By Justin Thouin, Director of Casino and High Margin Games

The future of Internet gaming is going to be dependent on the power of trusted brands. Great Brands, Great Poker Games, great entertainment! In land-based gaming success is about location, location, location. In Internet gaming – it’s about trust, trust, trust.
      Early on, cryptologic recognized the strength of trusted brands   as being a safe Betfair’s. brand names inspire consumer confidence and will help to drive Internet gaming into mainstream Online Entertainment Gambling Game.
      Over the past decade, we’ve built a trusted corporate blue-chip brand, established a record of transparency, and proven performance as a long-standing publicly listed company on three of the world’s senior stock exchanges (Toronto Stock Exchange: CR; NASDAQ: CRYP; LSE: CRP). Our software is used by some of the biggest gaming brands around the world including Inter Casino, William Hill, Little woods Gaming and The Ritz Club London.

      Now, we’re bringing exciting branded games like marvel and Bejeweled to our Internet casino software. Vegas Casinos Games have been rolling our themed games from jeopardy! To Elvis for years. Our Version 8 games and the affiliation with premier consumer  brands enhance not only the entertainment factor, but the trust factor for Internet players.

A “Marvelous ” Brand

One of the biggest issues in Internet gaming is winning players ’ trust. Our research told us that providing players with a familiar consumer brand add a player of comfort. Players think if Marvel licenses its name and reputation to us, they can trust that our games are fun and fair.

      Marvel offered a mix of entertainment and powerful branding. It’s known for its legendary Super Heroes that we’ve grown up with and still love today. You’ve seen them in comics. On the big screen. Now, we’re  brings the power of these beloved brands to Internet gaming.
      We approached Marvel with an exciting idea –combine their Global– reaching brand with our innovative game development to reach a new audience – Internet gamers. Over a year of persistence led to a rewarding relationship – Crypto Logic, through its Wager Logic subsidiary, secured an exclusive 5-year licensing agreement with this industry giant.
      Major consumer brands like marvel can be leery of online gaming. It was Crypto Logic’s reputation and transparency as a public company, audited by KPMG, financial strength, and government – approved software  that eased Marvel from its guarded first steps to the excitement of being a part of our newest game suit.
      The quality and popularity of our games were important considerations for Marvel. Industry accolades – including “top rated online cosino”  awards   by both Gambling Online and Casino Player magazines and top “online casino for slots ” by Strictly   Slots – gave marvel the confidence that its name would be associated with a reputable, high quality offering with proven market and player appeal.

MARVEL in Action

Marvel - branded games expand  the entertainment value of our product offering. We wanted to replicate the look, feel and excitement of these action heroes into our games – and give players the same quality they expect of Marvel.
      We upped the ante in the sophistication and playability of our Marvel-themed games. These highly interactive Internet slot games look like the comics and sound like the movies. With Marvel art and theater – quality sound and animation, the games are part slot machine, part video game, and all fun.
      Courtesy of Crypto Logic- developed software, players can battle villains, hunt vampires and smash tanks and helicopters – for action – packed ways to win cash prizes with your favourite marvel Super Heroes : The Hulk, blade, The Punisher, Daredevil, and The X-Men.

      It’s no longer the one arm bandit of old –we’re developing  the new age of Internet slots with familiar brands to give players games they can enjoy and trust.

BEJEWELED dazzles players

We applied the same “brand” staretgy with Bejeweled – combine a well –recognized name with our innovations for immediate player appeal. Players gravitate towards games and brands they know. And we did just that with this year’s release of a real-money, 10-line slot variation of this globally renowned, fast-paced gem-matching game to the Internet.
      More than 50 million people have played Bejeweled for fun on Yahoo! AOL and MSN. Our money game version is as dazzling as its play-for –fun cousin. It features all the sounds, animations and Bejeweled symbols players know and love.
      The broad appeal of the Bejeweled brand has quickly translated into one of the most popular, revenue-generating gems in CryptoLogic’s expanding casino software portfolio.

CRYPTOLOGIC Branded Innovations

 CryptoLogic is also branding its own innovations. We just received our first game patent in the UK for one of our own big hits, Millionaires Cluby – a hugely popular progressive Internet slot that one lucky player just won over US $ 0.90 Betfair’s!
      The patent for this game and its distinctive three-wheel bonus concept is pending in other major markets and will apply to both online and land-based gaming. The patenting of our own branded innovation creates promising revenue opportunities and a competitive difference for CrypltoLogic.

MARVEL,  The X-Men, The Hulk, blade, Daredevil. The Punisher, and all related Marvel characters are © and trademarks of Marvel  Characters, Inc., and are used with permission. © 2005 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.

How Do You Identify Potential Acquisition Targets

Several ways to approach answering this question, but ultimately, you could say we look for certainty. Completing acquisitions is time intensive and very expensive- we need to be confident that the vendors are committed to working through the process, with the right resources and granularity – unfortunately many transactions in the Industry have failed because of this.

      At   L & G we have completed four acquisitions this year – we’ve done this with parties that have properly invested in what is undoubtedly a comprehensive process in the public market. In each case the transactions were completed without chipping at the price or shifting the timetable.
      From a strategic perspective, the first thing we look for is how a target compliments and fits our strategy. In the instances where the potential acquisition involves a further management team joining our group, we obviously look very carefully at the expectations and the opportunities for these individuals, and to make sure there is the right cultural fit.
      In terms of our specific stretgic focus, we have three key areas of acquisition interest:

  • Companies operating in the same market to our current activity – US facing online sports and casino sites.
  • Companies offering us access to new geographic   marketplaces.
  • Companies with additional product offering to complement our existing portfolio.

The targets we have identified, and completed transactions with in 2005 have all met the above criteria. In each case there has been mutual appreciation of the obstacles, and roadblocks, and a commitment to resolving them.

      In each case we faced competition from other potential purchasers within the industry, and were pleased to note that the vendors saw the value in our proposition and  in the future prospects of our, thus, enlarged group.