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Vanilla content will always be second best – argues Reflex CPO

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Ahead of ICE London 2019, Mat Ingram, CPO of independent developer, Reflex Gaming, explains why the commoditisation of content is a race to the bottom

Looking back on 2018 what have been the highlights and the key achievements in the online space for the Reflex brand?

2018 was a year characterised by strategic and steady expansion for Reflex in the online sector. We went live with five new top tier operators as well as numerous smaller operators courtesy of our existing distribution partnerships which continue to do well for us. We have adhered to our “quality over quantity” philosophy, resulting in six new game titles over the course of the year, all but one emanating from our market-leading portfolio of land-based content. We have forged new commercial relationships, worked with new development partners, and continued to learn a lot.  There’s no doubt that 2018 was an important and successful year.

How would you describe the main challenges for the online sector – is it facing a case of over supply?  Is there a danger of quantity subsuming quality when it comes to games content and what can be done about it?

For me, the sector is surprisingly slow-moving given its entirely-digital nature, but this is a symptom of the complex distribution routes that are now so prevalent, along with the hugely busy supply chain. Many planets have to align technically and strategically for a relatively simple event to occur, such as a game release. Compare this to our server-managed land-based machines, where I can develop a game in half the time and release it overnight to thousands of machines, but of course in this case I am in complete control of the tech stack and the content strategy, which helps enormously! The over-supply of what I would describe as vanilla, ‘global’ content has turned the previous art of game creation into a production line building commodity ‘widgets’ whose value to the supplier is measured in how low they can get their costs. This must, in turn, reduce quality, however this is not always immediately apparent. There are so many games being released that without any promotional activity (that the bigger suppliers can fund), one game performs much the same as another, thus perpetuating their commodity status. As such, I believe there is an increasing requirement for specialised, ‘hyper-local’ content – by which I refer to games that have been specifically created by suppliers with local expertise and experience for local players. As suppliers, we often have to modify our games anyway to suit local regulations and language, so there is already an existing idea that games must be localised, but I believe that it is also better for the user if the games with which they are presented are those that have been crafted for them rather than the one-size-fits-all approach that is often used. Reflex have some of the most successful games in the land-based markets in which we compete and we should leverage these with partners who have expertise in distributing hyper-local content.

Has your thinking on omni-channel gaming changed since ICE 2018 and if so where do you stand now?

No, my opinion hasn’t really changed on this. It may be sometimes difficult to quantify the benefits or produce empirical evidence of them, but intuitively I feel that it has to be better UX for a player to be able to move from one channel to another and play the content they know and enjoy on platforms that support a seamless transition from one place to another. Surely, if the player has a better experience whilst doing this, they are more likely to stay loyal to the retailer / operator and indeed the games? It just seems to make sense to me. This is why Reflex are talking to a number of operators who have both a land-based and an online presence about how we can work together to provide UK-specific, omni-channel games, and we are one of only a few suppliers who can do this.

How will Reflex be using ICE London 2019 and what does success look like?

We will be using ICE to showcase our diverse land-based and online product ranges. It’s one of the few opportunities we have to put everything together in the same space, and our omni-channel credibility becomes really apparent when you see it all together. The range includes UK and Dutch land-based machines of many styles and categories, through to purely online and mobile content, with the same design ethos running across all channels. The star of our land-base range is the GamePro cabinet which will this year include the new GamePro Max, a sit-down lounge-style machine. Our view is that whatever a player experiences in a land-based environment, they should be able to experience on their desktop or mobile within the confines of the devices. A successful exhibition for Reflex is mostly not about the number of contracts or deals we sign, as most of the hard work has been done on these prior to the show, but rather it is about how many new people we meet and new opportunities present themselves, and judging by the number of meeting requests we have already had, we should be in for a busy few days!

As an exhibitor do you get the opportunity to spend time walking the aisles at ExCeL and taking stock of the industry and the direction its travelling in – how important is it to do this?

I think this is hugely important, although being honest, I don’t get as much time to do it as I would like, as I am generally busy on the stand. However, I have a great team who come to the show and who act as my eyes and ears on market trends and important product innovations.  I wouldn’t say it’s a military style operation but we have regular catch-ups whilst the exhibition is in progress and they take me to see the things and meet the people that have caught their eye. I am a firm believer that Reflex should stand independently with respect to innovation and not succumb to parodying the ideas of others, but that said, it is important to know and understand what other market sector participants are doing and why.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Vanilla content will always be second best – argues Reflex CPO

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New headquarters for DraftKings

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DraftKings, one of Boston’s largest tech companies, is moving into a new corporate headquarters in downtown Boston, as it planned to grow from 425 employees to more than 700 employees in 2019. About 600 of those workers were expected to be based in Boston.

Company executives are hosting a ribbon cutting and tour of the 105,000-square-foot space near Copley Square in the city’s Back Bay neighbourhood.

DraftKings was founded in 2012 and made its mark as a major force in daily fantasy sports. The company is currently located in an office building near South Station.

 


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: New headquarters for DraftKings

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AGTech announces revenue report of 2018

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AGTech announces revenue report of 2018Reading Time: 1 minute

 

AGTech Holdings Limited announced its final results for the last year, revealing a profit of approximately HK$317.1 million (US$40.4 million). The results were up from a loss of HK$302.2 million in the prior year period.

Revenue of the group, however, was down 44.2 per cent year-on-year to approximately HK$168.6 million.

