Eric Meyerhofer had a plan when he was leader of ticket printer FutureLogic, a company he co-founded in the 1980s. He saw an opportunity to introduce skill-based gaming to the casino industry, and formed Gamblit Gaming to accomplish his goals. Gamblit has made a big splash at industry trade shows, and this year followed it up with hot new games that are starting to spread across the Las Vegas Strip, Southern California casinos and beyond.
GGB: Gamblit Gaming is producing skill games. Is that your primary business?
Meyerhofer: That’s the term everybody is using. There is activity required by the player—some type of aptitude. You can call them skill games, but I like to think of them as a more interactive game experience. But yes, all of our games have some sort of skill required; it’s not just chance only.
People have called Gamblit a disrupter in the gaming industry. Do you agree with that?
We don’t see ourselves as a disrupter; that’s an important point. We think the market is bifurcated. The older generations that play slots and like them are perfectly happy. But there’s an entire second market that lies alongside it. We don’t disrupt those people from jumping into slot machines. We don’t think they’re going to go there anyway. For casinos, it’s going to be very challenging.
You’ve recently placed your first games on the casino floor. How is that going?
We’ve run focus groups prior to putting it on the floor, but you can’t really simulate real-life gambling. We needed to get it on the floor to see how people would react. So now we’re getting live play experience. The good news is that the first two games we’ve released are multi-player games, and they seem to be resonating with players.
There are many operators who are willing to take a chance. It’s going to take a while to figure it out, but from the data we’ve seen in the preliminary results, we’re pulling newfound dollars. That’s very clear, and our players are 15 to 20 years younger on average than the traditional slot player.
Why did you choose multi-player games first, rather than one of the single-player games you’ve also developed?
I think it had as much to do with what was going to be ready first in our own internal development process than anything else. We always wanted them to come out in close proximity to each other, and we plan to roll out TriStation (single-player machines on a carousel) very shortly.
Who is the player for your games?
Our target demographic is usually with a group of friends. We do see individual players walk up to the table, watch and study it, before they decide to sit down with strangers. But the majority of people who have been playing it are there with friends.
The player who is walking around on their own or the player who values time on device is going to be able to find that with the TriStation games. They’re very different, much more like video games than anything else. The multi-player games are simpler because you’re competing with other players, which adds a dimension of depth. The solo-player games are deeper games and bring a more immersive experience.