Konami’s vice-president of international sales, Eduardo Aching, shares with Focus Gaming News his impressions about the upcoming ICE 2016.
The Japanese giant is all set to shine at London, displaying a new set of products and launching Concerto video slot cabinet.
ICE will be held once again in the next weeks, what do you expect from this show?
Each year, ICE Totally Gaming is an important opportunity for us to visit with our international customers, and we have strong indication that this year’s event in particular will be one of the largest ever to date. ICE 2016 is impactful in terms of the number of people attending, the significance of current industry issues, and the creative entertainment showcased in products like the new Frogger themed slots and Concerto video slot cabinet. So we expect to meet with a leading international gaming industry presence and provide them with ample opportunity to experience the very latest slot games available.
Will the company introduce new products during the show? In that case, which are the advantages for the casino and the player?
ICE 2016 is setting the stage for a broad line-up of new releases, ranging from the latest Konami games to exciting expansions on proven products. This year Konami showcasing for the first time its new Concerto video slot cabinet to ICE attendees with unique features such as edge-to-edge 27-inch HD monitors, a 19.5-inch digital topper, and signature holographic side lighting. It boasts the largest screen size in its class, so players can enjoy a premium, cinematic slot experience and casinos can get the most value from the space of a standard upright machine. Concerto also has the flexibility to host brand new KP3+ platform games, as well as many popular KP3 platform games like Dragon’s Law and China Shores, so that casino operators have a robust library of available game themes to choose from.
The world’s first Dungeons & Dragons video slots will also make their ICE premiere. They are based upon the iconic fantasy-themed role-playing game and display very well on our tall-top Podium Monument cabinet with custom bezel, sign, and other merchandising options unique to the popular D&D brand. Our all-new Frogger slots are also debuting at ICE on the Monument cabinet. This classic arcade game is leaping into the casino gaming world, complete with the road and river crossing course that people worldwide have enjoyed for generations.
Which are this year’s plans? Which markets are you focusing on?
We have aims of expansion across a broad variety of regions in the coming year, but one of Konami’s biggest initiatives of 2016 is the launch of Concerto. It’s now arriving at casinos around the globe and initial feedback is outstanding. The coming months are situated for exceptional momentum, and we have a strong pipeline of game themes currently in approvals and development. So throughout the year, we’ll be working diligently to deliver this product to market with the quality and performance our customers know they can expect from Konami.
How do you see the gaming industry today? Which are the challenges for this year for the worldwide industry?
Today’s gaming industry has been tasked with investing time and resources in pioneering the next generation gambling experience. And as important as it is that we should forge new creative technology for a future generation of core casino players, we can’t abandon today’s slot players or stop advancing the game mechanics, technology, and entertainment they enjoy. We must maintain a steady, thoughtful, simultaneous course of action in both areas, and stay attentive for potential crossover. It’s a difficult balance to maintain, but it’s pivotal for our industry’s future.
iGaming and skill-based gaming are also at a pivotal point. Both are undergoing global historic change, and how we execute on technology and investment in these areas in 2016 will impact the coming years in a lot of ways. Konami’s mission in both areas is to empower casinos with the gaming technology and content they need to reach their customers, which is why we’ve partnered with Spin Games to launch our own remote gaming service (RGS) for deployment across online social and for-wager environments. In the area of skill-based gaming, our team is actively involved in advising on-going regulatory and legislative exploration, and we’re equipped to respond with remarkable new creative content to help empower this sector for success.