News

12.07.2013

Category C - You Get What You Pay For

Currently celebrating its 50th year in the UK coin-op industry, Bell-Fruit Games has been taking stock of the manufacturing landscape, with a specific focus on the significant contribution the company makes to the health and vitality of the Category C AWP sector. While Bell-Fruit is quick to acknowledge the challenging aspects facing the C variant, it is equally swift to emphasise that there is currently no other manufacturer in the country as committed to delivering consistently strong, brand new product to the market place.

According to sales and marketing director John McLoughlin when it comes to Cat C, you “…really do get what you pay for”, particularly in the case of BFG which has vast expertise of producing high-earning, top quality licensed titles. The downside of being at the high-end of the market, however, is that products can appear more costly than those of your peers. McLoughlin countered that view, saying: “We have always been insistent on the highest levels of quality in our products. That’s evidenced by the amount of investment that goes into developing new games and cabinet styles. While we strive to keep prices as low as possible, all this innovation places huge demands on resource. Hence our Golden Anniversary slogan; ‘Invested in Innovation’.” He added: “Another example of the ‘quality versus cost’ dilemma can be seen in our licensed games. It’s no secret that we have the strongest licences available, yet this can be a double-edged sword. They deliver brilliant cashbox returns for the retailer, but there is a significant cost levied by the licence holder.”

One of Bell-Fruit’s core strengths is its seemingly relentless output of desirable new games. McLoughlin explained: “We are committed to launching 20 brand new models every year. By doing so, we can ensure that retailers and operators have constant access to great games which, in turn, enables them to keep their operations invigorated and fresh. Furthermore, our machines are switchable to Cat D – that’s something that not all manufacturers can offer.

A fact that’s often overlooked is that during that process a number of games that are tested don’t always live up to our expectations. Bell-Fruit is prepared to meet the cost of those failed test machines. We don’t charge for our test machines and I don’t think there’s currently any other manufacturer that offers that level of service.

With 50 years’ trading under its belt and parent firm NOVOMATIC adding valuable support, the firm is predicting a confident outlook with regard to its Cat C lineage. That view has been reinforced by some interesting data culled from the industry’s own machine performance figures. They show, on average, that Bell-Fruit Cat C games earn longer and more consistently than many other competing models. “We are in this for the long-haul,” concluded McLoughlin. “And that is reflected in the quality of the games we build and their sustained earning power.”

John McLoughlin: we have always been insistent on the highest levels of quality in our products.

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