Ainsworth Game Technology is looking to continue its winning ways of the recent past. To achieve that goal on the product side of the equation, the Australia-based slot producer is calling on new games and new methods of delivering those games to players.
As Scott Clarebrough, Ainsworth’s group general manager of strategy and development, puts it, “Ainsworth is committed to producing a quality pipeline of best-in-the-class games for any gaming floor.”
Clarebrough says that by combining “leading technologies and platforms with entertaining gaming content,” the company’s products are guaranteed to provide what the company is using for its G2E slogan this year: “a winning play.”
At G2E 2013, Ainsworth will be showing its latest innovative Premium Plus slot titles. Prominent among the new games is “Reels of Wheels,” which features animated graphics of five colorful wheels spinning on the huge 32-inch top screen of the A560 Wide Boy upright cabinet.
Each spinning wheel is linked to a corresponding wheel symbol that can appear on the main game screen reels. The spinning reels will determine special wild symbols that trigger free games and win multipliers. Players are continuously rewarded, with the possibility of hitting four levels of frequently occurring stand-alone progressives, including a $5,000 grand progressive jackpot.
Reels of Wheels had its debut installation in Australia in May. The client is the 36,000-member St. Mary’s Rugby League Club in New South Wales. Those familiar with Australia’s huge sports and social club system, in which slots are legal and highly regulated by the individual state, understand the importance of making a good first impression within this world.
Stuart Graham, gaming manager at the club, said of the experience, “Teaming up with Ainsworth to be the first to install Reels of Wheels demonstrates our continuing efforts to bring more excitement and world-class games to our players at St. Mary’s Leagues Club. Since its installation, Reels of Wheels has been a crowd favorite on our gaming floor and has exceeded our performance expectations.”
Other titles in the new Premium Plus game series are “Inca Reef Grand” and “Red Wolf,” both on the A560 Mega Top cabinet, and the games “King Spin,” “Vegas King,” “Magnificent 7’s,” “Around the Board” and “Cash Challenge.”
The existing GamePlus library will be expanded with several new titles. This signature game group will welcome new additions “Quad Shot,” “Double Hit,” “Triple Shot,” “Play 100Lines/50Lines/40Lines,” “High Denom” and “Keno King.” Also appearing at G2E will be the new games “Wheel Winner,” “Bonus Bonanza” and “Crazy Ways.”
The list of Ainsworth’s linked progressive jackpot games includes the titles “Treasure Storm,” “Oriental Fortune,” “Whopper Reels,” “Rampaging Rhino” and “Sweet Zone.”
Also on display at G2E will be the mystery jackpot products “Golden Goose Mystery,” “Big Chief Mystery,” “Glitter Mystery,” “Wolf King II Mystery” and “Hummin Mystery,” along with many other new-concept game brands due for release in 2013-14.
In the area of slot cabinets, Ainsworth continues to push forward with its A560 series. There are now five versions available to all markets worldwide.
The original A560 cabinet is equipped with dual high-resolution, 22-inch touch-screen LCD monitors and can have as many as 18 LED programmable play buttons. The up-gunned Super A560 is topped off with a third, 19-inch LCD display.
The A560 ST, a slant-top version of the cabinet, is powered by a fourth-generation QuadTronic processor. Features include single or dual LCD screens of 23 and 27 inches, an enhanced speaker system, ambient cabinet lighting and ergonomic design. The 15 buttons on the play deck are fully programmable. The A560 ST runs all the Ainsworth GamePlus titles.
For those seeking a bigger cabinet presence without sacrificing floor space, the A560 Mega Top sports a 32-inch, vertically mounted second LCD display above the standard 22-inch horizontal main screen. The actual footprint of the device is only 560 mm by 500 mm—about three square feet. The Mega Top incorporates the fourth-generation QuadTronic processor and the same audio-visual upgrades as the ST version, and has the capability to run titles from the Premium Plus game series.
The fifth version is the A560 Wide Boy, which as the name might suggest features a 32-inch, horizontally mounted second LCD screen. The specs of the cabinet and game capabilities mirror those of the Mega Top, although the difference in appearance as a result of the second screen’s positioning is striking. Also, the Wide Boy is the cabinet that runs the new Reels of Wheels game.
Ainsworth is competing in the online gaming space as well. An agreement with award-winning internet gaming system provider GameAccount Network recently resulted in production of Ainsworth’s first 10 online games. The games are already live at GameAccount Network’s B2C site MoneyGaming.com.
The games have also been launched at online bingo and casino sites belonging to the U.K.’s Rank Group, namely MeccaBingo.com and GrosvenorCasino.com. The online venture will see content released to four more operators in the U.K., 10 operators in Italy and in the new jurisdiction of New Jersey in the U.S.
Separately, in March, Ainsworth signed an online integration contract with Bally Technologies that will see them supply content for Bally’s iGaming Platform.
Clarebrough said at the time, “We’re thrilled more players will have the chance to play our online games through this partnership. Like Bally, we believe that a business-to-business approach to the online market allows our valued customers the best options for providing innovative and compelling content.”
The Bally agreement is one of the fruits of the labor Ainsworth has put into North America. According to the FY 2013 six-month financial report, for the period which closed at the end of 2012, revenue from “key market” North America grew 237 percent on the previous year, to AUD$21.6 million. The figure represented 71 percent of total international revenue for Ainsworth. According to a profit guidance for the second half of FY 2013, issued at the end of June, North American revenue for the period ending June 30 is expected to be similar as Ainsworth “continues to pursue its strategy of placing products on a participation basis.” Full financial results for the year were expected at the end of August.
The work in North America has been under the direct leadership of Ainsworth CEO Danny Gladstone, who has been in residence in the U.S. In his November 2012 address to the Annual General Meeting, Executive Chairman Len Ainsworth said that Gladstone will lead the U.S. efforts until late 2013. According to an Ainsworth spokesperson, this is still the plan, although as of this writing there had been no announcement of a new head for North America.
Lastly, effective June 30, Stewart Wallis resigned from the Board of Directors after 11 years of service. On behalf of the board, Ainsworth expressed his appreciation for Wallis’ past dedication and guidance.
Two new members to the board, David Macintosh and Colin Henson, were named prior to Wallis stepping down.