WMS Takes the Slot Experience to Unprecedented Levels with Portal Applications; First Games that Leverage Next-Generation CPU-NXT®3 Platform; Introduction of My Poker™ Series and Newest Participation Games Including
CLUE™, BATTLESHIP™, THE WIZARD OF OZ Journey to Oz™, MONOPOLY™ Party Train®, GONE WITH THE WIND and Aladdin™ & The Magic Quest™ Themes-
Waukegan, Ill. and Las Vegas, Nev. – September 27, 2011 – Leveraging proven industry insights that inspire high-performing products, WMS Gaming Inc., a subsidiary of WMS Industries Inc. (NYSE:WMS), will debut its strongest, most diverse content portfolio at the eleventh annual Global Gaming Expo (G2E), October 4-6, 2011 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. WMS’ commitment to “Engaging Players. Delivering Results.” will be on display with a broad array of unique and dynamic entertainment experiences that are sure to engage current players and attract new ones to drive higher loyalty and performance for casino operators.
The new WMS games on display at G2E 2011 (booth #1118) will feature more than double the number of math models the Company has ever offered in one year, which translates into more new unique player experiences. Building on its history of innovation, WMS will introduce games with unique game play mechanics, such as video spinning wheel-driven bonuses, character customization, competitive team play, overhead bonus selection and added reels that improve the chances of winning and/or the size of the win. Also on display will be new games that feature the award-winning Player’s Life® Web Services, the player-popular application that has garnered notable success in increasing time on device, and Portal themes, the unique value-added, secondary integrated bonus applications that utilize visual and audio enhancements to bring new excitement to base game themes.
New participation and premium games will be introduced at G2E 2011, including innovative updates to established series and introductions of new games for iconic brands including CLUE, BATTLESHIP, THE WIZARD OF OZ Journey to Oz, MONOPOLY Party Train, GONE WITH THE WIND and Monster Jackpots, all of which are expected to be available for customers during the Company’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. WMS will also debut Super Team™ and Aladdin & The Magic Quest themes, the first premium participation games that leverage the capabilities and functionality made possible by the next generation CPU-NXT®3, a new platform that will revolutionize the slot experience. WMS will also introduce a break-through alternative for video poker players, the My Poker series.
Brian R. Gamache, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WMS, said, “For more than 60 years, WMS has been a leader in creating great entertainment by focusing first and foremost on the player experience. Our talented game designers and engineers consistently translate industry insights and leverage our Player Driven Innovation™ focus to create unique gaming content and play features that further engage existing slot players and attract new players to our customers’ facilities.
“This year’s product line-up at G2E features new innovations coupled with updates for many of our proven game play mechanics, as well as other industry-favorite game features that raise the bar on slot floor entertainment to all-new levels. We’re confident that our games on display at G2E 2011 will further extend our success with creating new products that help drive increases in player loyalty and revenues for our customers. At the same time, our newest products reflect our prioritization of the near-term commercialization of new game themes, products and portal gaming applications for our core product sales and gaming operations businesses that address customers’ current needs and demands.”
The WMS product design and development teams have again created new entertainment experiences that raise the bar on gaming excitement, including:
59 new for-sale games and 14 new participation games;
- More than twice the number of new math models WMS has introduced in any single year;
- Enhancements for the popular G+® Deluxe, Innovation, Bonus Bank, and other video reel game series;
- Five games featuring a video spinning wheel, the first WMS products with this player-favorite game mechanic;
- 27 new games enabled with one or more of the Company’s Adaptive Gaming®, Community Gaming®, Transmissive Reels® technologies and Sensory Immersion Gaming platforms;
- 32 games enabled with WMS Networked Gaming Portal families which offer customers increased floor flexibility through the availability of secondary integrated bonus applications that can be paired with WMS base game themes;
- Three new games enabled with WMS’ Player’s Life Web Services, which enhances the gaming experience by adding an online dimension to the games on customers’ casino floors;
- Four new game titles developed for the Company’s new CPU-NXT3 platform; and,
- The My Poker series, a new video poker product built on the award-winning Bluebird xD™ platform.
