Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2023: Day 1 Thoughts

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Brian Aristocrat football

Global Gaming Expo, also known as G2E, is the gaming industry’s largest annual conference. While a lot of the purpose is to showcase new games to clients like casinos as well as other B2B use cases, increasingly it’s also a place where players go to check out the games that are being showcased and learn a bit more about what the big names are up to.

This is my third year attending G2E, and my first as a member of the BCSlots team. While one day isn’t enough to get a look at everything that’s on the expo floor, there were definitely themes that were emerging even with what we saw on our first day. Here are some of those themes.

Buy A Bonus is (Slowly) Growing in Prominence

A common feature on iGaming, Buy a Bonus is still a relatively rare phenomenon in the physical slot world, but it’s starting to become a bit more frequent. Aristocrat, who had incorporated it into a couple of games last year, had more games featuring their “Instant Feature” capability on this year’s floor. For the first time, we saw one at AGS’ booth as well.

With Buy a Bonus, you can instantly trigger the bonus for a set purchase amount. The amount can range wildly, depending on the bet level the bonus is bought at and the potential of a given bonus. The bonus tends to play out like normal, but instead of having to chase the bonus, you can get right into it.

Those Three Pot Games Keep Coming

We as players do it to ourselves. We play the three pot games (I heard an industry person use the term “triple metamorphics” as what those are called – who knew?). We love the three pot games. And so the game makers are going to continue to give us the three pot games.

Just they’re less likely to be pots. They may be bags. They may be pinatas. They may be firecrackers. But we know the drill – generally, each has its own unique enhancement on a bonus, whether it be free spins, hold and respin, etc.

Every maker we visited today had at least one example of this. If these aren’t your game type, there will be a level of disappointment with many of the new options you’ll see on casino floors over the next year.

A Turn Towards Tradition

One message we heard from multiple game makers this year is a shift to making games that have more traditionally drawn in players.

These scenarios can be classic hold and respin bonuses, games with time-tested math that players appreciate, extensions of successful series (Rakin’ Bacon fans have two new games to enjoy that are just hitting casino floors), and so on.

In some ways this acknowledges a bit of a retreat after some crazy innovations that some of the companies were toying with for awhile. Taking a swing is a risk if the game proves to not resonate, and taking too many swings can be very costly for businesses.

Everi Takes A Swing Every Year

Project Moon by Everi

One thing I will give respect to the Everi team for is having an unusual concept each year. These have played out in different directions, whether it be games like Lightning Zap and Crush, or more recent offerings like Cha-Ching!

This year they showcased two additional new concepts. The more unusual was a game that featured a rocket that you kept attempting to boost; each boost had a 90 percent chance of success and would grow the amount, but 10 percent chance it would blow up and you would lose your bet.

It’s almost like the inverse of Zap, where you would keep betting until you win a prize. You can lock in your wins at any time or keep boosting, but each boost has that 10 percent risk of failure.

This is the name of a slot coming out. It is not a joke.

It’s getting a bit humorous at this point but as slot makers do various extensions of previous games, their common theme is to iterate on an existing game and throw another word on there: Deluxe, Gold, Grand, Extreme, Explosion, Prosperity… you get the idea.

But this was one of the funnier, although appropriate for the new mechanic, variations we saw on the floor so far.

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