Choosing a new game to add to your gaming floor is an important decision and one that can often involve a financial risk. Often gaming managers chose games they like personally but making a strategic choice is more involved. Here are a few great tips and tools to help choose the right game.
Know your market: A game chosen for the 40+ male smokers in your outdoor gaming area should be different to a game chosen for the regular female players indoors. Before choosing a new game consideration should be given to what market you are purchasing the new game for… it might be a mix of players or a specific group but this will impact on what you choose to buy. If you have started segmenting your gaming floor by player type, it’s also important to consider where the machine is going to be placed and choose a game that is appropriate for that market.
Industry benchmarking tools: Using game benchmarking tools, like the MAX performance rankings, can be one of the easiest options to check on game popularity. Picking the top games from the rankings is a pretty simple way of choosing a game that could work on your gaming floor. It’s not always foolproof if the games are new to market, but over time, it has some merit.
Talk to your peers: Giving other gaming managers a call to ask about game performance, is a good way of testing a game. Speaking to venues that have a similar size gaming floor and customer base as yours can provide a good indication of what a new game is like, and most importantly, who is playing it.
Use the reps: Gaming manufacturers’ sales reps are great sources of information on what’s working, and what isn’t, in the market. It makes no financial sense for a rep to sell you something they don’t believe will work as it costs them money to replace it under a performance warranty. They want to sell you the best game they have and they know the target market of the game. Remember, reps see more gaming machine ranking reports than most other people in the industry.
Everything old is new again: Like any business, gaming manufacturers have to make the most profit out of the resources they have. Games are frequently ‘cloned’ or slightly adjusted and tweaked, in order to make the most out of their maths and art investment. Older successful games are frequently still with us, and should be just as effective now as they were originally. When a new version is released, it’s a fair bet that it will work too, so always ask if a new game has been based on an old or existing performer and if so, which game it is.
Try something different: There’s a downside to everyone using the same benchmarking tools to choose games – we all end up offering the same thing to our players. Having a point of difference can pay off and often it only takes one good player to lift a game above floor average.
When buying a new machine that has a warranty, it’s worth trying something new and you can convert later without any financial impact.
Play the game yourself: There is a difference between playing a game at a trade show and in the field. To see how your customers will feel about a game, you need to put your own money in it and see how it plays and the type of player it will suit. Casinos and larger clubs who need variety are often quick to introduce new games within a few weeks of the game release – pay a visit and play.