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WMS Gaming Beams Up New Slot "Trekkies" Will Love

16 January 2008

Acquiring the rights to develop celebrity icons, TV programs, motion pictures game shows and board games into slot themes that will attract gamblers is a preoccupation of the world's leading gaming device manufacturers.

Many times brand licensing requires the marketing and legal divisions of the companies to gaze into the crystal ball and predict what'll be hot, and then grab up the rights before someone else does. Atronic, for example, bought the rights to Deal or No Deal when it was a hit show in Europe but unknown to American TV viewers.

Some games enjoy brief flings of fame on casino floors. Others have staying power. It seems the key to success is capturing themes that transfer seamlessly to a slot machine format and that have broad appeal among different age groups.

Such popular game shows as The Price is Right and Jeopardy became slot themes, but they never really established a dominant presence on gaming floors.

On the other hand, IGT's Wheel of Fortune and WMS Gaming's Monopoly are examples of games that have such limitless flair through new generations of games and enhanced technology that they've become staples in casinos nationwide.

WMS appears to be raising the bar with its new product line, headlined by a Star Trek-themed game. It has the potential to be another iconic slot game, not only for the imaginative and high-tech application of the themes of the television classic, also for a revolutionary concept the company calls Adaptive Gaming.

"Adaptive Gaming is the next step towards what we're calling personalized and intimate gaming," explained vice president of marketing Rob Bone. "When a player finishes a session of Star Trek, he or she simply enters a PIN number. A ticket is printed with a code, which the player can insert in the bill validator for the next playing session, allowing them to pick up where they left off."

The Adaptive Gaming concept is especially relevant to Star Trek because the game is loaded with three fully developed Star Trek episodes. Players encounter different bonuses during which they earn medals. The medals enable players, once they reach certain thresholds, to unlock future episodes. In essence, the game creates a dynamic story line to which players can return, much like placing a bookmark in a novel.

"It's administered over our wide area network, so feasibly someone who's in Las Vegas can hop on a plane for Atlantic City and have the ability to pick up where they left off at another casino in another state," Bone said. "We'll also have local area networks as a solution for those markets that currently don't use wide area progressives."

Adaptive Gaming aside, Star Trek is an incredibly attractive product that slot players, especially "Trekkies", will absolutely love. The real-time 3D graphics and Bose 3-Space audio system create an immersive experience similar to such other new WMS games as Top Gun and The Wizard of Oz, only better.

"The powerful design of Star Trek really brings the brand to life," Bone said. "Allowing people to be in a story line where they can reach milestones, save their progress, and have the aspiration of unlocking future episodes has never been offered."

WMS plans to do some technical launches in late spring/early summer of 2008 followed by the commercial launch late in the year.

CASINO NEWS: How would you feel about your chances of winning your Texas Hold'em Poker hand if you were holding four 7s and an ace kicker? Darren R. of Goshen, Indiana, felt pretty good until an opponent at the table at the Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Michigan on Nov. 23 showed a straight flush! But the casino's progressive Bad Beat Jackpot was a pretty nice consolation prize. Darren was awarded half of the grand prize of $106,958.22. The remaining prize money was divided among the seven other players at the table. A bad beat jackpot is awarded when 4-of-a-kind loses to a straight flush.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp