“Our goal is to provide operators with reliable products”

Steve Walther, Senior Director, Marketing and Product Management at Konami Gaming, Inc.

(Exclusive interview).- “Konami works to support partnerships and integrations with best-of-breed providers,” highlights Walther.

Konami Gaming, Inc. evaluates the international gaming market to reveal the secrets of successful development. Steve Walther, Senior Director, Marketing and Product Management of the company, shared with Focus Gaming News his perspectives on regional legal frameworks, opportunities for casino business and main attractions from the public worldwide. Konami is the leading casino equipment developer and its customers have been chosen the brand as a must-be in gaming floors; the company has revealed its strategy to keep growing and enhance the industry.

Konami has recently announced a Latin American expansion, and the reinforcement of the Peruvian market. What other countries are you trying to reach this year?

In 2017, we expect the Latin America region will continue to be a strong market for us. We’re very encouraged by the network of exclusive distributors we have in place for Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. And in speaking with our customers across these areas, they are in steady pursuit of new games and machines to enhance their offering to players. Europe as well has seen strong results since the launch of Concerto and is quickly adding Concerto SeleXion multi-game machines and Concerto Slant cabinets to the mix.

Are you currently looking for new partnerships to keep growing your business in America?

Konami’s focus for North America is to continue creative innovation for its core product line and power the expansion of the Concerto Collection of products, while driving new development in multi-station advancements such as Fortune Cup and skill-based games like Beat Square and Frogger: Get Hoppin’. Konami’s SYNKROS casino management system is also a key area of interest for North America. In addition to award-winning tools and technology our R&D team has pioneered in-house, Konami works to support partnerships and integrations with best-of-breed providers in order that casino customer have the ultimate flexibility to customize SYNKROS to meet their needs.

Europe has always been kind to Konami. After a successful edition of ICE and the installation of four SeleXion multi-game cabinets in Croatia, do you think the company will try to deepen its connections in the European market during 2017?

From what we observed at ICE, there are several key releases that our European customers have expressed particular interest toward. As you mentioned, Concerto SeleXion is the top popular product. Operators already know the speed and reliability of our multi-game technology from its initial launch on Podium, and now we have a sleek, elegant new machine to offer a variety of games on either a standard upright or slant format.

Smash Smash Festival is Konami’s first linked progressive game exclusively for Concerto, and has an original mechanic that progresses the number of mystery prizes in a winner-takes-all prize pool in lieu of traditional progressive meters. Speaking to operators at ICE, they’re excited about its clever game play, festive art animation, and flexible compatibility for upright, slant, and even SeleXion multi-game cabinets.

Our first single screen games have also generated attention from the European market. They offer a premium experience and tall portrait-oriented game content in a very versatile cabinet design. Konami’s tall Concerto Stack and curved Concerto Crescent both maintain a standard base size, so it can conveniently be placed across various areas of casinos.

Konami works to support partnerships and integrations with best-of-breed providers in order that casino customer have the ultimate flexibility to customize SYNKROS to meet their needs.

What are the biggest challenges that the land-based sector is currently facing?

Especially from the perspective of international casino properties, our goal is to provide operators with reliable products that maintain strong long-term value for their business. Since our Podium machines arrived abroad to casinos in Latin America and Europe, they have delivered great performing games and dependable hardware that lasts beyond cheaper competitor machines. Now we want them to know that Konami’s Concerto is available—it has the same commitment to quality and proven game math that they enjoyed with Podium, and it will power stronger performance for today’s players due to its modernized design and enhanced HD digital game screens. Concerto is a smart investment for our customers because it is backed by a long-term lifecycle of value, with the same high-caliber standards that Konami set with Podium.

Are you going to introduce new products at the upcoming events of the industry?

Our top upcoming events include the NIGA Indian Gaming Show in San Diego and Peru Gaming Show in Lima. Both will feature Konami’s very latest game offering for the Concerto Collection. New progressive games will be a particular highlight, including Smash Smash Festival and Cai Lai Si Ji.

On the horizon is, of course, G2E Las Vegas. It will include a milestone array of new products and next generation game innovations to support our global customers. Finally, we are looking forward to attending SAGSE Buenos Aires in November 2017. It will be an important event for the region, and Konami is very pleased to be a part of the event and share its latest gaming advancements.

Concerto is a smart investment for our customers because it is backed by a long-term lifecycle of value, with the same high-caliber standards that Konami set with Podium.