Gamache added, “Enabled by WMS’ growing intellectual property library, our talented and imaginative game developers have once again created new entertainment experiences that no other company in the industry offers. Our ability to develop a high level of differentiated game play features and our largest ever number of new math models translates into more new exciting entertainment options for our customers and their slot players.
“Similarly, our Portal families and Player’s Life Web Services offer slot players new and unique gaming entertainment. The first game theme for our recently approved Ultra Hit Progressive® Portal family is now deployed across approximately 390 gaming machines in 20 casinos and has shown an ability to generate 20%-30% higher coin-in. Also, Player’s Life Web Services continues to drive longer time on device for players that create unique log-ins and even higher playing times for players that enjoy online entertainment. In addition to products that will be commercially available over the next several quarters, WMS will also offer a special preview of two new technology platforms that are expected to create entirely new, unique slot floor entertainment options.”
“Engaging Players. Delivering Results” with New Play Mechanics and Player Popular Brands
WMS continues to translate customer and player feedback into new high-earning product solutions that integrate unique play mechanics with iconic industry and global brands. Among the 59 video and mechanical reel for-sale games WMS will showcase at G2E 2011 are:
- Press Your Luck™: A 15-line Transmissive Reels technology Bonus Bank game, the Press Your Luck theme is designed for the three-reel mechanical reel player who wants a volatile base game experience with video reel bonus mechanics.
- Cascading Reels™ 5×4: Available with two unique series – the Invaders!™ and Ancient Magicke™ series – the Cascading Reels 5×4 family builds on the player-popular Cascading Reels series with new functionality that creates a less predictable cascading feature, an added fourth row of symbols, optional dual cash progressives and two free play progressives.
- POWER SPINS™: A new family for the video Bonus Bank player featuring a base game with the look and feel of the popular G+ Deluxe series will launch with four themes. Each game enables players to activate an acquired POWER SPIN event at any time to increase the chance of winning. Players can accumulate POWER SPIN events higher than the maximum bet, allowing for a significantly more volatile experience.
- G+ Deluxe: Already a proven performer on the slot floor with games that continue to generate premiums to house averages, the new G+ Deluxe themes at G2E will debut new enhancements, including progressive reloads and surprise spins. WMS will introduce up to 11 new themes for the G+ Deluxe series in fiscal 2012 including the Cirque du Masquerade®, Jungle Wild® III, Sun Warrior™ and Desert Moon™ themes.
- Colossal Reels™: New to the Innovation series, the Colossal Reels series utilizes the full widescreen power of the Bluebird®2 and Bluebird xD cabinets to feature two sets of reels – traditional and oversized – that transfer wild symbols between reels. The Colossal Reels series will launch with four themes and two unique math models.
- Baron von Bacon™: Designed for the player looking for consistent bonus rounds and a fun theme, this new product features a video wheel play mechanic for 11 mini-bonuses that contain free spins, credits or the possibility of a one million credit prize.
- Awesome Reels™: Launching with the Lady of Athens™ and Lone Wolf™ themes, the Awesome Reels series adds a sixth reel that expands big wins into even bigger wins.
