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SKILL GAMING SHOWCASE


IGT Video Poker: W


The original skill-based casino game


hen the majority of gaming industry professionals hear the term “skill-based gaming,” they often draw mental images of next-gen games distinguishable by disruptive form


factors, playful symbol sets and unconventional math models. Although there are many skill-based games that fit this description, it’s important to remember that skill-based gaming is not new. In fact, global gaming leader IGT has been in the skill-based gaming segment from its earliest days by way of its compelling and industry-leading video poker portfolio. IGT, which has dominated this segment since its


creation in the early 1980s, believes this balance of skill and chance is what has fueled the popularity of the video poker segment for decades and contributes to its success in creating such a loyal fan base of genre purists. “The deep player affinity for video poker can be at least partially attributed to the fact that skilled players have the chance for better outcomes than less-skilled players. Video poker games present the ideal


combination of chance—the outcome of the dealt cards, and skill—the player’s choice of how to play each hand, and inspire players to hone their skills and improve their


results, ” said Darnell Johnson, IGT Director Product Management Video Poker. Despite IGT’s decades-long leadership in the video


poker space, the Company still prioritizes innovation and pushes itself to add new twists to time-tested classics. “Even with the intensely loyal player base that video


poker has accumulated over the years, IGT continues to innovate in this space. We believe disruptive innovation, such as video poker on large-format cabinets, as well as incremental innovation such as new modifications to time-tested titles such as Game King, Ultimate X Poker and Super Star Poker, are integral to moving the player experience forward and providing our customers the tools they need to modernize and differentiate their offerings.” The latest IGT video poker innovation is the


PeakBarTop cabinet. Launched in the spring of 2020, the high-performance and ergonomically designed hardware was a product of vast experience in this


NOVEMBER 2020 43


segment. The PeakBarTop cabinet was designed to seamlessly replace the Company’s legacy G20 cabinet and satisfy both new and seasoned video poker players. “Every aspect of the PeakBarTop was meticulously


designed and artfully engineered to ensure it delivers the most exceptional player experience,” added Johnson. “We understand and appreciate that video poker players often prefer certain button configurations, pay tables, art packages and more. With the PeakBarTop, we’ve designed a product that applied IGT’s deep experience and research findings, and the result was spectacular.” Spectacular indeed. IGT’s PeakBarTop was hailed as one of the most innovative products of 2019 and was recently recognized in the Global Gaming Awards. Additionally, operators continue to add it to their mix of casino entertainment. Since pioneering video poker several decades ago, IGT


has continued to produce various skill-based games over the years. Most notable was the Company’s Video Reel Edge family of games and exciting themes such as Cleopatra Pinball and Texas Tea Pinball that had traditional base games and then skill-based bonus events. Today, IGT is the sole distributor (outside Australia and New Zealand) of Chill Gaming’s Fortunes of the Brave game. Consistent with the Company’s “Customer First” approach, company officials say they maintain strong and frequent dialogue with their customers and their needs heavily influence IGT’s innovation roadmaps. “We are committed to making games that deliver


unrivalled player experiences and drive growth. Fortunately for IGT, video poker and its compelling mix of chance and skill continues to meet that objective and is readily embraced by players.”


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