Focus on Aruze: New leadership emphasizes the ‘global’ in Aruze operations

June 7, 2024 8:00 AM
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports
June 7, 2024 8:00 AM
  • Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States
  • Japan
  • Philippines

With production centers in the Far East and a growing presence on casino floors in America and beyond, Aruze Gaming Global aims to live up to its name.

The company, formed last year when Play Synergy bought the slot machine and online assets of bankrupt Aruze Gaming America, is intent on building on its own credentials, Chief Technology Officer Daryn Kiely said.

The new Aruze team includes the former CEO, several other top managers, and the best game designers from the original company as well as industry veterans added from other operations.

Aruze Gaming Global’s main game design studio is in Japan, while two offices in the Philippines are responsible for math, graphics, software engineering, and other game elements. Third-party studios in Australia also design games to provide an additional level of game-play variety. The company is considering opening a development center in Vietnam and expanding its cabinet design and manufacturing operation in Taiwan, Kiely said. Having operations spread among several countries helps control costs and guards against interruptions from natural disasters or other problems, he added.

Supply chain problems that rose during the COVID pandemic are mostly ironed out. “We’re full speed ahead, able to support all of our customers, and able to completely build all the machines we need,” Kiely said.

Although the primary market for Aruze Gaming Global is the United States, “we do have some large-market opportunities in Asia and in Europe as well,” he said. “True to our name, we are trying to continue to be a global company.”

Another goal is reaching a 5 percent market share among slot makers in the next year or two.

Kiely said the recently released Triple Treasure Pot slots are popular, generating more than twice the house average in most installations. Power Tower, scheduled to be released within weeks, is a hold-and-spin game that includes images of firecrackers that open additional reel space during bonus rounds. Firestorm Bull and Firestorm Lion also are strong performers, he said.

Aruze is emphasizing slots for a casino’s main floor, although bet structures for placement in high-limit rooms are available. The company has a wide variety of slot titles and cabinets; its table games include a blackjack variant that allows players to make two wagers on their hand; a commission-free baccarat game; and a house-backed poker variant.

“A casino floor is like a grocery store,” Kiely said. “The casino is trying to maximize the number of dollars per square foot of their floor space. We’re competing against every other company for that floor space. Cabinet design, graphics, and lighting are what get people to the game. The game itself is what keeps people at the game.”

Kiely said the company also is studying ways to increase its offerings for igaming, “one of the major growth areas in gaming.” Because online games can be developed both for social and real-money casinos, igaming presents “a potentially very large business opportunity.”

The company’s No. 1 focus is customer support, he said. “From the time a salesperson goes out to sell machines to the install to the service, we want to be better than everyone else.”