he agreement, which was signed with Endemol Games, owners of the Deal or No Deal Licence, also includes shared rights for use on digital gaming products. The contract has been secured for an undisclosed but substantial sum and will extend Bell-Fruit’s association with Deal Or No Deal to eight-years, making it the most successful brand licencing agreement in UK low-stake gaming.
John Austin, Managing Director of Bell-Fruit games said: “This agreement scotches any doubt about our firm commitment to analogue gaming and I am naturally delighted that our new owners have committed what is a substantial amount into the future of the manufacturing brands within the Astra Group. They share an enthusiasm for gaming and have a vision for the development of the sector that is fantastic news for everyone who is associated with the company including employees, suppliers and our customers.
“When Bell-Fruit produced the first Deal or No Deal game in August 2006 few observers could have predicted the huge success that we have enjoyed. Achieving volume sales of 40,000 units in what has been a depressed market is phenomenal. Whilst the brand clearly resonates with players it’s also important to recognise our games designers who have succeeded in applying their skills to this brand. The gaming industry is littered with examples of seemingly strong brands that have failed to transfer into the gaming space. It is the marriage between brand and games designer which determines the success or failure of a game. Following the acquisition Bell-Fruit has a clear development strategy and this is just one very important example of how we will be investing in the future of UK gaming.”
Simon Knight, Business Development & Licensing Manager at Endemol Games confirmed: “The relationship we have enjoyed with Bell-Fruit over the last six years has been excellent and we can now look forward to the next exciting phase in that relationship. We are very excited about the potential for new additions to the range of Deal or No Deal products under this new deal. The cooperative way in which Bell-Fruit have applied their skill set whilst being absolutely true to the brand has been a major factor in the commercial success of the Deal or No Deal brand in this space. We are all very proud that Deal or No Deal is a brand which is now synonymous with pub gaming.”