Intent on growing its business in Macau and Singapore, Konami Gaming arrived at this year’s G2E Asia armed with a new dragon-themed progressive, new cabinet and new systems product
Konami Gaming Inc. and Konami Australia Pty Ltd are the casino gaming subsidiaries of Japanese video game giant Konami Corporation.
Konami Corp. was founded in Japan in 1973 and got into the supply of slot machines in 1996 with the formation of Konami Australia, which has become one of the leading suppliers in that country’s highly competitive slots market. The company then entered the US gambling market in 2000 as Konami Gaming Inc., headquartered in Las Vegas. Last year, Konami established a branch office in Singapore to help concentrate its efforts to sell and support its gaming machines and systems businesses in East Asia, especially in Macau and Singapore, where the Konami Gaming brand has yet to gain a significant foothold.
“We’ve identified Macau and Singapore as being market leaders in the region,” explains Konami Gaming Director of Game Product Management Steve Walther. “When gaming was expanding in the US, other locations simply emulated what was working in Las Vegas before each place started building its own identity. In this region, Macau’s built the identity and Singapore’s building the identity. As gaming expands across Asia operators are going to look to Macau and Singapore, see what works and move it to other locations. So we really want to be a dominant provider in those two places because that would facilitate moving our products to other markets in Asia.”
Asian themes were out in force at the Konami Gaming stand at last month’s G2E Asia, with dragons, lanterns, firecrackers, pearls and pagodas aplenty. Konami showed for the first time in Macau its KP3 platform; a new progressive, Dragon’s Victory; a new cabinet, the Podium Goliath; and the SYNKROS casino management system.
The graphically dynamic KP3 boasts an eye-popping, real-time 3D interface that adds a fresh and uniquely personal dimension to the slot experience. Konami exhibited six strongly Asian-themed launch titles for KP3, including Dynasty Riches, Lion Festival, Legion Warrior and Fan-tastic Gold, which have “good volatility, engaging sound and strong symbolism,” says Mr Walther.
The four-level linked progressive Dragon’s Victory features a colorful take on the fire-breathing beast that appears when the progressive is randomly triggered. Dragon’s Victory is compatible with both the KP3 platform and its predecessor, K2V. “The progressive is very strong and any one of the base games can easily attach itself to the progressive, run as a standalone, or even have a standalone progressive built on top of it,” adds Mr Walther.
The new 93-inch Podium Goliath cabinet is a supersized version of the company’s popular Podium video platform. It features dual 32-inch high-definition LCDs, an enhanced sound system, an ergonomic button panel to provide greater comfort for longer play and 360-degree “attract” lighting that synchronizes with the action during “celebration” modes. It also is designed to support K2V and KP3 games, including standalone progressives. But initially it’s the sheer size of the Goliath that demands attention, and in the US this is being exploited in high-traffic areas for maximum effect.
Another attention-grabber is the big top box on Rapid Revolver. “It’s very engaging, it can grab your attention from across the venue,” remarks Mr Walther. “The two Rapid Revolver titles, Northern Treasure and Rising Dragon, are really a statement to show what Konami can produce as an innovative company. And with the technology horsepower we have behind us both in our platform and our developers, we can produce quality products like this that can appeal not only to the Asian market but the rest of the world as well.”
Also on display was SYNKROS, the latest evolution of the Konami Casino Management System, one that “Synkronizes” all aspects of a gaming operation, as Mr Walther puts it. It offer advanced capabilities for real-time analysis and an extensive kit of innovative marketing tools designed to increase time on device, visitation rates and player card signups. These include enabling communication with players through the game screen via True-Time Display & Windowing, as well as True-Time Tournaments—a unique approach to system-delivered community gaming that allows players to participate in tournaments at their convenience via a unique “player-on-demand” format. There’s also Super Series, a multilevel, multi-themed floor-wide community bonusing tool.
For Steve Walther, Konami’s G2E Asia lineup “proves that we can build products that can appeal strongly to an Asian gambler.”
“We’ve put some products in just to get a feel for the market, get the feedback from our customers,” he adds. “Now that we’ve done that, we’ve identified a number of titles we think are going to resonate. We’ve got a development pipeline in place to continue that resonance. We’ve got a diversity of product with different standalone progressives, base games, the Rapid Revolver with the top box and the Dragon’s Victory link. So it really gives us a nice, well-rounded appeal for the market so we can start year after year eating into the market share of the leaders until we are a market leader ourselves.”
True-Time DIsplay & Windowing