Williams Interactive, better known WMS has been producing quality gaming equipment for many years. Some of the products developed by the company have played a major role in transforming the gambling trend from standard mechanical slots, to games that are designed with different intellectual properties. In addition, WMS is also famous for creating new innovative ways to decide payouts.
Since the latter stages of the nineteenth century, the themes of the reels of mechanical slots were limited to horseshoes, the Liberty Bell, fruits, card suits, black bars and stars and bells. With the introduction of Reel ‘em In, WMS displayed its ingenuity by launching multi-coin and multi-line secondary bonuses.
As time passed, the company began to come up with other licensed themes, starting with Monopoly, and thus significantly increased its sales as well as profits.
WMS derives 70 per cent of its revenues from customers in the US. The field services, development and sales offices are located across the US, while its international facilities are situated in many countries including Australia, Canada, India, China, South Africa, Mexico, Spain, the Netherlands, Argentina, Austria, and the UK.
A close look at the gaming products designed by WMS will point to changing demographics – a phenomenon that reflects the ever changing trends in the gambling industry. Since video games are appealing to younger players who are on the lookout for challenging experiences mentally as well as physically, as well as women who are over 50 years of age, WMS has capitalized on this fact and created some truly fantastic machines that incorporate flat LCD display screens, full-color animated images, and surround sound systems to deliver a variety of experiences.
The Williams Interactive slot catalogue also includes the G+ series - a set of video slots, poker games, mechanical reels, video lottery terminals, and the Community Gaming network of interconnected slots. By 2010, the company started offering its online gaming options to people over 18 years of age in the United Kingdom. A year later, players who were aged 18 years and above could access WMS’ online games in the United States. During the following year, the company joined forces with LAG (Large Animal Games) and incorporated many of its own slot games into themes revolving around cruise ships. This game application is a hit among Facebook users and is called “Lucky Cruise.”
Players who engage in Lucky Cruise can enlist their Facebook friends and ask for help and collect “lucky charms” – the prizes offered instead of cash. Playing this game is similar to engaging with an ordinary slot machine. However, there is a thing called “light strategy component” that makes the game ideal for free play.
WMS faced a rather difficult period in 2012 when the company experienced a decline in revenue from the casino industry, which seemed to be contracting at the time. As a result, WMS expanded its horizons and ventured into mobile devices, creating games for mobile platforms and concentrating on increasing its offerings to the online market.
WMS has created many impressive gaming technologies over the years. Transmissive Reels was the first of such technologies. It is a gaming platform that has video animations emerging on and over the mechanical reels. It is an interactive feature that took gaming to new realms with its introduction. WMS has designed many operating platforms over the years. The CPU-NXT2 incorporates almost 2GB of RAM, a 3D ATI graphics card, a 40GB hard drive and a IV class Intel Pentium Processor. This platform is used to run a large number of games.
WMS latest operating platform – the CPU-NXT3 was launched in 2012 for new cabinets and participation games. When it comes to cabinets, one of the company’s finest inventions is the BlueBird2. It includes HD displays on a dual 22-inch wide screen, a bill acceptor and illuminated printer, and Bose speakers. The latest cabinets to be designed by the company are the Gamefield xD and Blade (2013).
WMS Gaming has established a solid reputation for manufacturing innovative software and slot machines over the years. The company also offers games on mobile and online platforms so that players can access their products through on their desired device. Based out of Waukegan, Illinois, the gaming giant is expected to become a subsidiary that will be fully owned by Scientific Game Corporation, by the end of 2013.
WMS Gaming made its entry into the slot machine industry in 1994. A couple of years later, the company launched Reel ‘em In – its first popular casino video slot game which had a “multi-coin, multi-line secondary bonus.” Several other similar games such as Boom & Filthy Rich and Jackpot Party followed Reel ‘em In as WMS was building its name in the industry. By 2001, the company released its “participation” slots that were based on Monopoly themes. Ever since, further licenses have been obtained and the company is now one of the leading manufacturers of gaming equipment as it has connections with so many popular brands.
At the end of January this year, Scientific Games and WMS reached an agreement to merge, and if completed, the merger will see WMS become a Scientific Game subsidiary. The individuals who hold shares of WMS will have the right to obtain $26 for each share. In May 2013, the merger was approved following voting by the WMS shareholders. When the merger materializes, WMS will have its stock ceased from trading on the NYSE. It is reported that Scientific Games will shell out around $1.5 billion on the acquisition.
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