“Our core product focus remains on quality, value, and innovation”

Konami G2E 2018

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

(Exclusive interview).- Konami Gaming Inc talked with Focus Gaming News ahead of the next edition of G2E Las Vegas.

US.- The newest edition of one of the most important events of the industry, G2E Las Vegas, is just around the corner, and companies are getting ready to display their products to all attendees. Steve Walther, Senior Director, Marketing and Product Management at Konami Gaming Inc, talked with Focus Gaming News in an exclusive interview and detailed its expectations for the event, as well as the company’s future plans.

Konami’s SYNKROS has been in the industry for quite some time now, but doesn’t seem to slow down its progress anytime soon. Is the feedback from clients key to keep not only a steady but exponential growth on a leading product that has proved year after year to be successful?

The active collaboration and communication we share with our SYNKROS customers has been a key contributor to the emergence of leading new technology and continuing overall advancements. At G2E 2018 for example, Konami will premiere a new “cardless” multi-channel player loyalty solution called SynkConnect, which was developed based on strategic moves by SYNKROS customers in the cruise line industry. These customers have placed a special focus on streamlining transactions through tap-on/tap-off account authentication functionality, and Konami has been able to deliver on this technology with a variety of secure methods including mobile device, fob, room key, and more though Near Field Communication (NFC). Konami’s award-winning SynkConnect—along with numerous other leading systems releases—will be on display throughout G2E for attendees to experience firsthand. 

This year you have made a number of changes to your senior management. Do new appointments have a significant effect on the company’s performance in the short-term?

Within the past year Konami has made seven internal leadership promotions to support ongoing growth and development. Appointments which have particularly impacted our most recent momentum include games sales and systems sales, led by Casey Whalen and Jay Bertsch respectively. 

The primary goal for every market we serve is supporting players and operators with engaging entertainment that endures over time.

What can we expect from your booth at G2E Las Vegas? What will be the biggest change from last year’s edition?

Konami is set to feature a leading lineup of 4K cabinets, popular progressive features, proven bonus mechanics, and many more top advancements in gaming industry technology during this year’s G2E Las Vegas. Guests can expect a broad variety of high-quality game content for each cabinet in the Concerto Collection. The new 65-inch 4K Concerto Opus will debut a unique linked progressive called Treasure Ball, which rewards players with mystery jackpot prize balls in greater numbers and sizes as they increase their bet. Agent: Magnifying Jackpots and Inspector: Sign of the Jackpots continue the success of Konami’s Strike Zone mechanic on the curved Concerto Crescent and Concerto Stack cabinets with scaling multi-denom standalone jackpots. Other leading jackpot progressives including Solstice Celebration Triple Sparkle, Matsuri Kojiki Moon, Sparkling Roses Color Bloom, the Golden Blocks series, and Jackpot Streams Evolution will also span the floor with leading mechanics to reach and reward players.

Perhaps the biggest change will be the debut of an entirely new video slot cabinet called KX 43, which showcases a uniquely “Konami” experience on a stunning 43-inch 4K Ultra HD vertical screen. With a standard cabinet width, relaxed slant top, four-times the pixel depth of standard HD, and leading library of 4K-resolution game themes, KX 43 is designed as a trim-fit champion for any area of the floor. It is also designed with built-in comforts and conveniences for today’s players, including USB charging port, double cup holders, and a classic bash button. During G2E 2018, KX 43 will showcase a competitive lineup of exclusive launch titles covering everything from symbol-driven linked progressives to original jackpot bonuses. Several different game themes will be on display, all developed in 4K Ultra HD for graphics that catch attention and celebrate wins with stunning excitement.

The biggest change will be the debut of an entirely new video slot cabinet called KX 43, which showcases a uniquely “Konami” experience on a stunning 43-inch 4K Ultra HD vertical screen.

After last year’s edition of G2E you announced outstanding reception for your Beat Square rhythmic gameplay skill-based product. What will be your main highlight this year? What product are you expecting to excel this edition?

Last year’s launch of Beat Square Tournament was a significant milestone for Konami and a widely popular hit among attendees. Beat Square will again be included in this year’s lineup, showcasing exciting improvements to single player mode, which is a key factor in unit revenue.  

Konami’s award-winning Fortune Cup mechanical horse racing machine will also be making a return to Konami Booth #1154. Fortune Cup is currently live in over eight states and three countries, with additional installations planned through the end of the year. It has achieved demonstrated success in attracting new audiences to the gaming floor with unique entertainment and shared social engagement. 

In addition, we anticipate strong attention for Konami’s latest 4K Ultra HD slots: Concerto Opus and KX 43. 4K resolution allows us to showcase original content with pin-sharp game graphics and a captivating depth of visual clarity in every spin. It’s an enhancement that pops from across the room and engages players that want to enjoy that premium experience, with the popular game styles they recognize and enjoy. The new 65-inch Concerto Opus cabinet includes a 4K Ultra HD screen, as does our never-before-seen KX 43 cabinet, with a 43-inch 4K display. Both cabinets offer players a truly memorable and visually engaging experience from top to bottom. 

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Across the business, our core product focus remains on quality, value, and innovation. With recent outstanding successes including the Star Watch series, Riches Drop series, and many other top titles on Concerto Crescent and Stack, Konami is focused on continuing to drive incremental value for operators, while delivering meaningful entertainment for players. That is the primary goal for every market we serve—supporting players and operators with engaging entertainment that endures over time. 

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