Sigma Game Incorporated – Sigma Gaming slot Machine Games
When Katsuki Manabe founded Sigma Game Inc. in Japan back in the late 1960’s, he envisioned a company that would make inventive new games for the arcade halls that were so popular at the time. While the company performed well for more than four decades, however, it ultimately collapsed under the weight of the economic meltdown that impacted Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the company’s biggest markets, so heavily. During its time in the industry though, Sigma Games was a top producer of slot machines that were both extremely innovative and always of the highest quality. Some of the most widely recognized games in casinos even now were originally produced by this determined little startup.
Sigma Game’s History
Throughout Sigma’s run as a slots machine developer, it fostered a strong relationship with both other games manufacturers, as well as with casinos and gambling authorities in the areas that it served. In fact, the company was the first producer of slot machines to be owned by a foreign interest that was licensed by the strictly controlled Nevada Gaming Commission. They were eventually licensed to distribute their games to all of the major casinos in the U.S. at the time and the company received multiple awards for their contributions to the community that they were headquartered in at the time. The Nevada Governor’s office twice honored Sigma with their Industry Appreciation Award, first in 1991 and again in 1994. The company was also considered an established force in Central America, South America, Canada and the Caribbean throughout the nineties and into the new millennium.
The company’s collaborations, meanwhile, included one with another now-defunct producer of innovative slot machine games that was also well-known for its use of newer technologies in order to improve on their player’s overall experience. Sigma joined forces with Mikohn Gaming in 2003 to produce games that would change the way that gamblers would play their favorite machines. Unfortunately, the celebrated partnership wasn’t enough to save either of these pioneering slot machine producers in the end.
Sigma is recognized throughout the industry for being the first slots developer to include a currency reader in its machines, a revolution in gaming that could dramatically increase play in the casinos that featured these slots. The company also created a patented cashbox extractor and a computer system for slot machines that is still widely used by casinos when they want to customize their games to better suit their slot area’s needs. It was one of the only companies that held an unfettered license to utilize the technology behind Telnaes, a system which lets games offer unlimited odds and virtual reels. These features would allow for the company to offer higher jackpots and unlimited progressives awards, once again making their machines all the more appealing to players all over the world.
Sigma’s Most Popular Slot Games
The firm used the Sigma Select Series to launch one of its most popular line of games ever, the Treasure collection of titles. Treasure Wheel and Treasure Tunnel were instant hits when they were introduced and they even managed to win awards within the industry for their ability to keep players engaged and entertained for longer. They were named some of the “Top 20 Innovative Gaming Products of ’98” by professionals in the field and they initiated even more games with the same theme down the road. Treasure Tunnel Bonus Poker and Treasure Wheel Double Jackpot continue on the adventure-themed design of the original machines, as well as the game features that players have responded to with the most enthusiasm. Higher jackpots and plenty of multipliers for their base winnings have made fans of the Treasure series of games some of the most loyal in the casino.
Where’s Henry was the popular follow-up to the Treasure games, allowing players the chance to find the main character and potentially win some money in the process. It went on to win the development team another mention as one of the “Top 20 Innovative Gaming Products of ’99,” further solidifying the company’s reputation within the industry. When they won the award again the next year for their pizza-themed game, Throw the Dough, Sigma could easily be considered one of the top in their game. These were also some of the first slot machines that offered a slanted top, putting player comfort and convenience at the top of the design priorities. Once again, the company had altered one of the most fundamental aspects of games and allowed gamblers to remain at their favorite slots for much longer, ultimately benefiting both the players and the casinos.
Their Patriot line and the 7-7-7 games are also longtime favorites of Sigma Games. These slots have proven to be both easy enough for even the newest players to pick up quickly and colorful enough to get attention on any casino floor.
Introducing a whole new way of bringing players together, the Sigma Derby game is rarely seen in major casinos today, but it can easily be spotted by the enthusiastic crowd that is normally gathered around to watch the “live” horseracing action. A miniaturized track complete with tiny plastic horses is set up in the center of a bank of machines that allow players to wager on the winner and then watch the little guys run their hearts out in order to beat the odds. The popularity of this game has faded over the years as video slots have taken over the casinos, but the novelty of Sigma Derby can very easily still draw a crowd wherever it is found.
Although they are no longer in business, Sigma Game Inc. has surely left a lasting impression on the slot machine industry that they were a vital part of for so long. Their unique perspective on game development focused on player enjoyment and utilizing technology that was considered cutting-edge at the time. While we may not see any new slot machines put out with the Sigma name attached, there is no question that the award-winning titles that they leave behind will serve as vivid reminders of a respected player in the industry.