With a backdrop of movie clips and sound from the James Bond iconic theme song, Scientific Games announced it has signed an exclusive licensing deal with the James Bond franchise for land-based gaming, social gaming, and lottery games.
Scientific Games Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan outlined the deal during the company’s EMPOWER customer conference held last week at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
This groundbreaking license gives Scientific Games the rights to leverage all past and future James Bond films, as well as all the franchise’s talent portraying Bond, Sheehan said. Bond has nearly 100 percent name recognition across the globe as part of a franchise that has stood the test of time for more than 55 years, Sheehan added.
“There’s nothing out there that reaches that type of recognition and spans generations like James Bond,” Sheehan said. “We believe this is an opportunity to do something really special to change the game on the casino floor. Think about James Bond and all of the movies you have seen over the years with so much centered around casinos. This is a very confident guy walking in self-assured, unapologetic, ruggedly handsome, and there’s action, excitement, glamor, sexiness, and technology – all of the elements that will help bring the next generation of players into casinos.”
Sheehan said Scientific Games’ innovation teams around the globe are already working on the first James Bond-themed games and experiences across all of its platforms. The gaming rollout is expected at the Global Gaming Expo (“G2E”) Oct. 3-5 in Las Vegas.
Sheehan said Scientific Games is trying to harness the power of the Bond brand to drive innovation across the company into the future. He said the company will take some “bold and boundary-pushing ideas” on how to leverage monumental brands like Bond to “revolutionize” the gaming industry.
“We’re looking to conceive of Bond games and experiences that we have not seen before in the casino,” Sheehan said. “That’s the art of the possible and it’s a clean sheet of paper. We need to figure out how to do something really different to bring more people into the casino and to get players excited. Like James Bond, we’re going to stay one step ahead of everybody.”
The franchise has produced 27 movies since 1962, and the next Bond move is scheduled for release in 2018. Sheehan said he wants to be ready across all platforms to fully leverage the movie’s release.
Sheehan, who’s been in his position as CEO of Scientific Games for six months, said the industry has operated the same way for years. He said he wants to excite existing players and engage younger generations too, he said.
Sheehan said Scientific Games has some of the “smartest people on the planet” working on the Bond project. He said it’s too soon to say what the Bond experience will morph into over the next several months.
“We need to try and push the envelope to change the industry,” Sheehan said. “I want people to have an incredible experience at the casino; then play on their favorite social or Play4Fun casino at home or on their mobile device, and then go and buy lottery tickets and tell their friends.”
The exclusive agreement is with EON Productions Limited, Danjaq, LLC and MGM Interactive Inc., a subsidiary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. Sheehan called it the “brass ring” of licensed deals. He said it was signed in early March and made possible through the hard work of the Scientific Games team and a major shareholder.
“The entire industry has been working on this for decades and people in our building for 15 years. When you look at this franchise and all of the movies that centered around casinos, cool guys, beautiful women and pizazz, this is exactly what the gaming industry needed.”
Scientific Games Corp. is a developer of technology-based products and services and associated content for worldwide gaming, lottery and interactive markets. Its portfolio includes gaming machines, game content and systems; table games products and shufflers; instant and draw-based lottery games; server-based lottery and gaming systems; sports betting technology; loyalty and rewards programs; and interactive content and services.
The keynote speaker at the conference was Frances Frago Townsend, the former Homeland Security Advisor for President George W. Bush. She chaired the Homeland Security Council and once served as Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism.
“As you can imagine from a casino standpoint, we’re going through a lot of changes so we have to thoughtful of how do we keep our eyes wide open and not just be reactive to things,” Sheehan said. “So many times we get into our comfort zone and we react. We can’t do that in this industry. We need to keep looking into the future and what’s around the corner. The Bond experience is one of those things that could take us into the next generation of players.”
During the Scientific Games EMPOWER customer conference attended by more than 700 people from around the world, Scientific Games announced it won a bid for a contract to provide ilani, Washington State’s newest gaming and entertainment destination, with the company’s full suite of technology innovations, including casino-management system solutions, slot platforms, game content, table products, and the SG Universe mobile suite.
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