Whilst the seaside market is one built on timeless appeal, there is an undercurrent of innovation coursing round the coast says Matthew Deith, commercial director at Harry Levy.
From virtual reality to the latest in redemption all by way of cashless payment solutions, the technological innovation present in coastal FECs and arcades is clear for all to see.When this is combined with a timeless appeal that has brought generation after generation to our fair coastline, it makes for a flourishing sector, commented Harry Levy’s Matthew Deith.
“Seaside operations are vital to the UK gaming market.The British seaside holiday is ingrained in our culture,and has been for generations.” he said.
“What is impressive is how sites have innovated to keep up with the market, and keep players coming in through all these years.”
In terms of products Deith drew particular attention to the Connect 4 Hoops from BayTek and the Harry Levy Caterpillar pushers as being standouts going into summer. Both units made ‘great waves’ at the early- year trade shows and this operator interest now looks set to become customer satisfaction.
“The units are a great example of both the classic appeal and forward-thinking innovation present in the seaside sector. Connect 4 Hoops is unmissable and brings a high-tech slant to a classic basketball game, whereas Caterpillar is the latest in our line of field proven pushers,” said Deith.
Away from the continued success of redemption he drew attention to the growing presence of attendant-free VR installations – a sector that Harry Levy is already one of the strongest supporters of.
“Virtual reality has already proved to be a success and these new attendant-free units are a continuation of that.Virtual Rabbids was a trailblazing unit and operators that may have been skeptical about the technology have definitely been won over,” said Deith.
“We really believe in the sector and have put a lot of weight behind it before most others have.The new Beat Sabre unit from LAI Games has been massive in the US, at EAG and now is going to be massive this summer on site.”
Virtual reality is not the only new technology set to sweep the seaside added Deith with the company starting a new app-based payment initiative – KwikPay – as the wider social move towards cashless continues at a pace.
“Society is moving towards cashless with every passing day. KwikPay can not only link to the major mobile payment services like Apple Pay, but can store credits across multiple visits, help operators track customer metrics and even offer incentive deals to drive user engagement,” he said.
Presenting visitors with cashless payment opportunities will only ever become more essential as sites continue to diversify offering away from the arcade floor. Coastal FECs are increasingly upgrading their amenity, events and play spaces, in turn becoming key leisure hubs for their respective towns. This move into the wider commercial sector will undoubtedly lead to greater amounts of customers visiting with little but bank cards and mobile phones,and the ability to cater for this in the more classic gaming areas will only prove more and more valuable as time goes on.