- A few highlights of the new premium participation games for the gaming operations segment that are expected to enhance WMS’ installed base and revenue per day beginning in the second half of fiscal 2012 include:
- BATTLESHIP: Players compete in teams to sink ships in three unique bonus rounds playing out on overhead screens. With Bluebird xD cabinet base games, surround sound gaming chairs, Experience Design elements that bring a new level of visual excitement to the slot floor and the introduction of our Mystery Wide-Area Progressive (WAP) functionality, the BATTLESHIP theme will entice players seeking a branded, fully immersive Community Gaming bonus experience. (initial approvals received in September 2011)
- THE WIZARD OF OZ: The new THE WIZARD OF OZ Journey to Oz theme is WMS’ largest adventure for THE WIZARD OF OZ brand yet, offering for the first time for THE WIZARD OF OZ brand one of the most player-popular game mechanics in the industry, a spinning wheel. This exciting slot game is packed with exciting technologies, including Collaborative Gaming™ technology, surround sound gaming chairs, a wide-area progressive, a base game mini-wheel and a large community video spinning wheel on dual 52” overhead screens for unique Bigger Event® bonus round action. (initial approvals received in September 2011)
- MONOPOLY-themed games: The MONOPOLY Party Train theme takes numerous player-popular mechanics from previous MONOPOLY slots and enhances them with additional features including a new dual machine marquee for heightened floor merchandising. Available in mechanical and video reel base game versions, MONOPOLY Party Train introduces the random “Move” feature that randomly takes players around the MONOPOLY board for mini-bonuses, free spin enhancements, bonus triggers and more. WMS will introduce a second new Monopoly-themed game at G2E this year, Epic Monopoly™, the first WMS premium game to use the Super Multi-Pay® interface and the first Monopoly game to feature a wheel mechanic in the bonus round. The game also features a 32-inch top monitor and multiple bonusing options. (initial approvals for MONOPOLY Party Train anticipated in the December 2011 quarter and initial approvals for Epic Monopoly anticipated in the March 2012 quarter)
- Life of Luxury®: The new Deluxe theme is the follow-up to the successful Life of Luxury Local-Area Progressive (LAP) series. The game features a LAP free spin bonus randomly triggered during standard G+ Deluxe and G+ Deluxe 5×4 base gameplay. In the progressive free spin bonus round, a max wager spin guarantees a progressive award if the picking bonus is triggered. (initial approvals anticipated in the March 2012 quarter)
- Clue: This new wide-area progressive is based on the classic board game, enabled with Adaptive Gaming technology and features Player’s Life Web Services online games and leaderboards. The Clue theme allows multiple players on a bank to unlock bonuses and work together to solve the mystery. If the player does not solve the mystery following a bonus round, the next player has better odds at solving the mystery. (initial approvals anticipated in the March 2012 quarter)
- CPU-NXT3 games: The first CPU-NXT3 game to debut, the Super Team theme, is Player’s Life Web Services enabled and features 15 heroes that travel through three different bonus features to unlock additional bonuses and hero customization opportunities. The Hero Editor functionality allows players to customize their own characters thereby bringing a new level of player-personalization to the slot floor. The second CPU-NXT3 game from WMS, the Aladdin & The Magic Quest theme, will also feature the debut of the Company’s Sensory Immersion 2.0 technology platform. (initial approvals for the Super Team and Aladdin & The Magic Quest themes are expected in the June 2012 quarter)
- Gone with the Wind: A new brand for WMS, the Gone with the Wind theme is based on one of the most popular theatrical motion pictures of all time. With a unique video reel interface, the Gone with the Wind theme features Sensory Immersion technology and a wide-area progressive that will entice players with nostalgic romantic influences and exciting bonus rounds. (initial approvals anticipated in the June 2012 quarter)
- Monster Jackpots: This new theme is the first game from WMS that features the classic Universal Studios Monsters™ such as Frankenstein, Dracula, Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon and Bride of Frankenstein in unique base games and bonus rounds. In the free spin bonus round, players select their own volatility level to try to capture Monsters and win a large jackpot. (initial approvals anticipated in the June 2012 quarter)
In addition, WMS will showcase two participation games featuring the award-winning Metascreen™ technology at G2E, the Pirate Battle® theme, which recently received its initial regulatory approval, and the Castle King™ theme which is expected to be approved late in the June 2012 quarter. Both themes are available on four side-by-side Bluebird xD cabinets with special 32-inch overhead monitors. These monitors form a massive, singular screen on which bonus rounds play out on a bank-wide level with assistance from emotive lighting and Experience Design technologies. In the Pirate Battle theme, two Team Compete to Win™ community bonuses play out, pitting the left half of the bank against the right for credit and jackpot awards. In the Castle King theme, players have the opportunity to win from 20 progressive levels from any machine on the bank when the Local-Area Progressive free spin bonus is triggered.
