As we head into the 2020 season, innovative takes on classic pusher concepts are providing players with engaging new features and, in turn, operators with robust income streams, comments David Hurst, Crown Direct.
Coinslot: Pushers have always been a mainstay of the amusements industry. What has kept pushers relevant and performing year after year?
David Hurst: “I believe it’s a combination of factors. The first being playing a pusher is great fun and offers excitement. I think this coupled with the simple fact playing a pusher is something the whole family can do for little cost and it is not a product they can play at home on the Xbox or Playstation. The mechanical aspect of the game holds the attention and adds to that fun factor.”
CS: Does the reliable presence of pushers at venues help with inter-generational engagement, whole family spend?
DH: “Absolutely it does. Without doubt there is a nostalgia of being at the seaside when you were a child playing in the amusement arcade, and now you can do it with your children or grandchildren.”
CS: : How important is the pusher to the arcade model both in terms of income and footfall?
DH: “Pushers are the backbone of the arcade. They deliver the best income stream to the operator and the best fun and value for money for the players.”
CS: How can operators maximise the return from pushers?
DH: “Pushers last a long time on site and give the operator a great level of return on investment. The way to maximise the most from pushers is by making sure that you have updated your inventory so all models are low coin entry and where possible offer secondary game features that pay out redemption tickets.”
CS: Can a licence make a game?
DH: “A licence can add to the appeal of a game, but it won’t ‘make’ a game. The play and fun have to be there below the surface of the licence. The licence adds pull and attraction to get the player there in the first place. We have had some phenomenally successful pushers with licences from Harry Levy. Sales of the likes of Minions, Rainbow Riches and Wacky Races have all been very strong.”
CS: Where can we look for the next phase of pusher innovation?
DH: “You will have to wait and see. All I can say at this stage is watch this space.”
CS: What is your response to the Gambling Commission s vision to consider extending its regulation to products like pushers? And what impact could that have on the success of the product?
DH: “A pusher is a fun family entertainment product, and it needs to remain this way. They have been part of the seaside experience for generations, so let’s hope common sense prevails and they continue to be.”