At ICE 2011, we were excited to show the attendees what makes IGT a world leader in gaming. From the latest in slot floor technology to cutting-edge mobile and online products, IGT remains dedicated to providing our international customers with the very best products and end-to-end networked gaming solutions to help them meet their operating objectives and deliver unparalleled player experiences.
As you’ll know, IGT also is renowned for delivering the most recognizable popular culture icons to the casino floor, and this year, we displayed some of our biggest titles. From an amazing Premium Products line-up, also known as MegaJackpots, to the new Core Player Affinity Suite, the big titles that we showcased included:
-Star Wars Droid Hunt, which is set to become the most popular Star Wars casino game ever released. A well-researched understanding of what game elements excite players and a highly creative visual experience combine to deliver lively gaming action. The game comes complete with four galactic bonus rounds and a Premium Products top award.
-The new Dirty Dancing Slot features the iconic characters Baby and Johnny (played by Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey) in a game infused with nostalgia, famous songs and video clips. This Premium Products game includes a new Spin Magic feature that turns minor symbol outcomes into wilds.
We also debuted on IGT's Center Stage line-up, The Dark Knight, which was featured on the platform's 103-inch screen. Players can choose to play Batman or the Joker to immerse themselves in-group and individual bonuses while enjoying the thematic film experience. American Idol MultiPLAY video slots also joined the line-up. This game delivers entertainment that is packed with action. The unique group play Audition Bonus includes memorable video clips and songs from the show.
IGT raised the bar for skill-based gaming with the new Reel Edge series of games, which was named Best Slot Product at the recent 8th Annual Gaming and Technology Awards. For the first time, spinning-reel players can stop the reels to attempt to create wins and use an arcade-style joystick to control the outcome of the 100 percent skill-based bonuses in the top box. On display from the Reel Edge series of games will be the vampire-inspired Blood Life and Red, White & Blue Falling Stars.
IGT's Core games continue to offer an unmatched library of video and spinning-reel slots. And this year, the new Player Affinity Suite brought strong, recognizable brands to the casino floor that are sure to generate player interest. Among the new titles on display were the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey 5 Reel Circus and The Greatest Show On Earth games. Also joining IGT's Core games is the top-performing favourite Siberian Storm.
IGT also launched the new online game Star Trek at ICE, featuring some of the most innovative bonus rounds ever seen in an online slot game. IGT's online and mobile offerings at ICE will also include the Company's successful iPhone and iPad games, with popular titles such as Cleopatra and Kitty Glitter.
What stands out from your participation this year? How did the public respond? How do you evaluate ICE 2011?
The great thing about ICE is that it targets our international customers perfectly and attracts a good balance of visitors from across the globe. Of course, there was a tremendous amount of interest in our new game line-up, but what was most interesting about the show this year, compared with previous years, is that almost all of our conversations with customers involved meaningful dialog around our server-based gaming offerings, as well as our interactive and land-based converged solutions. What this tells us is that the market is reaching a tipping point for networked gaming, and the untold operational benefits this holds, in addition to the huge growth opportunities the world of online gaming heralds for our traditional brick and mortar customers. Overall, ICE was a wonderful show for IGT and we couldn’t have been happier with the quality of conversations we had with our many customers about forward looking growth in their businesses.
How do you see the industry for this year? What was the scenario that you could perceive in Earls Court?
ICE is a perfect venue for IGT to show our customers why we are the partners of choice in the marketplace. For IGT, the quality of the conversations was high and the discussions were very much growth oriented, a true change to the overall market outlook of the past few years.
The overall sentiment I was left with from ICE is that the market is showing signs of stabilization and, in some parts of the International market, gearing up for growth. This is extremely positive for IGT given our wide geographical coverage and cutting-edge gaming technology solutions that deliver tremendous value to both the players and the operators alike.
What are your most important markets in Europe?
It’s a very interesting time to be in gaming, with the European market set to go through some changes in the coming months and years. Many countries are poised to legalize in one form or another, and we are excited about the opportunities that this represents to us, especially as it relates to what we can offer to these new markets by way of online and land-based gaming converged solutions.
We already are fortunate to have customers in all of the legalized jurisdictions in Europe, including in Holland, Iceland, France, Portugal and the UK. We look forward to showing customers in newly legalized jurisdictions why IGT is the partner of choice for them.
Which are IGT’s plans for 2011?
We see 2011 heralding many exciting projects for IGT around our core strategy of providing complete gaming solutions for our customers. Of paramount importance to me, however, will be how to provide even more value to our customers’ operations while increasing the entertainment value of the player experience for their patrons. Therefore, a continued focus on delivering world-class games to add to our ever growing stable of award-winning titles will be crucial to driving yields. Additionally, we will help our customers realize the myriad benefits of server based systems as well as explore the opportunity of land-based and online gaming convergence in their markets.
We know our customers have a choice when it comes to gaming providers and therefore, our singular focus is to provide them the solutions they need today and in the future, in a highly differentiated service-driven manner, in an effort to help them meet the objectives of their own businesses.