Whilst new digital games may sometimes prove to be slow burners, the overall rewards greatly outweigh the slow starts for a market sector on the rise, comments Kevin Weir, business development director at Electrocoin.
Coinslot: How has the market uptake of digital been? How far do you see this progress continuing?
Kevin Weir: “We have seen an ongoing move towards digital, but the speed has proven to be a little unpredictable. Following an initial surge,there was a period of stability where operators went through a process of evaluation before moving forward again. In the pub sector,digital acceptance is gradually increasing, but in some sites, a mix of product is still essential.
“However, as new content appears, the uptake is likely to advance at a steady pace. The crunch will come when analogue numbers drop to a point where new model sales will not justify the development cost.”
CS: Newer generations are growing up with big digital screens/touch screens etc. Has the adoption of digital units in venues helped appeal to this market?
KW: “It is difficult to assess whether a younger generation is attracted to the bigger digital screen, however we know that since the launch of our new Elektra cabinet, that income has increased.”
CS: Do you see a variance in content performances across venues? If so how do you make sure your portfolio can cover this?
KW: “The performance across different sectors is really interesting.Whilst one would expect to see clear lines of distinction in game popularity, there is much more of a cross over than we might have once expected. Unfortunately, it is not a precise science as we are continually surprised by data that shows a game performing exceptionally well where you would least expect it to. As a result, we have increased our menu size, so that we can ensure that a complete range of games is available at all times to all players.”
CS: Have there been any specific themes, menus, or games you have seen perform particularly well this year?
KW: “Surprise, surprise, once again the Irish themed games are proving popular! Our Pick of the Leprechaun is always featured in the top three in the popularity chart across all venues. As a result, we have introduced another Irish game, ‘Wild Rover’ that has a completely different game style and feature award. This has proven to be very popular along with our other new game Clambusters, which has a completely different profile, offering a choice of different game styles to players.”
CS: On the operator end, how important are regular content updates?
KW: “It is essential to update and refresh content, however it is clear from our data that there are certain games that have extraordinary longevity on site.
“New games will come and go, some being more successful than others for various reasons. It is not always about style,there has to be substance too.We certainly find that players who are prepared to invest in a new update, only find out the true depth of the product after many games. We definitely see a lift in performance after the first six weeks on site, which is contrary to what would be expected from an analogue product. They can be ‘slow burners’, but the long-term rewards are worth the short-term pain.”
CS: Are there any other standouts in your portfolio?
KW: “Our Bar XTablet system which is a fully automated self service system is proving to be hugely popular in the AGC sector. The system which comprises a kiosk and twenty tablets,offers customers the chance to greatly increase their Cat C numbers on site, whilst offering players the chance to compete in a local tournament or play one of the four Cat C games on offer.”