Focus on AGS: Taking the lead in online games

October 24, 2023 8:00 AM
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports
October 24, 2023 8:00 AM
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States

When content development within the interactive sector became a priority at AGS in 2022, industry insiders could not have envisioned the fulfilling results achieved in just a little over a year’s time by a company driven by a bold vision of the future.

Highlighting AGS’ successful transition into an all-inclusive commercial gaming supplier and a leading provider of slot content to real-money gaming operators world-wide are the latest findings of the Eilers-Fantini Online Game Performance Report, which ranked AGS No. 1 in New Slots Indexing overall, punctuated by nine new games with an average index of 2.51x.

“Being featured in the report was huge,” Zoe Ebling, vice-president of interactive for AGS, acknowledged. “It is the result of investment into the online segment. We have an online studio that is changing the way AGS delivers content to our online partners.

“What we are seeing is an increase in the number of good games we are releasing into the market, which means more games are hits and more games are producing revenue for our partners, making us more valuable to casinos now more than ever.”

Implicit with this successful business model, according to Ebling, is understanding the difference between land and online product and leveraging themes and popular bonus features from one to the other.

AGS has the best of both worlds: a massive catalog of high-performing land games ranging from slots and tables and also a veteran online game development team that has the ability to move that content successfully online, and create new games that will be high performers.

Ebling expressed satisfaction with the ascension of AGS into a position of leadership on how the company rolls out new technology and how quickly AGS has been able to impact game quantity as well as game quality.

“There are certain things you have to do online, including having a UI that is user-friendly, looks clean, and functionality so that a user can play on their phone with one hand,” she explained. “We have made a lot of these changes to our online portfolio, making it easier for users to play and to engage with.”

She illustrated the progress by noting that AGS has plans to launch 40 games in 2024, as opposed to 25 this year and about 10 new games in 2022, adding that the scale at which the company is able to produce content and the variety of the content has increased significantly.

“The great thing about the team we have assembled is that we’ve been able to schedule content out much further,” she said. “Our releases next year will include video slots, stepper slots, and our first omnichannel release. We are building on that incremental segment to offer more value to casinos that are looking to build their ecosystem.”

AGS plans to compete in every genre of games; and are not going to be satisfied just being the best at video, stepper, table, or other innovative products – they plan to compete to be the best in every category

They are also expanding their global presence. Already heavily into the European market, throughout which content is aggregated for some of the biggest casinos, Ebling related that the company launched in Italy this year, and in Romania.

In addition to expansion plans throughout Europe, Ebling said that AGS already has a sizable following in Canada and that expansion in the U.S. is also a priority. A launch in West Virginia took place in October. Additionally, AGS is on track to launch in Connecticut, with other states to follow.

Ebling, commenting that “AGS had previously flown a little bit under the radar,” is proud that with the new team, new energy, and new account managers with a “boots on the ground” mentality, the vision for the future is bright.

“We are meeting with operators to learn more about their business, making sure that we suggest the right content and promote it in the right way,” she continued. “Every casino is different. Getting to know each one to ensure that product is placed appropriately, building upon the momentum we have established with the tools we have created to grow casino revenue.”

Contemplating upon what sets AGS apart from the competition in innovation, Ebling believes developing themes that do well is important, but there is emphasis as well in exploring areas where we can “really try to go outside the box”.

“I believe we think about games differently than most other suppliers,” she observed. “We have what we call ‘incubators’ where we are looking for non-traditional games, searching for the next product that is going to be influential online”.

“We are not trying to catch up to where the market is, rather to really establish ourselves as a leader at the forefront of innovation.”

Not to be overlooked in the AGS portfolio is the table game segment. Poised for launch are progressive products, and the design of a system that connects all of the games.

Ebling emphasized that AGS is known for excelling in the table space, noting, “We have worked with leaders in our tables department to make sure we are providing the right products with configurability that will make the games appealing to every operator.”

“We have done a good analysis of the market to make sure that we have the traditional games that are important, but also unique products that are going to make us stand out with players because no one else has thought to develop them.”

Ebling expressed confidence that AGS is strategically positioned to compete with other suppliers at a heightened level, citing name recognition and the company’s ability to execute and deliver quickly and in a more efficient way.

“We have the talent to make sure that whatever we bring is going to be the top tier in the market,” she added. “I really believe AGS is going to shake things up. We have top talent, creating top ideas, and we are able to harvest them and make them come to light in a different way. It’s very exciting to know people are going to see a lot more from AGS than ever before.”