising standalone game titles All Puffed Up! and Halloween Trick or Treat), Remix (Dragon Emperor and Don Quixote), Win Your Way (Captain Cutthroat and Big Sky) and Mega Pay (More Chilli and More Hearts), as well as the extended theme Multi Mega Pay (Gazellions and Fortune Fantasy) and Drag ‘n’ Drop (Imperial House).
Also taking centre stage was the new Feature Top Box game Stuntman Sam and double standalone progressive theme Emperor Penguin. Godard’s Rockin’ Olives and Monster Boogie made their first outing in VIRIDIAN WS widescreen format, with other new link games comprising Cashman Fever and Tarzan – Lord of the Jungle. We also unveiled two new games for the Spanish street market, Mystic Mermaid and Wicked Winnings.
How would you describe Aristocrat's participation at ICE 2011?
I have no doubts in describing the occasion as truly ground-breaking for Aristocrat – and not just from a product perspective. The attendance of a significant number of senior executive officers and Board members underlines how serious we are about Europe, EMEA and indeed new and emerging markets. For three days ICE became the focus of Aristocrat’s global presence.
How did you see the show?
With so much to see on our stand, customers were simply spoilt for choice and it fell upon an extremely focused sales team to help guide them through the plethora of innovation on display. At-show sales were extremely pleasing, helping Aristocrat get off to a fast start for the year. The response was highly encouraging and visitors left our stand with a true understanding of the market-driven development work Aristocrat is undertaking.
Surrounding rumors about a possible new show in Europe that could compete with ICE, what is Aristocrat's position on this matter?
‘Neutral’ is probably the most accurate description of our status. My foremost concern is that we meet the needs of our customers in Class III and street markets that we currently serve. From a corporate perspective however, it’s interesting to note the increasingly important global role that ICE plays within the multi-faceted gaming landscape.
What are the plans of Aristocrat Europe for 2011 in terms of new product developments or releases?
As I’ve said, we’ve already previewed some of our exciting future prospects at ICE and we look forward to releasing more great concepts and innovations in the coming 12 months.