Sigma Gaming Slots
Sigma Slot Machines
Sigma Gaming sounds like a western corporation, but it was actually founded in Tokyo, Japan backed in the eighties. Despite a later relocation to America, the Japanese touch remains to this day, because Sigma is known for technical innovation.
Sigma actually has an interesting game plan. They want to build machines which are user-friendly. They make their slots easier to use and more comfortable to play. Sigma's designers assume this approach will lead to customer loyalty, because people want to repeat a pleasant experience.
This is common sense approach to the slots business which has proven remarkably successful. Of course, using cutting edge games features help to sell the merchandise, too.
Sigma Gaming - The Early Years
Sigma made history in 1984, when it was the first foreign slots manufacturing to gain certification by the Nevada Gaming Commission. This was a major coup, and one which rankled certain American slots designers.
Though it was smaller than the big American firms, Sigma aggressively marketed their products. This spurred competition, though one of the competitors decided to take the game to the American legal system.
In 1989, International Game Technologies took Sigma to court, claiming the Japanese firm had been stealing patented game designs from their repertoire. This was eventually settled out of court.
As if to prove they were capable of innovation, Sigma came out with the first slant-top machine in 1990. This "sit down" machine allowed players to sit at a machine for hours, so that physical fatigue did not become a real issue.
Sigma was not finished. As with the slant-top machine, some of their innovations had more to do with "how" a game was played, instead of "what" game was being played.
For example, Sigma introduced the first embedded bill validators, which made playing a Sigma slot machines one-stop shopping. Sigma also introduced the first coinless slots.
These might seem like minor game functions, but the idea was to keep players at one machine for a longer period of time. There would be no breaks to go sit down, and no need to run to the cash machine. The ideas worked, and soon the big companies were copying Sigma Games.
Bonus Slots Innovations
Sigma Gaming made innovations in how a game was played, too. Early on, they were part of the trend to pump up the maximum credit bonuses. If you payed the full price to pay, the bonus structure made it worth your while. This is standard nowadays.
Sigma also made it easier for casinos to repair their own machines. While the casino's customer doesn't notice this, the casino certainly does. Since the casinos are the real customers for companies like Sigma Games, such attention to detail is huge.
1996 and Beyond
In 1996, Sigma moved its offices to Las Vegas. Sin City is the world capitol of gambling, so it was only natural that Sigma would be in the center of things. Since that time, Sigma games has marketed itself extensively in Canada and America, and has machines throughout the New World.
The Game of Life
The most popular Sigma slot machine of the nineties was Life. It was based on the popular American board game, Life. Americans who grew up playing the game found nostalgia in the casinos, and flocked to these slot machines. You will find them on casino floors under the name The Game of Life.
Sigma Slot Machines List
Sigma has a large arsenal of games. These days, they offer both slot machines and video poker machines. Here are some of them below.
Treasure Wheel and Treasure Tunnel are two favorites. One of my favorites is Big Mouth Bass, which combines competitive fishing with slots. A couple of other fun slots are Where's Henry and Big Top Circus.
Full of Sheep, PBR and Easy Riches may not stand out, but have been solid producers for Sigma Games for many years. Free n Easy Smoking Sevens is quite a mouthful, but has an enthusiastic following. Similar games like Smoking 7's and Lucky 13 remain solid sellers.
In this day and age, a game like Wild Patriot attracts attention. Another favorite of mine is Derby Horse racing, which was actually the Sigma game which introduced coinless slots. It may seem quaint now, but horse racing gamblers should love this one.
Jokers Wild and Double Jokers Wild are big favorites. Double Cherries and Sneak Peak Poker are along the same lines. Sneak Peak is great, because it allows you to pay to look at some of your cards before betting on them.
Recent Troubles and Multimedia Games
Sigma has had cash flow troubles in recent years. Its CEO in 2005 suggested that outside investments would be needed to keep Sigma Games in business. Industry rumors has Multimedia Games buying Sigma.
Multimedia Games made a fortune selling casino games to Native American casinos. The buyout would give Sigma a financial boost, and merge a top marketer with a top game designer. This would allow Sigma to compete with Bally Games and IGT.
Let's hope this is the case. Sigma Gaming has been good for slot machine players over the years, and it is good for the customer to keep such a company in business.