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Global Games 2021

Despite the lingering effects of the pandemic, slot manufacturers have kept on rolling

Global Games 2021

The unprecedented year of 2020 certainly had a big impact on the gaming industry, not the least of which was cancellation of in-person gaming trade events—including the biggest of them all, the Global Gaming Expo.

July’s Indian Gaming Tradeshow was the first big event to get the industry back together on a face-to-face basis, but on balance, it was a warmup to the most important event on the industry’s calendar. Great anticipation surrounds G2E 2021, when the entire industry converges on the renamed Venetian Convention and Expo Center for the first time in two years for education, networking, and the most important exhibit of new products in the business.

Slot machines have always been at the center of the G2E buzz, and this year is no different. It’s no secret that all the slot manufacturers kept R&D rolling at full speed during last year’s industry shutdowns, and this year, most are still launching a backlog of content. But all that R&D has led to what will surely be one of the best “new model years” the slot sector has ever seen.

Welcome to the 20th annual edition of Global Games, our roundup of the best new products from all the major slot manufacturers. As far as innovation, the suppliers have not disappointed. On the following pages, you’ll see radical new cabinets, new game styles, and new versions of all of the most popular game mechanics, from hold-and-re-spin to cash-on-reels to persistent-state features to multiple progressive bonuses to bonus wheels.

Each slot manufacturer—they are presented in alphabetical order—adds its own flair and style to these game mechanics. Each slot-maker also continues to change the landscape of casinos through new hardware, from IGT’s Peak65 to Scientific Games’ Mural to the Orion Curve Premium from AGS to the Big Mech from Bluberi. And yes, there are more, but you can find them all by flipping through the following pages.

Slot technology, meanwhile, continues to advance. Ultra-high-definition video monitors—some in breathtakingly large displays—have become as standard as the on-board wireless cellphone chargers and LED button decks. Cashless and cardless play technology is one of the fastest-growing trends, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, which also has led manufacturers to create new pod configurations for their games that naturally promote social distancing.

But in the end, it’s the game content residing on all this technology that impresses the most. Competition among the suppliers has led each to add what is some of the best veteran talent in game design and product management. And the content they are all producing has never been better.

The talent in the supply sector is sure to make this return to G2E an event to remember. Have a good show!

COMPANIES PROFILED IN GLOBAL GAMES 2020

AGS
Ainsworth Game Technology
Aristocrat Gaming
Aruze Gaming America
Bluberi Gaming
Everi Holdings
Gaming Arts
IGT (International Game Technology)
Incredible Technologies
Konami Gaming
Novomatic Americas
Scientific Games
Sega Sammy Creation

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.