You recently announced that Gaming Arts has reached the milestone of more than 650 units across the United States in record time. Can you explain your process in reaching this goal?
We now have in excess of 650 units across the region. The process began in April 2019 when we placed our first slot machine at a casino in San Diego. Since then, we have been going about our goal of putting games out all across the United States. We do this both in commercial casinos and tribal casinos and we will begin expanding in Canada also. When I joined in 2018, we had no slot machines in place throughout the US, so this is a brand new vertical for us and we have worked hard building as a group since then.
With that in mind, how do you plan to further expand?
While we have around 130 gaming licenses in North America, Gaming Arts is still a company with room to grow. We look at that as a massive opportunity, both within tribal gaming and commercial gaming, so we’ll continue to utilize our business plan across North America. As Covid continues to recede into next year, we will look at opportunities in Mexico, Europe and Asia. However, right now our focus lies with the United States and Canada. The pandemic really made us refocus our efforts on these markets. We still have room to grow in these areas and we have just launched the Vertex Grand, so we are confident in our success.
You’ve said the pandemic gave your company the opportunity to focus on the R&D aspect of your business. Can you elaborate on this?
At the height of the pandemic, we made what I consider to be two very important bets. First, we never stopped research and development; we never stopped creating new games. We saw this as important because we wanted to be ready as soon as restrictions eased. The other bet we made was to keep our sales team at full capacity. It was important for us to retain our visibility in the gaming industry, so we used the tools at our disposal in this regard. For us the most important thing was to keep our library growing despite the difficulties.
Now that things are opening again and life is returning to some form of normality, what are Gaming Arts’ aims for the rest of the year?
We are going to continue implementing our business plan. We understand that Gaming Arts is a newer player but we have products that we feel are unique to the market. We will continue to expand our slot machine products and we'll also begin to produce historic horse racing machines. Ultimately we want to focus on our land-based business plan. We’ve also long been in the bingo business and plan to relaunch those products as things open up again.
Your slot machine Heroes and Villains has gained a lot of popularity. What do you think makes a slot machine stand out from the competition?
The slot market is a very mature and crowded field. A lot of our competitors have hundreds of millions of dollars in R&D to spend. So we must focus on being unique and different in everything we do. The game you referenced is a dice seeker game that is supported by a unique game play mechanic. This is the most important thing, mechanics that haven’t been seen before. While from a mathematics profile our games are gambling based, we want to offer graphics and mechanics that keep the player entertained also.