[toc]On Feb. 23, several months after skill-based games first appeared in Atlantic City casinos, a Las Vegas casino has finally jumped aboard the skill-based gaming train.
According to a press release issued by Konami, “For a $2 entry wager, the game gives players the chance to win random cash awards and earn true skill-based cash awards. Top scores are recorded on daily and all time Hall of Fame leaderboard displays.”
Here’s what Konami Executive VP & CCO Tom Jingoli said in the company’s press release:
“Considering Konami’s extensive heritage in consumer arcade and video game entertainment, we’re excited to bring that creativity and technology to the gaming industry in new ways and help pioneer the development of next generation gaming product.
Thanks to the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the New Innovation Beta program, unique developments like Frogger: Get Hoppin’ can gather and react to early feedback—strengthening success for consumers, operators, and developers alike.
We’re very pleased with the response we’ve seen to Frogger: Get Hoppin’. Throughout the trial and competition event an entire spectrum of player types have tried the game, but by far the largest audiences represented were those not traditionally engaged in gaming activities at the casino.
As this emerging sector continues to expand, players can look forward to connecting with new forms of gaming entertainment that reinforce their interests and social preferences.”
GameCo’s massive presence in Atlantic City casinos
Konami may have beaten GameCo to the punch in Las Vegas, but it’s Konami and the other skill-based gaming suppliers playing catch-up in the bigger picture.
GameCo has dozens of skill-based terminals in four Atlantic City casinos, with plans to launch in other markets in the coming months.
Last November, GameCo placed its Danger Arena game at three Caesars-owned Atlantic City casinos: Harrah’s, Bally’s, and Caesars. Danger Arena was later added at Tropicana in Atlantic City.
Earlier this month, GameCo debuted a second skill-based game, Pharaoh’s Secret Chamber, at all four Atlantic City casinos.
The company plans to add a third offering, a basketball game called Nothing But Net, in the near future.
GameCo’s Las Vegas plans
In a December interview, GameCo founder and CEO Blaine Graboyes told Online Poker Report the company’s goal was to introduce skill-based games in Las Vegas casinos in the first half of 2017.
That timeline is still in play, as Graboyes recently told Gaming Today his company is again “targeting being there in the first half of 2017.”
Graboyes went on to say:
“Chairman [A.G.] Burnett [of the Nevada Gaming Control Board] and his team in Nevada have been incredibly supportive of what we’re doing. I’ve been meeting with them for the last two-plus years.
That’s been getting more frequent. We’re negotiating with an array of launch partners in Vegas and Reno. It will be a few casinos in Las Vegas, on the Strip, off the Strip and downtown.”
Graboyes also told OPR that the company has “immediate plans in Connecticut, Florida, and tribal casinos across the country.”
So, yes, Konami was first to market in Nevada, thanks to the addition of Frogger: Get Hoppin’.
However, unlike in Atlantic City, where GameCo machines are prominently featured in high-traffic areas on the casino floor, MGM is taking a more cautious approach to rolling out skill-based games.
Frogger is confined to the LEVEL UP Lounge for the time being.
It will be interesting to see which skill-based games are the first to hit a Las Vegas casino floor.
Will Frogger: Get Hoppin’ appeal to millennials?
Not only is the LEVEL UP Lounge an interesting placement choice, but Frogger is a compelling choice for a skill-based game.
The Frogger brand is one of the most popular arcade games of all-time.
While it will certainly resonate with Generation X’ers (Frogger debuted in 1981), unlike GameCo’s first-person-shooter (Danger Arena) and Match-Three (Pharaoh’s Secret Chamber), it doesn’t exactly mesh with the skill-based gaming mantra of targeting millennials.
That said, there have been a number of Frogger legacy games released over the years, including mobile apps as recently as 2013.
No word on whether George Costanza was the first person in line to play the game.
Image credit: Petr Podrouzek / Shutterstock.com