The main revenue contributions were from lottery hardware, lottery games, and systems, provision of distribution and ancillary services, games and entertainment business in the PRC.

The decrease in revenue was caused by an HK$86.0 million decrease in revenue from its games and entertainment division and a decrease in sales of lottery hardware of approximately HK$60.3 million.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: AGTech announces revenue report of 2018

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AGS Demonstrates Its Obsession With Tribal Gaming At The NIGA Indian Gaming Trade Show April 3-4; New Orion Upright Cabinet Makes NIGA Debut

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AGS Demonstrates Its Obsession With Tribal Gaming At The NIGA Indian Gaming Trade Show April 3-4; New Orion Upright Cabinet Makes NIGA DebutReading Time: 3 minutes

 

Company’s passion for the game takes center stage as AGS displays full lineup of new slot and table games, and online social and real-money games

 

AGS today announced that it will be exhibiting at NIGA‘s Indian Gaming Trade Show April 3-4 in San Diego, with a spotlight on the Company’s newest core slot cabinet – the Orion Upright℠ – along with a host of new slot titles, table products, and online social and real-money gaming solutions.

AGS will be live in Booth No. 1651 at the San Diego Convention Center. Taking center stage will be AGS’ new Orion Upright, a core cabinet with many of the same features as the Company’s award-winning Orion Portrait℠ and Orion Slant℠ platforms, including the distinctive starwall design featuring 420 game-synchronized full-color LED lights to celebrate gameplay. The Orion Upright is launching with a library of exclusive new titles and greatest hits from AGS’ ICON™ cabinet.

Debuting for the first time at NIGA, gaming operators will experience AGS’ Orion Upright with the new Fortune Blast™ family featuring four brand-new titles — Luck and Luxury™, Imperial Luck®, Goddess Treasures®, and Blazing Luck™. This new series offers ways or line-pay evaluation for more winning opportunities, and a symbol-locking feature to keep players on the edge of their seats.

AGS President and Chief Executive Officer David Lopez said, “NIGA is a show we look forward to every year because it gives us a chance to meet with our tribal operator-partners in an intimate setting and highlight our newest and most exciting products that are launching over the year. This year we are very excited about our new Orion Upright because it fills a need on many casino floors for a differentiated, attractive, and sophisticated core cabinet with great content.”

The Company will also showcase its hottest new Class II and Class III titles for the Orion Portrait platform, including Crystal Magic®, Hearts and Horns™, Enchanted Pearl™, and the popular Rakin’ Bacon!™ with its cherubic pig that gets fatter and fatter as the wins add up. Hailing from the Company’s Australia game-development studio, the title Red Silk™ showcases a fresh new family on Orion Portrait featuring a three-level linked progressive, a wild reel feature, and up to 10 free games. For the Orion Slant, AGS will spotlight the Fa Cai Shu™ and Kingdom Ca$h® families, which offer themed banking, linked progressive jackpots, and a variety of math models for a diverse and exciting gaming experience.

AGS continues to propel its table products business with a host of new proprietary table games and table solutions. NIGA attendees will get to experience Super Start Hold’em™, a poker-style game whereby the players always start with the better two-card hand than the dealer; the popular Criss Cross Poker™ with Bonus Spin™; Blackjack Match Progressive™ featuring the popular must-hit-by jackpot level; and Three Card Blitz, an exciting new flush-based game featuring player vs. dealer excitement to achieve the highest-scoring hand using up to three suited cards.

AGS will demonstrate its two table-game progressive platforms – STAX™ and Bonus Spin – which just reached a milestone of more than 1,000 units installed across the U.S. with a healthy backlog of orders planned throughout 2019. The award-winning STAX has a must-hit-by option that is driving demand and excitement on games like Super 4®, Blackjack Match™, and Royal 9™ as players anticipate the chance to win one of the five progressive jackpots. And Bonus Spin offers an eye-catching and anticipatory experience with its virtual prize wheel.

From its table equipment lineup, AGS will showcase the Dex S™ single-deck poker shuffler, featuring a streamlined design that is economical, durable, reliable, and exceptionally functional.

In the Company’s Interactive display, AGS will showcase its ConnexSys™ Social White-Label Casino solution, a turnkey, free-to-play mobile casino app that integrates the casino brand with AGS’ proven and player-favorite land-based titles to keep players engaged at home, work, and on-the-go.

And with real-money gaming at the forefront of many tribal gaming operators’ agendas, AGS will also be on hand to provide live demonstrations of its AxSys Games Marketplace™ and large library of titles, featuring AGS top-performing games as well as a host of entertaining games from third-party developers.

 

About AGS:
AGS is a global company focused on creating a diverse mix of entertaining gaming experiences for every kind of player. Our roots are firmly planted in the Class II Native American gaming market, but our customer-centric culture and growth have helped us branch out to become a leading all-inclusive commercial gaming supplier. Powered by high-performing Class II and Class III slot products, an expansive table products portfolio, real-money gaming platforms and content, highly rated social casino solutions for operators and players, and best-in-class service, we offer an unmatched value proposition for our casino partners. Learn more at www.playags.com.

 

©2019 PlayAGS, Inc. All® notices signify marks registered in the United States.  All ™ and ℠ notices signify unregistered trademarks. Products referenced herein are sold by AGS LLC or other subsidiaries of PlayAGS, Inc.

Source: AGS


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: AGS Demonstrates Its Obsession With Tribal Gaming At The NIGA Indian Gaming Trade Show April 3-4; New Orion Upright Cabinet Makes NIGA Debut

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