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Alliance to debut arcade-like slots

Sep 14, 2004 3:52 AM

Slot machines in recent years have been "branded" with themes ranging from pop TV shows to comic strip characters to classic board games.

In what seems like a logical progression, slot customers will soon be playing machines reminiscent of the arcade and video games they grew up with.

Alliance Gaming Corp. and Atari have agreed to develop a series of slot machines based on classic video games from Atari’s extensive library.

The first slot game in the series is based on Pong, the revolutionary arcade game that swept the nation in the 1970s. It will debut at next month’s Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

In addition to Pong, the deal includes other well-known Atari classics such as Asteroids, Centipede and Breakout.

"Titles such as Pong and Asteroids evoke such a strong favorable response with gamers of all types and we’re excited to team up with Atari to produce a series of slots that will showcase these timeless classics and give casino visitors a memorable new form of entertainment," said Richard Haddrill, incoming president and chief executive officer of Alliance Gaming Corp.

Haddrill added that the new Pong slot game will be launched on Bally’s new dual-screen M9000 cabinet powered by the company’s next-generation operating system. Moreover, the Pong slot machine will include a skill element that will allow players to use a traditional game paddle to play a game of Pong against the computer during the bonus round.

Credited with creating both a new home entertainment and video arcade craze in the mid-1970s, Atari and its game titles have become synonymous to an entire generation of video gaming enthusiasts who were initially captivated by a simple game of electronic tennis.

The millions of teenagers and youngsters who grew up playing Atari games are now middle-aged adults, the prime demographic profile of slot machine players today.

"There is a huge population that grew up with these Atari games and that audience is still clamoring for ways to recapture the fun of their first gaming experience," said Wim Stocks, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Atari. "Atari is committed to ensuring that fans of our classic games have access to them wherever and however they seek entertainment. By joining forces with Alliance and Bally, we know that we’ll reach a large audience of gaming devotees."

Alliance Gaming is Nevada’s second largest slot maker behind IGT. Its headquarters are in Las Vegas.