CASINO

Skill-based casino game makers lining up to wow G2E attendees

TAGs: G2E Las Vegas 2017, gameco, Global Gaming Expo, skill based games, synergy blue

gameco-bartop-vgm-skill-based-gamesReal-money skill-based gaming device makers continue to roll out new products ahead of next week’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas.

On Thursday, GameCo announced that it would unveil its new multigame bartop cabinet version of its Video Game Gambling Machine (VGM) technology, which marries traditional casino gaming elements with skill-based elements for real-money casino play.

The “bar-ready” Bartop VGM that GameCo will unveil at G2E will also feature the company’s New Gen 2 game titles, including infinite runner game Steve Aoki’s Neon Dream, which GameCo claims is the first product to mix “celebrity, gaming and music.”

Other titles include bubble shooter game Poseidon’s Deep Sea Saga, tile-matching game Cosmic Candy Heist, and hidden object game Twisted Worlds.

GameCo CEO Blaine Graboyes suggests the Bartop VGM are perfect for installation in non-standard areas where casino patrons congregate, and thus provide “new gaming entertainment experiences for guests even when they are not on the gaming floor, which can help deliver incremental revenue” for GameCo’s casino clients.

This week already saw GameCo rival Gamblit Gaming announce it was bringing its new PAC-MAN Battle Casino skill-based game to G2E. Also throwing its hat into G2E’s skill-based ring is California-based Synergy Blue, which is owned by the Augustine Band of Cahuilla tribe, which operates the Augustine Casino in Coachella.

Synergy Blue will be promoting its new Hybrid Arcade Wager-based Gaming (HAWG) system, which includes a bespoke first-person shooter game while other genres – racing, sports, infinite runner and fantasy role-playing – are in the development pipeline.

All of these companies are pushing skill-based games as a way for operators to garner gaming-floor interest in younger casino customers who show little interest in traditional passive slot machines. But the games have (so far) failed to demonstrate sufficient drawing power to add the necessary weight to those claims, which makes casinos skittish about swapping the machines for their traditional slots.

But try telling that to GameCo’s Graboyes, who recently told Alleywatch.com that he expects the US skill-based games market to be worth $4.2b in five years’ time and $6.2b outside the US. That would require 2.5% of legacy slot machines giving way to skill-based games.

GameCo currently has its VGMs on casino floors in Atlantic City, Connecticut, North Carolina and (as of this week) Oklahoma. Graboyes said future installations are pending in Florida and California (the latter state being already familiar territory for Gamblit).

Graboyes said GameCo plans to continue pumping out new titles at a rate of 1-2 per month in 2018. On the hardware front, GameCo is developing a Tournament Controller for multiplayer competition.

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