Most clubs are having issues with their hold percentage in recent years with the addition of very popular standalone progressive and link games to the market. These games, from all manufacturers, are the games the players want, and they are earning high net per machine per day for the clubs, so we must have them on the gaming floor. They have been installed in such high numbers around Australia that they have significantly altered how we manage our gaming floors. The large number of SAP jackpots on modern gaming floors is also a heavy liability for many clubs. Having a variety of games available will ensure that there aren’t too many eggs in one game basket.
Club managers have been requesting some games that have a more flexible return to player percentage and to make it easier to balance out the floor and manufacturers have been listening. IGT’s Ocean Magic fits the bill with a lower RTP% and no SAP jackpots. They have instead used the extra percentage in the base game to push the player wins through an interesting and unique bonus delivery.
IGT: “Ocean Magic”
Denomination: Low denom 1c game with 50 line play so an easy reach to cover the bets for a small/medium regular player.
Game Features: Not having a SAP means the designers were able to add extra pays back to the base game so this game has been designed to ensure the players have a strong perception of potential wins. There are several features to keep them entertained and winning. A scatter symbol win gives the players a chance to pick symbols in the Ocean Magic bonus free games feature that awards them free games or extra picks to determine their total number of free games (up to 40 but no less than 15).
In the bubble boost feature, the bubbles randomly appear on the reel window, and each spin the bubble moves one position up the reels, giving the players a few chances at extra prizes as the bubbles substitute for all regular symbols. With up to seven bubbles that could appear on the reel window it is easy for a player to fill the window with paying substitutes. The “wild bubble” feature gives the players an extra opportunity to increase their wins by randomly awarding extra bubbles that move up the reels each spin during normal game play. If one of the bubbles lands on a treasure chest then all the surrounding symbols become Wilds. It won’t take the players long to work out that if this occurs in the centre reels the players get a massive potential credit boost.
SAP Profile: No SAP! Seriously…none!
It’s not often that there is a game in the market these days that doesn’t rely heavily on jackpots to provide a hook for the player. The downside to a market full of SAPs is that many clubs have been experiencing a reduction in their net hold over the last two years. This game ensures the club retains a good hold and offers the flexibility, with no on-screen jackpot, to add it to an in-house link, so it can work in lots of positions on the gaming floor.
Volatility: With a base game holding a higher percentage of the game wins volatility on this game should be fairly stable and operate near carding percentages. For the player, the volatility is retained by having lots of different ways to win, several different feature opportunities, and random surprise and delight wins.
Performance: There are no performance results in yet for NSW but the game has been available in Victoria for some time and very popular among players. In Victoria most clubs and hotels are seeing performance levels well above the floor average, and without a SAP, and a lower RTP%, you don’t need it to be in the Top 10 on the rankings to make a good net return for the club.
IGT game designers and product managers have advised that it has taken then 12 months to get the game approved across Australia because of the unique features so it should generate some interest among the players as they discover all the ways they can win.