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Global Games 2008

Our annual report on the state of the slot machine

For the past few years, the world’s slot machine manufacturers have been redefining the slot machine itself.
It is true that “server-based gaming” has become a catch-phrase for the future of slot machine technology, but what that term—which really defines a content delivery method—means for the games themselves is only beginning to be understood.
That includes understanding by the slot manufacturers themselves.
The world’s slot-makers are beginning to apply technology that will work on the server-based, networked floor of the future. In the process, players are being treated to a wealth of new ways to play a slot machine. The slot has been redefined only a few times in the past 100 years—and most of that during the past two decades. Digital technology is moving the games once again along their evolutionary scale.
Welcome to “Global Games,” our annual spotlight of slot machine technology, and the industry’s official first peek at what the slot manufacturing sector has in store for the coming year. The following pages will reveal game styles that maximize the entertainment value of state-of-the-art technology, while following the trends of player preference that slot developers have learned from the players themselves.
Our Global Games section highlights the slot games that will be revealed at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, which this year runs from November 18 through November 20. Much of the information on the following pages is exclusive to Global Gaming Business.
Beyond the games themselves, though, this feature will examine the trends appearing as the age of server-based gaming draws nearer. Communal play is all the rage, with several slot-makers launching themed banks of games with common bonus rounds joining players in events or in competition. You’ll find that the spinning reel is far from dead; three-reel and five-reel formats now mimic the multi-line game play that has been the mainstay of the video slot for years. And, you’ll find that the progressive jackpot in both stepper and video format is now more often than not a multiple progressive setup, with the big prizes often won through free spins or second-screen bonus rounds.
Most of all, you’ll find that the slot machine continues to tap the best of what computer technology has to offer.
We hope you enjoy our peek into the future of the slot machine. Use it as your guide to the slot vendors on the G2E floor, and as your guide to the state of the slot machine over the coming year.
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.  

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