CLARENCE, NY -- Never underestimate the importance of razzle or dazzle. Innovative Concepts in Entertainment is taking it seriously with an assortment of attention-getting amusement machine add-ons designed to garner attention and drive play at arcades and family entertainment centers.
For starters, ICE is now offering a deluxe marquee for its popular Harpoon Lagoon redemption game. The vacuum-molded header, which brings the game's height to an impressive 118", features dual programmable 47" LCD displays. Operators can use the preprogrammed attract video loop or add their own videos via a flash drive. Offered as an option for new games or a retrofit kit for existing ones, the marquee packages add excitement to games on location.
"ICE has always been known for creating the best-looking marquee and game toppers in coin op," said ICE vice-president of sales Joe Coppola. "We have seen a growing demand for centerpiece attractions, so our R&D team has really put an emphasis on maximizing the space up there."
The new Harpoon Lagoon topper is reminiscent of the Clarence, NY-based company's topper for Ice Age, which garnered kudos from operators. The topper piece, which amplified the game's size without adding floor space, was said to "significantly" increase revenues.
Also new is a deluxe marquee for ICE's Milk Jug Toss, which is part of the factory's Ultimate Family Fun Zone lineup. The deluxe marquee highlights the game's carnival-theme appeal by unifying two alleys.
"When we first started working on the carnival series, we saw one Milk Jug earn what three alleys were earning," reported ICE R&D vice-president Drew Krouse. "We then put a second Milk Jug in and the two together with a mega marquee -- and they out-earned all games combined on the 'skill wall.'"
For NBA Hoops, ICE has released an LED upgrade that runs lights around the backboard and down the length of each side of the game cabinet. The multi-color LEDs are programmable, so operators can match colors of location décor or basketball teams.
Rounding out the razzle-dazzle, ICE has introduced ICE Ball FX. This upgrade to the original ICE Ball adds LED lighting, among other design modifications that modernize the alley game's aesthetics. ICE Ball FX also features new coin and ticket doors and a redesigned ball-release mechanism.
While the upgrades represent a savvy strategy on the part of ICE, company officials noted that even the best marquee cannot boost the earnings of a bad game. That is to say, there has to be both steak and sizzle.
"When we have games that are great enough to earn independently and not take away from each other, a great marquee just creates that centerpiece attraction," Krouse said. "A mega marquee can only be justified when a game is truly great."
So, bring on the razzle-dazzle, but don't forget that it's still the game that matters.