AG&E division helps new game designers

Jul 8, 2003 7:14 AM

As gaming expands, so does the need for new and exciting games. To help in the cultivation of new game concepts, American Gaming & Electronics (AG&E) has established a division to help designers market their ideas to gaming manufacturers and major casino groups.

A subsidiary of Wells-Gardner Electronics Corporation, AG&E will basically "provide a conduit for game developers," said Wells-Gardner Chairman and CEO Tony Spier.

"We will represent the game designer, put them in contact with the right company and the right people, help fashion the proper contracts, and make sure they get a good shake and are not cheated," Spier told GamingToday on Monday. "Essentially, we’re the William Morris agency of the gaming industry."

Like the famous Hollywood talent agency, AG&E will take a percentage of the licensing revenue as its fee.

"Any revenues earned will largely drop to the bottom line as we have minimal expenses in conducting this business," said AG&E President Robert McMonigle.

McMonigle added that AG&E currently conducts business with the major gaming manufacturers, and has solidified those business relationships over the years.

"Independent designers need representation by companies with high integrity, close relationships with game manufacturers and quality legal counsel," McMonigle said.

So far, AG&E has signed up two design groups to market their concepts. Spier said the company had originally intended to handle only electronic game designers, but has recently taken on table game designers as well.

"One thing we try to stress with all game designers is the need to get patents and other protection of their intellectual property," Spier said.

Spier said the idea of forming an agency for designers didn’t come from within AG&E, but from requests from game designers.

"Two people came to us and asked us to market their concepts," he said. "The business seemed like a natural, so here we are.

"As gaming expands, we expect this aspect of the industry will expand as well," he said.

Spier said that gaming’s phenomenal growth has also been felt in other aspects of AG&E’s operation.

This past month, AG&E added two new distributors to market its products ”” refurbished gaming machines, electronic parts and services for the casino industry ”” in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arizona and New Mexico.

"We expect these new distributors to increase AG&E sales by over 15 percent," Spier said. "This largely completes our coverage in the U.S., and we will start to look at international opportunities."

Those opportunities should open up in countries like Germany, France, Holland and Belgium, which are expected to follow England’s lead in loosening regulations against casino and Internet gambling, Spier said.

AG&E was acquired by Wells-Gardner in 2000. Founded in 1925, Wells-Gardner is a distributor and manufacturer of color video monitors and other products for the gaming and other markets.

For information about AG&E’s new agency for designers, call the company at (800) 336-6630.