eMar’s Leading Edge Design, also known as LED Gaming, is planting a flag in the App Store with an eye toward the day when online gaming becomes legal in multiple U.S. states. So far, only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have legalized some forms of online betting.
He’s doing so with a new slot-machine game called Double Luck Nudge, built for Apple Watch. Users don’t do any actual gambling with it — at least for now — but they can make millions in fun bets. The $2.95 app looks like a traditional slot machine, with three spinning wheels, and allows users to compete for credits.
“We want to be out there on the cutting edge,” said DeMar, co-creator of the early-'80s classic arcade video game Defender. “We want to be ready when people are looking for proven winners.”
What he means is that he wants to be ready if more states legalize online gaming, something he and his brother – Steven DeMar, LED Gaming’s director of business development – believe is inevitable.
“The money is going to have to come from somewhere,” Steven DeMar said, referring to states’ need for tax revenue.
DeMar’s betting on online gaming. He’s also betting on the Apple Watch, hardly a proven commodity. Apple began shipping the watch in April, and the company recorded second-quarter sales of about 3.6 million units, according to IDC Research.
That’s in contrast to an estimated 2.6 billion global smartphone users, a number that’s expected to grow to more than 6 billion by the end of the decade, according to Ericsson.
Larry DeMar said he loves his Apple Watch and that the Double Luck Nudge slot-machine game, released this month, succeeds on the tiny screen because of its simplicity and crisp graphics.
Chicago-based Purple Gator developed the software for the app. DeMar said he thinks the combination of graphics and haptics — a buzzing sensation coordinated with the spinning wheels that allows users to “feel” the game — make it a potential winner.
Purple Gator CEO Andrew Nadhir said his young team of recent college graduates nicely complemented DeMar’s veteran perspective.
“It was a perfect match of old-school knowledge meets new-school technology,” he said.
Unlike some games, which allow users to buy more credits when their free allotment runs out, Larry DeMar said his game will give new credits after an hour delay or allow users to view an ad in return for immediate credits.
DeMar can point to a track record of designing successful games. After the release of Defender, he worked for former pinball-maker Williams before setting out on his own in 1999 with LED Gaming. Since then he’s focused on slot-machine games for casinos, and he said the company has 20 patents on games.
DeMar said the company’s background with casino games makes him confident it can succeed at developing games for the Watch.
“If you are getting people to sit down and play for real money, you are onto something,” he said.