hat can you tell us about the products you're planning to unleash at G2E Las Vegas?
2019 is going to be an exciting year for Inspired at G2E, as we will be showcasing our first GLI-approved Illinois VGT product. Inspired’s VGT product has been designed from the ground up to meet the VGT player’s needs, applying what we’ve learned from our extensive route gaming experience and the deep real-world player research we did within Illinois. We believe the 10 themes we’ll be launching with, and the combination of extremely popular European themes and mechanics with new titles custom-built for North America will deliver a “Game for every playerTM” experience and will be hugely popular with both players and operators.
We will also be showcasing our exclusive licensed products for the hockey legend that is Jaromir Jagr. We will have two products on display: an exciting multi-bonus, highly innovative Interactive slot game and a V-Play Jagr branded product.
In addition to our V-Play Jagr product, we will introduce our groundbreaking Virtual Basketball game, which uses the latest in motion capture technology to create a new level of realism.
We’ll also be showcasing V-Play Football. Inspired is the only provider of virtual football, which will become even more exciting since Inspired signed a deal with VEEPIO, the mobile technology arm of the NFL Alumni (NFLA), to use the name, brand, image, persona, and likenesses of NFLA members in virtual football games worldwide.
What can both operators and players alike expect to see from you in terms of product development?
At Inspired, we pride ourselves on innovating for the player and operators. We are focused on growing our North American Virtual and slot businesses, in both retail and interactive sectors/channels. We plan to customize our proven performers for each new sector/channeland bring out-of-the-box thinking to game concepts across the various channels.
This will be especially prevalent in the slot product ranges, as we continue to develop new innovative slot game mechanics over the next 12 months, such as our fever game exchange, “Sizzling Hot SpinsTM.”
Which jurisdictions do you feel currently offer the most potential for gaming growth?
Inspired sees huge potential in North America in the route/VGT space. We believe that space will expand, and our innovation and experience as an essential entertainment provider and leader in server-based gaming will really push the market to grow and ignite a new breed of entertaining slot games.
In addition to this, the opening up of sports betting in the states will allow millions of more players to enjoy the state-of-the-art virtual sports. As a leader in Virtual Sports, we see opportunities for major growth for our customers through the game designs we offer.
What discussions should drive next year’s agenda? Where will the focus be?
As always, regulations will be key, whether that’s the sports betting regulations in the states, the expansion of VGTs in Illinois, or the changing landscape of European interactive gaming commissions’ and regulators’ views on products. All of these will have an impact on gaming companies’ roadmaps. A focus on lower-stake players, with more gamification in the interactive space, along with new entrants in the VGT, will be good news for players.
What is going to be your strategy this year to out-perform competitors and grow your market share?
At Inspired, it is in our DNA to make great games. Our strategy is about making the right product for the player and engaging them in the play style that they are most comfortable with. We have a great, expanded set of talented teams creating highly original, but focused slot titles for all of our distribution channels. Combine that with the industry’s award-winning virtual games team, and that gives us a competitive edge as we grow into new markets like Illinois and virtual sports venues both online and in retail locations.
In your opinion, which will be the most prominent topics to be debated in the aisles at G2E and off the show floor?
I think there is still a lot of debate over sports betting, along with the growth in popularity of VGT terminals. Interactive slots is really picking up momentum in North America and as traditional casino suppliers start to understand the higher turnover of games this requires, they will look to buy smaller game studios in hope of increasing their creative output. I also believe that virtual sports products are starting to make a name for themselves stateside, and I imagine there will be quite a few conversations that start with the recommendation “Talk to Inspired.”
In June, Inspired announced the acquisition of Novomatic UK’s gaming terminals business. What can you tell us about the results of this deal so far? Are you currently planning any further transactions or strategic deals?
This acquisition is an exciting step forward in the evolution of Inspired into a global gaming company with a comprehensive portfolio of products and services and world-class functional expertise in the gaming industry. We are excited about the benefits our customers will enjoy as a result of this combination—access to a larger, stronger product and content portfolio; a broader spectrum of channels to reach more players; and enhanced capabilities, systems, and field service.