(Exclusive interview).- Eduardo Aching, Vice President, International Gaming Operations at Konami Gaming Inc, talked with Focus Gaming News after this year’s ICE London.
The 2019 edition of ICE London was registered as the biggest to date and proved the power and exponential growth of the gambling industry across the world. Konami Gaming Inc was once again one of the highlights of the show, and Eduardo Aching, Vice President, International Gaming Operations at Konami Gaming Inc, talked with Focus Gaming News after this year’s edition to explain how they perceived the feedback from the public and detailed some of the company’s products.
Konami has been encouraged by recent momentum across Latin America, and in recent events, such as ICE London, the expo floor has seen an increased offering from that region. While the company already has a strong presence in Latin America, what do you take into consideration at these type of events to further boost your brand?
For events like ICE London, the best thing we can do to further our company brand is invest time and attention in the needs of our customer. We work diligently to bring Konami’s latest top titles and technology to the show so they can experience first-hand, and then we work together to uncover the best opportunities to engage their unique player base.
The company has access to technology that has endured for decades. Do you find it challenging when specific verticals within the industry show an exponential growth? How do you adapt to these changes?
Growth in emerging sectors helps illustrate that players are open and interested in new gaming entertainment. Konami’s role as a leading casino games developer is to support the industry with fresh and innovative gaming options to engage those audiences in new ways. It’s a challenge, but it’s part of our mission and what has led to innovations like Fortune Cup and Smash Smash Festival.
What can you tell us about the milestone version release of MarkerTrax in 2019?
Available through Konami’s SYNKROS casino management system, MarkerTrax allows casinos to issue, record, manage, and track slot credit that is extended to player accounts in SYNKROS with comprehensive electronic tracking, for optimal credit collection and compliance measures. MarkerTrax helps improve both credit collections and compliance by tracking not only the extension of credit, but the use of the credit. We’re looking forward to bringing it live across initial locations this year.
Konami’s role as a leading casino games developer is to support the industry with fresh and innovative gaming options to engage those audiences in new ways.
What does this year have in store for Konami?
In 2019, Konami will be providing an array of fresh content for the Concerto Collection, including Crescent, Stack, Slant, and upright. These formats have been strong for customers abroad and we look forward to growing that performance and value even further with more original game releases. Concerto Opus and KX 43 are further on the horizon for international operators and Konami is also laying the necessary foundation to take those new slot formats abroad.
During ICE 2019 Konami showcased Treasure Ball, a one-of-a-kind linked progressive game. What was the response from the public?
The feedback we have received on Treasure Ball has been overwhelmingly positive. In addition to the design of the prize ball machine, which provides an eye-catching delivery of mystery prizes, a giant flying dragon will fly across all linked connect screens randomly throughout game play. It’s an incredibly memorable design detail that grabs attention. In addition, some customers find it beneficial that the game can combine overtop a variety of base game options, such as Chili Chili Fire, Dragon’s Law Twin Fever, and more.
Our international customers value long-term service, reliability, and partnership—three areas that Konami strives to deliver.
Before the show you told us that ICE helps you set the tone for the new year and provides insight to the key needs, concerns and considerations of your customers abroad. What are some of the most important takes that you can highlight from this year’s edition of ICE?
There are several key takeaways from ICE London 2019 that standout. First is the increasing interest in single-screen game formats, such as Concerto Crescent, Concerto Stack, and KX 43. International operators are turning to these single screen display options more than any time before and benefiting from top-performing titles like Konami’s Star Watch series. We also see a higher demand for innovative game play, math, and mechanics. Games like Smash Smash Festival have demonstrated a player interest in new gaming experiences, which has helped open the door to continued creativity with games such as Money Galaxy, Thunder Arrow, Golden Blocks, and Power Boost Inferno. And as in years past, we heard how much our international customers value long-term service, reliability, and partnership—three areas that Konami strives to deliver, in collaboration with its network of exclusive international distributors.