hat new items did WMS present at recent G2E?
WMS is dedicated to providing value to casino operators by offering a wide range of gaming solutions and cabinet configurations. WMS cabinets at G2E 2014 included the Gamefield xD and Blade cabinets. The Gamefield xD cabinet offers an unparalleled field of view and an immersive gaming experience like never before, and the Blade cabinet is currently among the strongest performers within the industry. We also showcased our Blade Stepper cabinet, which represents a natural evolution of the high-performing Blade cabinet platform. Specifically- designed with the mechanical player in mind, the Blade Stepper cabinet brings the classic mechanical experience to the contemporary slot floor.
The Blade cabinet series is extending into the hybrid slant market with the Blade s23 and Blade s32 cabinets. The result of our most intensive player research development process ever, these new cabinets combine a revolutionary advance in technology with an innovative form that falls outside conventional hardware categories. The Blade s23 and Blade s32 cabinets are player-focused hybrid slant products – the next generation of slant innovation.
Beyond its innovative gaming cabinets, WMS remains focused on expanding its strong library of branded content. Top-performing brands such as the Monopoly, The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory brands returned to the G2E 2014 show floor and were joined by several exciting new brands, including The Flintstones, Mad Men, Gremlins, Elton John, Elvis and Austin Powers brands. These themes showcase our ability to combine gaming innovations with timeless brands and differentiated hardware to allow customers to leverage built-in brand loyalty and unique WMS gameplay to help optimize player interaction.
What feedback did you receive from visitors, and what are your views on this year’s show?
WMS was thrilled with the high level of customer interest in and appreciation for our new products, and customers agreed that the WMS product line on display at G2E 2014 was impressive. International customers in particular were excited about our wide multi-game product line, both our standalone and Local Area Progressive offerings, which are now available on multiple cabinets and platforms. We presented our products designed for the Asian markets, including our Winning Fortune Progressives and Sons of the Dragon series. One of the greatest hits of the show this year was our Blade s23 cabinet, for which we received an abundance of positive feedback. The new functions of our CPU-NXT3 processor and the increased playability enabled by that technology received an enthusiastic response from customers at the show this year.
What can you detail about the two seminars offered by the company at G2E?
WMS presented two thought-provoking panels as part of the G2E conference program. We were extremely pleased to offerG2E attendees the rare experience of hearing from Matthew Weiner, the creator, executive producer, writer and director of the acclaimed series MAD MEN, in celebration of our new MAD MEN game. Lionsgate’s groundbreaking AMC drama MAD MEN is one of the most honored series in television history with four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, three Golden Globes awards for Best Drama Series, and numerous additional awards. This seminar was a unique opportunity for show attendees to hear from one of Hollywood’s greatest storytellers, and it created buzz and excitement about the new MAD MEN game from WMS.
In a second panel, Senior Vice President and Design Chief for WMS, Allon Englman, reviewed key findings from an extensive study that analyzed the challenges affecting slot revenue performance. The seminar addressed the industry's biggest challenges: how casino operators and gaming equipment suppliers can work together to offer an entertainment experience that attracts newcomers, engages casual players, keeps core players happy and provides financial gains for the casinos.
What are the main markets for the company?
WMS has historically had a strong presence in Class III markets and has been very active within them, but now with our increased resources from our merger with Scientific Games, we are capable of reaching international marketplaces, especially international Class II regions, like never before. This has given a tremendous push to our activities in many places throughout the world.
With an eye towards these international customers, we have enhanced our global support and brand presence through a stronger focus on local needs and preferences, multi-game solutions, increased LAP offerings and a direct-to-market approach. In Australia and Peru, we have increased our investment and focus by going direct-to-market and expanding our customer-facing sales teams. Additionally, we have expanded other international teams, most notably by combining WMS and Scientific Games efforts in Mexico and Europe.
What are your business strategies for 2015?
Scientific Games and WMS have significant resources and experience, robust internal talent, and strong operator relationships within the gaming industry that we will continue to leverage. We built our position as an industry leader by launching some of the highest performing and most innovative products for casino floors, and our new cabinet offerings, the Blade s23 and the Blade s32 cabinets, are designed to further shape the look of the modern casino floor. Our new product lines and brands are created to help engage both core and casual players and help provide solid returns on casino operator investments in slot technology, and we plan to continue to pursue all of these aims moving forward.