Focus on IGT: New Tiger & Dragon game shows IGT’s strength in MLP

May 3, 2024 8:00 AM
Photo: CDC Gaming Reports
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports
May 3, 2024 8:00 AM
  • John G. Brokopp, CDC Gaming Reports

IGT has left little room for debate that it is the MVP of the multi-level progressive (MLP) segment with the incredible success of the award-winning titles Prosperity Link and Mystery of the Lamp.

The unveiling of Tiger & Dragon to rave reviews at the Indian Gaming Association Tradeshow & Convention (IGA) in April sealed the “game, set, match” reputation that IGT has forged in MLP with a brilliantly designed creation that brings riveting play and dynamic merchandising possibilities to slot floors.

Domenico Pastia, IGT’s Senior Vice-President of Global Product, expressed enthusiasm for Tiger & Dragon, saying, “We are genuinely and truly excited about this game. It exhibits simplicity, yet in parallel, also depth, in the sense that it takes a simple interface that reveals many features to be discovered by the player.

“The bonus invites players to experience features that are premier in the market. The reality for us is that we feel it exhibits different mechanics, which possibly opens up a different category in the multi-level progressive segment. The results tell us if it is a great game or a blockbuster. I can commit to a great game. I hope it is a blockbuster.”

Pastia went on to explain that Tiger & Dragon represents imaginative implementation of a mechanic referred to as “what you see, what you get” – meaning that players can see on the screen the potential to win that is delivered via the heavily interconnected base game and bonus features.

Tony Sofran, IGT Vice-President of Premium Product, is similarly convinced that Tiger & Dragon has blockbuster potential. Drawing from his vast experience in IGT’s sales division, he revealed that the new game comes with a visually appealing sign package that is unique to what IGT has in the market.

Tiger & Dragon attracted high-energy attention during its major release at IGA, fueled in great part by a special merchandising package that was hard to miss.

“Customers have been really excited about Tiger & Dragon,” Sofran said. “We included some of the mechanics from Prosperity Link and Mystery of the Lamp along with the Cash on Reels mechanic, which really gives players something to root for. It is a real ‘cheer on’ game from all sightlines on the casino floor.”

Pastia knows that after a new product launch, the feedback is critical. He acknowledged that at IGT the team has the luxury of an extraordinary test bank program in place, observing, “Tiger & Dragon is probably the best game I have been able to observe and nurture during my tenure with the company”.

Sofran attributes the appeal of Tiger & Dragon in part to the excitement of the play experience in each of the bonus rounds.

“In the Cash on Reels mechanic, five orbs can be connected across the five locations on the game interface to award the high dollar value,” he explained. “We then have an arrow that comes in and can boost those wins even higher, creating a really very exciting component of game play.”

Tiger & Dragon incorporates one version that is Cash on Reels and another version that is the multiplier. The two base games differ in terms of mechanics, even though they are comparable, and the combination Tiger & Dragon bonus feature is present in both varieties.

The multiplier orbs are not ‘sticky’ because they run each and every spin. Once you have a win, apply a multiplier, and if the line win is applicable, it makes the base game experience extraordinary, Pastia explained, because naturally you can get double-digit multipliers in the base game, keeping players entertained.

“I think we can say that the DNA of the game is something that existed, but it is packaged and presented in such a way that it makes Tiger & Dragon truly premier,” he added. “No game in the market from IGT or any other manufacturer has a similar look and feel.

“When we presented at IGA, a lot of our competitors stopped by our booth to play. We received many compliments, because once you bring forward something that is truly unique it becomes very visible. Tiger & Dragon is indeed very special.”

Realizing the potential of having epic wins, according to Sofran, is not unusual because every game that has left its mark in the industry has been able to deliver that experience. What sets Tiger & Dragon apart is that the game does it in a different way and is consistent with what players like: having the chance to win big and win frequently.

Pastia said that Tiger & Dragon is a completely different implementation of the persistence mechanic, noting: “It is in the hands of the product and creative team to come up with a new application, but I expect they will continue building upon the evolution. We are already discussing internally how to evolve Tiger & Dragon.”

There is much to be optimistic about. Sofran said that Prosperity Link was IGT’s first foray into a very strong MLP game. The game attracted market acceptance immediately.

“It was truly amazing,” he said. “We had games that were doing outstanding numbers and we couldn’t get them out fast enough to meet the market demand. Our game designers took Prosperity Link and built upon it. Now we are at Tiger & Dragon with a completely new game concept to continue to grow the market.”

IGT has a roadmap in place with games that will continue to amaze the MLP component of the slot industry.

“This is, for us, just the beginning for building a pipeline to make sure that we are able to bring to both our customers and their players the best possible product to guarantee the high level of entertainment and fun that brings our industry to life.”