his week, Yogonet had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Eduardo Aching, Vice President of International Sales for Konami Gaming Inc., who provided insight on the stregths, challenges and opportunities Konami has faced in 2017 and expects for 2018, ahead of their upcoming presentation at ICE 2018.
Could you provide further insight into the products you are planning to debut at the exhibition?
Konami is bringing a strong mix of progressive bonus game releases to this year’s ICE event, as well as a number of exciting titles for the curved Concerto Crescent cabinet. One of the top linked progressive games that will be featured at ICE for the first time is called Power Boost Inferno. It allows players to increase their odds for the Supreme jackpot up to 10x by various extra bet level contributions. Power Boost Inferno features a multi-level wheel spin bonus, cumulative awards, and exciting lava burst animation. Another original linked bonus game coming to ICE 2018 is Konami’s fiesta-themed Smash Smash Festival. Instead of traditional metering progressive prizes, this game progresses the number of available prizes in the jackpot pool with each mystery-trigger selection until a player is awarded the Smash Time bonus to redeem all prizes in the central pot. Smash Smash Festival and Power Boost Inferno combine with most any KP3+ base games on Concerto upright and Slant. It is even compatible for SeleXion multi-game.
Other original bonus features will be showcased in new game series like Cai Lai Si Ji, Celestial Sun Riches, and Celestial Moon Riches. Cai Lai Si Ji is a 4-level standalone progressive that has seen strong success across international markets with its pick ‘em feature and 5-figure Mega jackpot. The latest series release is called Power of Riches, featured at ICE on Concerto upright and Slant. It will be side-by-side with Celestial Sun Riches and Celestial Moon Riches. These are the debut games for Konami’s new Strike Zone feature, which allows players to select increasing Strike Zone areas for additional bonus opportunities by increasing their extra bet amount. Every wild eclipse symbol that lands in the Strike Zone transforms to a random 2x or 3x multiplier and each sun or moon symbol awards a wheel bonus if the free game feature is triggered.
This year also marks the ICE debut of Konami’s Castlevania themed slots, based on the iconic video game series first popularized in the 80’s. It is showcased on our curved 43” screen Crescent cabinet, with authentic art, animation, and music from the series and multi-mystery bonus events. The game really is a must-see for operators looking for new premium game options in 2018.
SeleXion multi-game is also coming to Concerto Crescent for the first time at ICE 2018. This gives operators a versatile solution to feature Konami’s latest single screen game releases—like Lotus Land Deluxe Wild, China Shores Great Stacks, Dragon Fury, and more—on one machine.
What are operators and players to expect from you in terms of product development?
Konami is recognized by operators for game quality and long-term value. From SeleXion multi-game to the newest Concerto lineup, Konami delivers dependable performance with a strong library of original titles. From a player perspective, Konami games like Chili Chili Fire, Dragon’s Law, and Great Moai are known for creative bonus features and fun free games. Some of our most recent KP3+ titles—such as Sizzling Hearts, Sparkling Roses, and Mammoth Power—have also gained strong player following for new types of multiplier features.
What discussions should drive the 2018 agenda at an industry-level? Which topics will be the focus, in your opinion?
Likely the top concern for land-based operators across Europe is how to attract more players and further expand their core customer base. They want cultivate that new interest and Konami helps support this through cutting edge products and exciting new game developments that appeal to diverse player segments. Today’s gaming audience is looking for a casino experience and environment that suits their lifestyle. Konami is continually investing in research and development to anticipate those player trends and preferences so we can pioneer the gaming technology to best serve evolving player needs.
Could you mention the strategies you are implementing in 2018 to outperform competitors and grow your market share?
Konami’s core growth continues to be powered by a focus on research & development. Our energy and investment is on product R&D, in order to deliver leading entertainment for players and top performance for operators. As our Concerto Collection reaches record placements, Konami is focused on supporting the market with top quality games and innovative entertainment for players to enjoy.
Please join Konami Gaming Inc. at ICE London, on stand #S6-110.