Mikohn has gained major success in the past 18 months by not being “clueless” in producing interesting casino games.
“Instead of putting out 10 zillion games, we’ve got to be on target most of the time,” said Steve Romeo, executive director for the two-year-old producer of video slots and table games.
Mikohn will be making a major impact in December with the creation of a $1.7 million package of slot games at Green Valley Ranch Casino (Interstate 215 and Green Valley Parkway), the latest gem in the Station Casinos fleet of casino-hotels.
“We selected Mikohn’s progressive technology and displays because of their quality and advanced capabilities,” said Stations president Lorenzo J. Fertitta.
The “quality before quantity” theme has prevailed in Mikohn’s recent successes, particularly the Ripley’s Believe It or Not interactive slot machine.
“We’re selling more Ripley’s than we can make,” said Romeo as he demonstrated the company’s most successful creation at the “game room” testing area in the firm’s Las Vegas headquarters off Pilot Road and Paradise.
“It’s part of our employees job to come to this room and test the games out,” Romeo said. “We all enjoy what we do, especially when we produce the quality of game that families enjoy playing together.”
Ripley’s, Battleship I and Monopoly are the cornerstone to Mikohn becoming a “player” in the industry. The company is now focusing on Clue and Battleship II for the marketplace by the beginning of next year.
“The Clue demo has been submitted for approval and I think the state will approve it quickly,” Romeo said. “We think Clue will be on par with Ripley’s as an interactive game people will want to play over and over again.”
The Battleship II game, known as Battleship Winning Encounter, differs from the original model in one definite aspect.
“In the new version, the ships fire back at you,” Romeo chuckled. “The first Battleship version you did all the firing.”
It is the interactive phase of those games that adds to the ability of customers to earn considerably more money at the machine.
“No longer are players satisfied with pressing buttons and seeing different combinations produce winners,” Romeo said. “Going interactive now allows players to become part of the game itself. In Clue, players are able to try and solve the crime and earn points while correctly guessing what room, weapon and person were involved in the crime.”
Mikohn is also on the cutting edge of table games such as blackjack, pai gow poker and Caribbean Stud, allowing the house to track the amount of money and time a player spends through encoded chips.
“There is a tiny transmitter in each chip, which is identified by individual numbers,” Romeo said. “Players can also make side bets on these games that aren’t generally allowed on the regular table games. It’s probably going to be the wave of the future.”
Romeo said that the company is shooting for producing at least five new games per year.
“I think if we were able to reach that goal, we would be very happy,” he said. “Of course, it’s not enough just to produce the games. They have to be good. That’s what we work everyday to achieve.”