Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bally goes for "Grease"

At the 2011 Global Gaming Expo, the casino industry’s annual Las Vegas showcase, the sounds of “You’re the One that I Want” rang through Bally’s booth with the introduction of the new "Grease video slots."

“We were really looking to increase our brand portfolio,” said Jean Venneman, Bally’s vice president of product marketing and licensing. “It’s not an area we had really been in in the past. We wanted to make sure we picked a couple of strategic brands that really hit the [slot-playing] demographic and we could create a lot of interesting games out of. We felt that Grease hit the mark on that.”

Grease, based on the hit movie musical, is a wide-area progressive, meaning that in states where it is legal, machines in different casinos can be linked to the same jackpot. There are two playing fields on the screen --- two sets of five reels --- in a penny game with a 60-cent minimum wager. Reel symbols are chock full of movie imagery, and there’s music and video featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

There are an number of bonuses, but the event everyone wanted to see was the “You’re the One that I Want” free games. The stars wooed each other in the “Grease” showpiece video in the top box, a scaled down video played atop the spinning reels on the main screen, and speakers in the back of the game’s special chair contributed to a surround-sound effect.

“This one has been fun to watch people play,” Venneman said. “They seem to be more focused on the video than on the actual game. And everybody has fond memories of the first time they saw the movie, or that they thought that Olivia Newton John was amazing, or John Travolta.”

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