In an age when land-based gaming is learning to live sideby- side with online, Konami has created Smash Smash Festival, a game with features specifically designed for the casino floor.
Konami showcased its diverse range of sleek Concerto cabinets and colourful content at ICE, with the company’s Smash Smash Festival linked progressive garnering the most attention from visitors on the show floor.
As mobile and online gaming continues to swell, Konami has kept ahead of the wave with products like Smash Smash Festival, which combines original content ideas with a linked social element to create a game that is uniquely effective on the casino floor.
Steve J. Walther, Sr,. director, marketing and product management, explained how the product differs from traditional progressives.
“The game is a linked progressive, however what grows is not the progressive amount, but rather the progressive prize pool,” he said. “Players get to pick between two pinatas, and the pinata you do not choose goes into the top box progressive. One lucky player gets the chance to win all the pinatas that weren’t chosen, so that is a really big bonus.”
Smash Smash Festival was extremely popular on the show floor at ICE, and Walther believes this is because the game offers something that cannot be replicated in the online space.
“It’s a really unique concept, it’s already been the bank that’s got the most attention here.
“People are looking to differentiate the experience on the floor, especially in an age when many games can translate easily online,” he added. “You can’t really play this game in an online or mobile environment without having everyone around you, so it is much more effective inside a gaming venue. People are recognising this, and that’s why it’s been so popular for us.”
While Smash Smash Festival looks to be a success for Konami on casino floors, Walther acknowledges that online gaming has been thriving in Europe, and that many land-based games do translate very well into the online space.
“The online space has been pretty strong for the European market, and there’s a lot content out there that’s generated specifically for that environment,” he continued, “but when you’ve got games that resonate inside the four-walls of a venue, they seem to work better in the online space. People see that as a way to take the experiences they have in the land-based venue home with them.”
Indeed, Walther is a firm believer that online games complement their casino counterparts, and he points to how this is the case across other industries as well.
“There’s always a concern when new technology comes in that it will be slightly disruptive, but at the same time you can get Netflix on your mobile, yet people still go to the cinema. It works the same with this industry – people want to have that social experience, that casino feel, and to make a night out of the casino – but still they have the opportunity to share some of those emotions back home on their mobile device.”