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Issue Date: Vol. 49, No.10, October 2009, Posted On: 10/10/2009


Open Season Outfits Big Buck Video With New Animal, Hunting Site Challenges


by Staff Reporter
Betson, Betson Enterprises, Big Buck Hunter Pro, Big Buck, Open Season, Safari, coin-op videogame, videogame, George Petro, Play Mechanix, Raw Thrills, coin-op, coin-operated, arcade, arcade game, shooting game, hunting game, hunting simulation, coin-op news, Midway Games

CARLSTADT, NJ -- Owing its heritage to Big Buck Hunter Pro and Safari, Play Mechanix’s latest game broadens the successful video shooter franchise with three new animals and nine "treks" (a trek consists of five individual hunting sites). It's now available from Betson Enterprises, based here.

In Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season, content is king, and the enhanced incarnation now offers 120 sites and eight animals from which players can choose. The software also adds nine bonus rounds, bringing the total to 24, and two dozen new critters -- upping the total to 36. Two new full-motion Big Buck girls further augment the video shooter.

Two of the four configurations of this latest installment are dedicated cabinets that share attractive outdoor scenes of big game quarry; a 42” LCD deluxe and 27” standard screen model become location standouts. Two kit opportunities consist of a full conversion option for older shooters that includes a Dell PC and two rifles, while an uncomplicated and inexpensive alternative upgrades the Hunter Pro software.

All four configurations are being released simultaneously and are compatible with the CoinUp network. CoinUp allows the implementation of various Trophy Club, Tournament and Hidden Mode elements.

Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season is manufactured and marketed by Betson, a nationwide distributor of coin-op amusement and vending equipment, and provider of parts and service. It has been in business for 75 years. Play Mechanix was established in 1995 by former Midway games designer George Petro. It merged with Raw Thrills, another videogame studio founded by former Midway designers, in 2006.

The three companies recently reached two sales benchmarks. In August, Betson shipped its 5,000th standard Big Buck Safari (27" monitor) and its 500th deluxe version of the game (with 42" display). "The demand for the Safari product is a clear indication that there is no slowdown in the video hunting category," said Betson vice-president Bob Boals, who predicts strong sales for the new Open Season extension.

Safari builds on the success of its predecessor, Big Buck Hunter Pro, which sold more than 10,000 units. Like the earlier Pro game, Safari challenges contestants to bag a variety of horned animals -- and adds some unusual hornless ones (like meerkats), all presented in an enhanced graphic environment depicting African landscapes.


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