The My Poker Series: A New Way to Entertain Video Poker Players
The My Poker series is a break-through alternative for the video poker player featuring a suite of games on the Bluebird xD platform with a new ergonomically designed poker button panel. The My Poker series is a completely selectable and integrated multi-game solution that meets current player expectations while allowing for the introduction of new features aimed at boosting coin-in. Bringing a new level of comfort and style to video poker players, the My Poker series provides 14 different customizations to the base game experience that can be mixed and matched into numerous configurations, offering unprecedented flexibility. In addition, customization, play statistics and leaderboard capabilities encourage long-term engagement for current and new players.
“We are very excited to introduce our new video poker product, the My Poker series, which has been in development for three years,” said Gamache. “Designed to leverage the unique entertainment enhancements made possible by our popular Bluebird xD gaming platform, the My Poker series offers an attractive new alternative for customers to update the portion of their slot floor committed to video poker products. Just as our Transmissive Reels technology renewed interest in mechanical reel games when it was first introduced, we believe the My Poker series will appeal to current video poker players and attract new players to this segment of the slot floor.”
Next Generation of Player Driven Innovation
Beyond the near-term products on display at G2E 2011, WMS will debut two new technology platforms for its gaming operations segment that are expected to be available over the next 12-24 months. These new platforms create entirely new categories of gaming entertainment experiences that are expected to become slot floor staples similar in scope to the core technological capabilities pioneered by WMS with the Adaptive Gaming, Community Gaming and Transmissive Reels technologies and Sensory Immersion Gaming platforms.
The new Sensory Immersion 2.0 technology platform will debut with the Aladdin & The Magic Quest theme, a virtual-reality magic carpet ride that features emotive lighting and a motion seat system with player selectable movement. With a base game that utilizes a 5×4 video reel interface and a wide-area progressive bonus, the Aladdin & The Magic Quest theme is a fully immersive entertainment experience featuring 3D graphics, surround sound and movement. In addition, with new features such as an updated and modernized ergonomic chair design and motion effects programmed to perfectly align with game events on the video screen, Aladdin & The Magic Quest theme is a thrill ride experience presented in a slot machine. The second new technology platform WMS will preview at G2E will be the next leap forward in a fully interactive, immersive and Community Gaming technology experience.
Orrin J. Edidin, President of WMS commented, “With the introduction of our technology platforms over the years, WMS has demonstrated industry leadership time and time again in the development of innovation with a purpose. These unique product platforms have been helping operators continue to retain current players and attract new ones as they evolve their slot floors, and we are ready to move to the next stage of gaming entertainment excitement. Our two newest technology platforms will further our reputation as a creative force in the industry, leading the way with new entertainment experiences. Our innovative and differentiated gaming content and products will continue to boost the number of WMS products on casino slot floors and fuel long-term operating performance gains.”
Portal Applications Offer New Gaming Experiences for Installed Base Games
WMS’ first Networked Gaming Portal application family, the Ultra Hit Progressive (UHP) series, with Jackpot Explosion® and Piggy Bankin® themes is now installed in 20 casinos. In addition to these themes, WMS will also showcase new Portal application families including the Mega Multiplier® and Winner’s Share® series. The Winner’s Share series, in which players collect credit awards ranging from 1% to 200% of the progressive jackpot, recently received its initial regulatory approval with the Peng-Wins™ theme.
The Mega Multiplier series, the next Portal family expected to be approved for commercialization, features bonus action powered by a real-time physics engine, and will be on display at G2E with the Super Shot™ theme. The Mega Multiplier series features four individual-themed displays that can be swapped out on any gaming machine connected to the Mega Multiplier Central Game Controller. The Mega Multiplier series randomly awards credits players can store and use to trigger the Portal application whenever they choose.
At G2E 2011, WMS will also demonstrate its growing portfolio of games for Class 2, VLT and international markets with unique gaming experiences for each segment.
