International edition
April 23, 2019

Interview with MD Americas for Aristocrat, Matt Wilson

"G2E was an enjoyable and busy show for Aristocrat, perhaps one of the best ever"

"Some operators like an entertainment-style experience, a wheel bonus feature, or reel-spinners. Others like large format displays, or to be bonused and rewarded in different ways: our portfolio meets all those preferences," says MD Americas Matt Wilson.
United States | 11/08/2018

"Attendees were excited to see our new licensed product, such as Mad Max: Fury Road, Billions, FarmVille, MOTOWN, The Walking Dead, and The Big Bang Theory, along with new experiences in our core product such as Buffalo Diamond 10th Anniversary and titles that expand player-favorite categories, such as Lightning Link and Dragon Link," says MD Americas Matt Wilson, in interview with Yogonet.

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an we have your final assessment of your presence at G2E regarding visitors, feedback, networking, new deals, etc.?

G2E was an enjoyable and busy show for Aristocrat, perhaps one of the best ever. Our booth was filled to capacity each day with customers from all over the world who were interested to see our latest innovations in Class II games, Class III games, and in systems. We had staff from all of our regions – North America, LatAm, EMEA, and APAC – who were busy meeting with customers, showcasing our innovations, and helping customers make a plan to appeal to each of their patron types. The feedback was positive across the board. Attendees were excited to see our new licensed product, such as Mad Max: Fury Road, Billions, FarmVille, MOTOWN, The Walking Dead, and The Big Bang Theory, along with new experiences in our core product such as Buffalo Diamond 10th Anniversary and titles that expand player-favorite categories, such as Lightning Link and Dragon Link. Attendees were also interested in our new multi-game bartop product, which will bring the Buffalo title into that space for the first time

What response have you received regarding novelties and launches showcased at your stand? How would you describe Mad Max: Fury Road Slot Game presence at G2E?

The response was positive, and attendees appeared to enjoy their experience in our booth. We wanted to capture live, in real-time customer feedback, so we incorporated three survey kiosks in the booth where customers could give feedback while also being entered into daily raffle drawings. One interesting feature of our booth was the Mad Max vehicle where attendees could take a 180-degree photo sitting in the car. This was complemented by costumes from the film. Another engaging product launch was our MOTOWN lounge, where attendees could watch a live graffiti artist create original MOTOWN-themed paintings. Last, we had an entire wall dedicated to our employees, including five original short films that featured employees from various departments in entertaining videos that talked about new product in fun, original ways.

You received two Global Gaming Awards and two other awards in Las Vegas; what does it mean for you as a company?

We were humbled to win two Global Gaming Awards. Our Lightning Link slot game was named Land-Based Product of the Year, and our Game of Thrones slot game was named Slot of the Year. Plus, our new Dollar Storm slot game received the Silver Medal in GGB Magazine’s Gaming & Technology Awards. Additionally, the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance named Aristocrat the winner in the groups Innovation Category of its Annual Awards, prior to the show. Everything we do is because of our customers, who inspire us to be better every day. Using that inspiration, our teams work incredibly hard to create innovative cabinets, games, and systems technologies, and to be recognized by the gaming industry and by the Las Vegas business community for our work is gratifying.

Did you organize exclusive activities, prizes or surprises during G2E? How did it turn out?

Our goal was to create a total live show experience, and customer feedback was positive. In addition to the Mad Max: Fury Road vehicle experience, MOTOWN Lounge, and the employee video wall, we had an exciting time celebrating the 10th anniversary of our classic Buffalo slot. We worked with Freed’s Bakery, featured bakery on Food Network’s hit series, “Vegas Cakes,” to create a giant buffalo cake, which was a huge “wow” moment for attendees. We also worked with Las Vegas’ own Lohan School of Shaolin to stage a dragon parade that showered luck on all attendees and highlighted our Dragon Link product line. We extended the show experience right into the guest room at the Venetian/Palazzo with a custom TV channel we created specifically for the show.

Which new trends and demands could you identify from operators and players during G2E? What are your strategies to approach them? 

Operators want and need to speak to each of their various customer types. We hear that over and over again in customer meetings and in our recent customer forum. It’s a conversation we take extremely seriously, and that’s why we work diligently to create cabinets, games, and systems products that allow our customers to provide entertaining experiences to their patrons. Some like a more entertainment-style experience, some like a wheel bonus feature, some like reel-spinners, some like large format displays, some like to be bonused and rewarded in different ways – whatever the player preference, we are proud of our deep and broad portfolio of hardware and software that meets those preferences.

Oasis Loyalty, ONE LINK, and Drinks On Tap were some of your system innovations. Could you provide us with more details about them, and name some other examples of technological innovation applied to your business areas, in line with the new and future trends within gaming industry, especially for North America? 

Our Oasis 360 system solution continues to lead the industry, and just prior to G2E, we were thrilled to announce a major agreement with Boyd Gaming that establishes Oasis 360 as its casino management solution provider at all Boyd casino properties nationwide. With Oasis 360, we are enabling Boyd to unify all properties under B Connected, its player-loyalty program. Our systems area was busy at G2E, and attendees were interested in learning about our suite of brand connected solutions. First up was Oasis Loyalty, a multi-site single card marketing and rewards solution across the entire enterprise. all operators both single and multi-site enterprises can benefit from Oasis Loyalty which allows operators the flexibility to tailor earnings and rewards to their customers wants and needs. Attendees were further impressed with the new integrated Oasis Loyalty Kiosk showcased at G2E. It has a sleek design and contains exciting marketing and promotional features such as drawings and swipe & win, along with the ability to complete card reprints, all in a single kiosk. Our versatile ONE LINK, solution allows operators to control and managed a variety of areas on the casino floor all in a single location. With ONE LINK operators can create floor-wide bonusing promotions, manage and report on any connected device with ONE LINK progressive management, and/or update and modify content on enabled devices, inside and out. Drinks On Tap puts the control in the player’s hand. Patrons can now order their favorite drinks directly from the EGM without having to flag down a cocktail server. Drinks On Tap also adds a great deal of accountability and transparency for the operator, allowing for better tracking and reporting. Last, attendees were interested in our new TrackIt with Vouchers solution, which allows patrons to utilize tickets both at tables and slot machines, helping to eliminate lines at the cage and improve table reporting. This solution was first installed at Live! Casino in the newly opened Orchid Gaming & Smoking Patio. The implementation was the first in North America.

Which concepts and learning could you acquire in Las Vegas that could be useful for other jurisdictions, like Latin America? Do you have any feedback from Panama’s first Aristocrat Lightning Link Lounge?

Our ONE LINK SSP/MSP concept continues to expand in Latin America, particularly in Argentina and Puerto Rico as the Gana Con Susana and Jackpot del Encanto progressive links are popular with players and operators. Additionally, customer feedback about the first Lightning Link Lounge in Panama has been very positive, and the concept continues to gain popularity in the country.

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