IGA Tradeshow: Light & Wonder debuts new casino games

March 30, 2023 5:57 PM
Photo: CDC Gaming Reports
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
March 30, 2023 5:57 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports

A year after Light & Wonder unveiled its new branding at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention, the cross-platform global-games company unveiled new games at the IGA show in San Diego.

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The new L&W titles are Big Hot Flaming Pots, Zodiac Lantern, and Rich Little Hens, the latter an extension of the evergreen hit-game franchise Rich Little Piggies.

On the systems’ side of the business, the company showcased L&W Engage, a comprehensive loyalty platform. In addition, it launched new hardware in the form of Iview Pro, which provides operators more security, faster response times, and sharper, more dynamic graphics for the player experience.

As for electronic table games, L&W is starting to roll out a newly designed podium and several new sign packages for its Quartz Hybrid product line.

“Now more than ever, casinos are reinvesting in their floors and seeing the tremendous value created for their players who want more modern, immersive, game content,” said Siobhan Lane, Light & Wonder CEO of Gaming.

The 2022 IGA Tradeshow in Anaheim was the first time Light & Wonder showcased its name change from Scientific Games publicly in the U.S.

“We’ve had a lot of changes at Light & Wonder,” Lane said. “At the show last year, we’d just launched our new name and have been on an end-to-end transformation journey from Scientific Games to Light & Wonder and all of the things happening in between.”

The company completed its divestiture from its lottery and sports-betting businesses in that year, so it could focus on “the best game content powered by the best technology and building out and developing our best team of talent to make it happen behind the scenes,” Lane said.

Because the IGA Tradeshow is nearly six months away from the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, it allows L&W to “have a whole new arsenal of content,” Lane said.

The cabinets the company previewed at G2E in October are on the verge of release in April. Those include the Cosmic cabinet and Kascada slant cabinet. Investing in great hardware has been “a cornerstone of our product strategy,” according to Lane. The Kascada Dual Screen released in 2022 has been the number-one dual screen in the Eilers’ rankings for 10 months running.

The company says demand for its Kascada slant has been higher than anticipated.

Lane believes that content is king in this industry, thus L&W continues to roll it out, extending its “arsenal of great brands” across all of their hardware lines.

“That’s critical to our portfolio strategy,” Lane said. “Quick Hit Explosion has been a tried-and-true brand with players for years, so we’re next-leveling that game. We have this explosion line of content started last year with the rollout of Ultimate Fire Link Explosion. We have our Planet Moolah series and Rich Little Piggies series and its extension.”

L&W has launched its first products from Studio X, headed by Ted Hase, who introduced his Dragon game. In addition, Frankenstein is launching on the new Cosmic cabinet.

“It has resonated with customers since launching on the new hardware,” Lane said. “We have a lot of great games that we’ve been rolling out and will continue to roll out. We’re making sure there’s that depth of support across the portfolio, as we continue to release and refresh hardware.”

During the tradeshow, L&W unveiled several new game titles that are extensions of some of its most popular franchises, including Money Link Power 4 and Dancing Drums Ultimate Explosion. With Money Link Power 4, players can play all four of the franchise’s titles: The Great Immortals, Neptune’s Realm, Egyptian Riches and Gifts of Odin, all at the same time. Dancing Drums Ultimate Explosion features new enhancements, such as multiple progressive resets.

L&W also has some upcoming Class II gaming offerings, including a WAP link launching on Cosmic. Class II has seen a resurgence over recent years and L&W has learned a lot about that segment and how it compares and contrasts to Class III, Lane said.

“It’s certainly a product segment that we continue to invest in. As that market shifts and grows, we’re also scaling our product portfolio and investing in the back-end infrastructure to make sure we’re powering games and have strong performance across the board. We’re there to fill that demand when it comes to that.”

Devised by renowned game designer Qin You, Big Hot Flaming Pots is a three-pot mechanic game that features Yummy, Upsized and Spicy pots, as well as animations that include a whimsical “dumpling-tossing” feature. The game allows scatter prizes to be removed and won before the end of the Hold & Spin feature for extended gameplay. It will also be available on L&W’s Cosmic display cabinet.

Also making its debut on the Cosmic cabinet is the new Zodiac Lantern series that features two titles, Zodiac Lantern – Tiger and Zodiac Lantern – Rabbit, combining the Persistent Pot from 88 Fortunes with a multi-reel Hold & Spin feature.

These games were created by Jamie Knight, the designer behind the hit Money Link franchise, and were inspired by the Chinese Zodiac’s Year of the Tiger (2022) and Year of the Rabbit (2023). Free-game bonuses are triggered by three koi symbols and the lantern feature, the main Hold & Spin feature for these titles, which triggers by landing six Lantern symbols.

Rich Little Hens is a new franchise focused on three hens that continue to grow until a bonus is triggered. With the opportunity to combine all three hens into one mega feature, players can experience up to a 7x wild multiplier, progressive free games, and a jackpot chase all at once. Designed by Shawn Soong, also responsible for Blazing 777 2x3x5x Nudge and Blazing 777 Triple Double Jackpot Wild, the game offers a high-denom option with newly added denominations.