“Konami´s key focus for the show is to connect with our casino customers from around the globe”
(London, SoloAzar Exclusive).- Eduardo Aching, Vice President, International Gaming Operations, Konami Gaming Inc. spoke exclusively with SoloAzar after the last edition of ICE London. “ICE London helps set the tone for the new year and provides insight to the key needs, concerns, and considerations of our customers abroad”, he said.
What are you exhibiting in this edition of ICE?
During ICE 2019, guests can see a variety of single screen Konami game releases for Concerto Crescent and Stack, original linked progressive series for dual-screen Concerto upright and Slant, and 4K Ultra HD slots such as the big screen Concerto Opus and the new KX 43.
Konami’s curved Concerto Crescent cabinet is quickly gaining an international presence. It can feature the latest top-performing Strike Zone games, such as Agent: Magnifying Jackpots and Inspector: Sign of the Jackpots. Both are SeleXion multi-game compatible, so they can be combined on Crescent with a mix of other game theme options for players to enjoy. Konami’s new Color Bloom series is also arriving to ICE 2019 for the first time. Based on the popularity of Sparkling Roses, Sparkling Roses: Color Bloom and Classy Roses: Color Bloom both feature the popular Multiple Lines 15 Reels mechanic that players enjoy, now with an added symbol-driven linked progressive for even more excitement.
Dual-screen Concerto upright and Slant will showcase new progressive jackpot options as well. One of the most exciting additions to Konami’s Concerto game library is a symbol-driven linked progressive game called Money Galaxy. This year at ICE London, the series features three custom base game themes: Radiant Witch, Dragon’s Return, and Pharaoh’s Power. All themes are unique multi-denom releases—with original math and mechanics—but share the same Money Galaxy progressive feature. Guests at ICE 2019 will also discover SeleXion-compatible linked progressives Magician’s Charm and Power Boost Inferno. Similar to Smash Smash Festival, these jackpot games can combine with a mix of popular Konami base games, including Chili Chili Fire, Dragon’s Law Twin Fever, and Lion Carnival.
In addition, this year marks the ICE debut of our first 4K Ultra HD slots—Concerto Opus and KX 43. Concerto Opus features an extra-large 65-inch display, and during ICE will showcase a one-of-a-kind linked progressive game called Treasure Ball, which can combine with most any KP3+ base game. Inspired by retro coin-operated toy capsule machines, Treasure Ball can be recognized by its large globe of round mystery prize balls, which players can redeem and reveal during the bonus. Konami’s new KX 43 features a 43-inch 4K display, slant top, dual cup holders, dual classic bash buttons, and a standard base width. Among the debut launch series on Konami’s new KX 43 is a 4-level linked progressive called Ba Fang Jin Bao. Available Ba Fang Jin Bao base games, including Abundant Fortune and Fortune Totems, feature a progressive chance anytime a gold ingot symbol lands on the reels.
What are the expectations and goals with which you come to the London show each year?
Konami’s key focus for the show is to connect with our casino customers from around the globe to learn about their latest business needs, understand their goals for the upcoming year, express our appreciation for their business, and tour the latest game releases first-hand.
How important is it for the company to exhibit here?
ICE London helps set the tone for the new year and provides insight to the key needs, concerns, and considerations of our customers abroad. This in turn helps inform business decisions and strategic planning, so we can ensure our game developments align with any market shifts.
How do you see this year's edition?
We have seen an impressive amount of participants at this year’s ICE London. Our team has had the pleasure on meeting with a variety of customers from markets across the world to get their feedback on the latest Konami entertainment.
How did you close 2018 and what are your goals for 2019?
Over the past year we’ve been encouraged by momentum across Europe, Latin America, and Caribbean, and looking ahead, we’re focused on continuing that support to ensure that international operators have access to the latest top gaming products. 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.
The online games are being strengthened thanks to the fact that several countries continue to regulate. Do you think it can be a competition or complement to the land based casino?
Konami’s long-time approach to online gaming has been an openness to making our games available for players to enjoy across a variety of online platforms. Through this, we have observed strong positive outcomes for those operators who have designed their online and land-based strategies to complement one another. Land-based casino gaming has a total entertainment experience that can’t be replicated by online avenues, while online gaming platforms provide more access and convenience. Many operators have married these mediums successfully.