hat is your opinion of this year’s ICE? Has it met your expectations?
This year’s ICE really was an excellent gaming show for Novomatic. First of all, we were the birthday kid of the show. The fact that we are celebrating our 40th company anniversary this year has certainly added a very special note for us to the show – not only in terms of stand design and our booth party with David Hasselhoff. We were also lucky enough to receive three awards: The Global Gaming Award as a “Supplier of the Year”, the British Casino Award for the “Best UK Slot Machine” and the ICE organizer Clarion Gaming’s “ICE Totally Gaming 2020 Landmark Award”.
In terms of footfall, we generally noticed a slight decline in visitor traffic, as if fewer show visitors had come to the show, and you can discuss the reasons at length, be it travel restrictions due to the virus outbreak in china, uncertainty or other reasons. The fact is, however, that it had no impact whatsoever on the quality of the show for Novomatic. Every single one of our customers seized the opportunity to come visit us, see our product news and have a chat. We also received excellent feedback – not only for our product news but also for our stand design, which was a lot more spacious this year, as you may have noticed. We had a little fewer machines on the floor and generally fewer towering structures which added good visibility to those products that actually were on display, and also for the party – and of course the famous sausage queue which amazes me every year… Therefore – yes, we are really happy with the results of ICE 2020 – and to be honest, it has surpassed our expectations.
Which of the company’s products attracted the most attention from attendees?
That depends on the region the customers came from, of course. But in general, I would say Links, the NOVO LINE Interactive Concurve Edition 5and the Multi-Gaminator deluxe.
International customers were very interested to see our growing range of Linked Progressives – for example the CASH CONNECTION, MONEY PARTY, the two brand links: LUCKY TWIST and JI DENG GAO ZHAO, to name just a few. Whereas European customers were more focused on updating their core business with the new Concurve Edition 5 multi-game. This is a very attractive game mix in the modern single screen upright design that is not yet so common on European gaming floors – and in terms of look and feel, it is quite the complete opposite from the very down-to-earth traditional Multi-Gaminator deluxe. But still, both were definite highlights with our customers – the one because it can add a really great bundle of state-of-the-art games on their casino floor, and the other because it allows them to maintain the elementary retro classics in their offer, with original 5 and 9 lines, but also with today’s hardware and software.
Which tendencies or innovations stood out at ICE 2020?
This year’s ICE has somewhat confirmed a trend that we started to notice a few years ago: land-based and interactive gaming offers are merging more and more, as operators in a growing number of markets are beginning or already have seen the necessity to provide an offer for both channels – subject to an appropriate regulatory framework, of course. Accordingly, if you look at the show floor at ICE, there is an ever-growing percentage of suppliers to the Online Gaming and sports betting segment – even if both segments have specialist gaming shows of their own. But the reason is that these suppliers reach their clients at what was originally a land-based gaming show – and these clients nowadays tend to have a “chief buyer” who shops for the whole package.
At Novomatic, we are in the lucky position to be able to provide this 360-degree portfolio that encompasses everything they need, in quality they’ll be glad to rely on and with a proven track record of content their players will want to play. Novomatic can offer land-based products and Greentube has transferred the success of these games to their interactive Home of Games. And finally, Novomatic Sports Betting Solutions provide their portfolio for the sports betting segment.