IGT and Scientific Games to share slot game features via cross-licensing agreement.
What is it that draws you to a specific slot machine? Maybe it’s the game’s theme – something you enjoy and can relate to. It could be the potential to win an enormous, life-altering progressive jackpot. These are common qualities many players look for, but for a lot of avid slots fans, it’s the in-game features that provoke their interest.
Some slots manufacturers rely on simplicity to attract players. Classic 3 reels and fruit machines are famous for this. But when a slot game features free spins, multipliers, bonus rounds, prize wheels and other ways to rack up big wins, it increases the entertainment value ten-fold.
Patented Success of Feature-Rich Slots
When a slot machine manufacturer comes up with a unique way of rewarding players, they often apply for a patent on that feature. It protects the concept from being directly stolen and imitated by other developers.
Two companies famous for patenting new ideas are International Game Technology (IGT) and Scientific Games (SG). They have a lot more in common than feature patents, though.
IGT and SG both operate out of US headquarters. Both have decades of experience under their proverbial wings. They carry two of the largest slot feature patent portfolios in North America. Furthermore, both operate in the land-based and online space, developing physical slot machines as well as games for desktop and mobile casinos.
Now, these heavyweight rivals in the global gambling business have decided to work with each other, instead of against. No, it’s not another major industry merger. It’s a simple deal that will allow IGT and SG to share patents for their slot game features.
IGT and SG to Share Slot Game Features
These long-time rivals have announced an agreement to share those patented features amongst one another for future game development. Those patented by Scientific Games can now be infused into IGT’s upcoming games, and vice versa.
The financial terms of the contract have not been disclosed. However, I’d be willing to bet SG is paying a tidy sum for this privilege. As per the agreement, SG won’t just have rights to IGT’s slot game features, but also the patented features of a slew of other companies that have previously signed similar contracts with IGT.
Such agreements have been part of IGT’s business strategy for quite some time now. The company has long entertained the same arrangements with other big name developers, like Aristocrat Leisure, NetEnt and Everi Holdings. Earlier this year, they signed additional deals with high-profile companies Aruze Gaming, Incredible Technologies and Konami Gaming.
Shared Features Good or Bad for Slots Community?
On the whole, I believe the sharing of slot game features will be a plus for all the players who enjoy these games. Features that have proved unsuccessful in the past will begin to disappear from the market. Accordingly, players’ most adored features will become mainstream across many more platforms.
On the downside, I also believe this could put a damper on innovation and diversity. Why bother to spend time money and man-power trying to create something new, when you have access to so many existing game features that are already proving successful? Will All-Ways pays, Expanding Wilds and Cascading Reels be the end of the road in slots evolution?