ICE gaming show – ICE stands for »International Casinos Exhibition« – is the world’s largest gaming show and with more than 40.000 visitors the leading technology event for business growth, development, and networking in the industry.
In 2019 Oryx participated with its own booth for the third consecutive year and sent a team of 28 Oryx employees to the main event. Team’s agenda was packed with meetings, sales pitches, and demos – for operators, content providers, and business partners – as well as networking and a hunt for new ideas.
Innovation will most likely occur within experimental departments of big companies
Set up in two mega exhibition halls the show really was massive. You had to know your way around in order to get the best out of it. Depending on your interests you could focus on landbased machine and casino equipment manufacturers, online game developers, online casino platforms and game distributors, KYC and payment providers, data analysis and online security providers and the list goes on and on.
Luka Turk, Games Product Manager at Oryx Gaming.Innovation will most likely occur within experimental departments of big companies like Novomatic, Aristocrat or SBTech – this year the latter introduced an innovative product which enables Must Drop Jackpots across all business verticals including casino games and sports betting – or within small companies trying to make it big, which are usually occupying one of the small stands next to the inner wall of the N(orthern) exhibition hall (guess where the Oryx booth was when we first visited the show?).
Bright stars of ICE 2019
For a regular visitor, even a quick glimpse of the floor will reveal two things: who the winners (and losers) are of the past year and which direction the industry took during the last 12 months.
The most successful companies can’t be overlooked as their stands are bigger, brighter and often louder than they were during the previous years. Flashy presentations and big announcements are almost mandatory. NetEnt’s game releases always fall into this category and this year was no different with the release of Ozzy Osbourne slot game.
One example of such a bright star is also payment processor Trustly, the company, and service behind pay-n-play casinos which enable anonymous play and instant cashouts.
New companies with brave-new-world solutions
While online gaming is a complex industry there are two main forces that shape it. Technical progress and innovation pushing it forward and diversified and usually rigid legislation forcing it in all other directions. Based on these gravity poles certain types of new companies spring up every year to present their brave-new-world solutions at ICE, hoping to become the next success story and standard of the industry. Last year it was the blockchain technology, the year before that the payment processors and before that games and content.
So what can we say about ICE 2019?
The general observation would be that business is good or even great at the moment. People at stands were happy, a great 2018 is behind them. Nobody is pushing questionable products and weird ideas just because they have to and there is no other option – normally this happens quite often. The first wave of the industry consolidation is done (especially land based) and people are calm. The general atmosphere was less nervous and more polite, parties nicer and even famous Novomatic sausages were served somewhat longer during the day than usual. We are doing good, now we should focus on chapters ahead.
ICE Totally Gaming is all about sales and keeping strong business relationships on one hand and finding the next big idea and profitable opportunity on the other. Walking through the fair one can easily imagine the bright future this industry is headed for and Oryx will definitely be there. See you on ICE twenty-twenty!
Author: Luka Turk, Games Product Manager at ORYX Gaming