Tony Glanville, managing director, RLMS Sales, comments on the state of the UK redemption market, and the continued importance of prize offerings in the sector. And the future, it seems, is bright.
Redemption appears to be increasingly popular with consumers, why do you think this is?
“Players want to be entertained and rewarded with prizes and redemption ticks both those boxes. Also, there is now a staggering plethora of product available for operators which allows them to set up their venues to offer something for everyone irrespective of age or gender. If operators have more specific needs then the breadth of the product range allows them to tailor their offering to suit.”
What products, or innovations are RLMS bringing to the redemption market, and why?
“Historically the UK redemption market was relatively small and relied on a supply of imported products. I am delighted that the market has grown to such an extent that it now warrants British manufacturers developing product targeted specifically for the UK whereas previously we had to hope that product developed for overseas markets would work here. The UK manufacturing base understands the home market better than anyone and now has sufficient knowledge of the redemption genre to start developing a range of games tailored purely for domestic tastes. We were delighted to include within the portfolio this year redemption product such as Astra’s Batman Begins, Project’s Crazy Chicken and Birthday Blaster’s Tik Kit. There are other UK manufacturers who have exciting redemption product going on test that will be ready for the 2018 season. This goes to prove that the redemption market is extremely healthy and warrants increased investment in research and development which is encouraging for all stakeholders within the redemption supply chain.
How important is the quality of prizes on offer? Are consumers becoming more brand focused?
The UK market has always been savvy. Prize suppliers have sufficient experience to identify which trends are coming to market and advise operators accordingly on the hottest titles or latest trends that they will need within their redemption prize zones. We have all seen the success and popularity over the years of branded or licensed prizes linked to that year’s hottest film release or prizes following the latest fad. How many fidget spinners and drones will be given out as prizes this year?”
Where do you see the market going?
“That’s best answered at the end of the season when we will work with operators to evaluate this year’s crop of machines. The aim will be to establish which ideas and concepts have worked and identify those that are to be consigned to room 101. The next step is to look more closely at the characteristics that made those games so successful and how that magic dust can be applied to next year’s developments in order to take the product to the next level.”