Gamache concluded, “The breadth and diversity of our products at this year’s G2E demonstrates the creative and innovative edge WMS brings to game development to help our customers retain and attract players. We have a tremendous lineup of new games that target our customers’ current product needs and near-term revenue opportunities, as well as forward thinking product platforms that will continue to usher in new paradigms of gaming entertainment to support our customers’ future gaming needs and WMS’ long-term growth.”
BATTLESHIP is a trademark of Hasbro. Used with permission. Ó2011 Hasbro. All rights reserved.
Bela Lugosi name and likeness © and TM 2011 Lugosi Enterprises. All rights reserved.
CLUE is a trademark of Hasbro. Used with permission. Ó2011 Hasbro. All rights reserved.
Creature from the Black Lagoon is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Elsa Lanchester’s likeness is licensed by the Motion Picture and Television Fund. The Bride of Frankenstein is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Frankenstein is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All Rights Reserved.
G2E is a registered trademark of the American Gaming Association and Reed Elsevier Inc. Used with permission.
GONE WITH THE WIND, its characters and elements are trademarks of Turner Entertainment Co. & The Stephens Mitchell Trusts. © Turner Entertainment Co.
(s11)Lon Chaney, Jr. likeness as “The Wolf Man” is a trademark and copyright of Chaney Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
MONOPOLY is a trademark of Hasbro. Used with permission. Ó2011 Hasbro. All rights reserved.
POWER SPIN and POWER SPINS are trademarks used under license from their owner, Multi-State Lottery Association.
PRESS YOUR LUCK is a trademark of FremantleMedia Operations BV.
The Universal Studios Monsters are trademarks and copyrights of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All Rights Reserved.
THE WIZARD OF OZ and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Turner Entertainment Co. (s11) Judy Garland as Dorothy from THE WIZARD OF OZ. (s11)
WMS is engaged in serving the gaming industry worldwide by designing, manufacturing and marketing games, video and mechanical reel-spinning gaming machines, video lottery terminals and in gaming operations, which consists of the placement of leased participation gaming machines in legal gaming venues. WMS is proactively addressing the next stage of casino gaming floor evolution with its WAGE-NET networked gaming solution, a suite of systems technologies and applications designed to increase customers’ revenue generating capabilities and operational efficiency. More information on WMS can be found at www.wms.com or visit the Company on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning our future business performance, strategy, outlook, plans, products and liquidity. Forward-looking statements may be typically identified by such words as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “likely,” “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” and “intend,” among others. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, any or all of our forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. Consequently, no forward-looking statements may be guaranteed.
Factors which could cause our actual results to differ from expectations include (1) delay or refusal by regulators to approve our new gaming platforms, cabinet designs, game themes and related hardware and software; (2) an inability to introduce in a timely manner new games and gaming machines that achieve and maintain market acceptance; (3) a decrease in the desire of casino customers to upgrade gaming machines or allot floor space to leased or participation games, resulting in reduced demand for our products; (4) a reduction in capital spending or interruption in payments by casino customers associated with business weakness or economic uncertainty that adversely affects our customers’ ability to make purchases or pay; (5) a greater–than-expected demand for operating leases by customers over outright product sales or sales financing leases that shift revenue recognition from a single period to the term of such operating leases; (6) future costs relating to our planned restructuring and other charges that may be higher than currently estimated; 7) a reduction in play levels of our participation games by casino patrons, whether due to economic conditions or increased placements of competitive product; (8) inability of suppliers of key components to timely meet our requirements to fulfill customer orders; (9) a failure to obtain and maintain our gaming licenses and regulatory approvals; (10) failure of customers or players to adapt to the new technologies that we introduce in new product concepts; (11) a software anomaly or fraudulent manipulation of our gaming machines and software; (12) a failure to obtain the right to use or an inability to adapt to rapid development of new technologies; (13) an infringement claim seeking to restrict our use of material technologies; and (14) the unfavorable outcome of any legal proceedings in which we may be involved from time to time. These factors and other factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations are more fully described under “Item 1. Business-Risk Factors” and “Legal Proceedings” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2011 and our more recent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
For more information contact:
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