First published in iNTERFUN, April 2021 issue. Read the original article here.
The air is thick with optimism in the industry at present, with vaccines giving fresh hope that international markets will soon reopen. According to Jason Wallace of Australia-based Laserforce, however, the US is still in a “hiatus” due to the ongoing effects of the global Covid pandemic.
“Along with most in our industry, while we have seen some great results coming from Australia and New Zealand, the US, similarly to our European customers, is still in a Covid-induced hiatus,” he told InterGame.
“We have noticed an increase in our new enquiry level throughout the US. Interestingly, our existing network of Laserforce operators are maintaining a positive outlook for the future and have taken the opportunity to refresh their arena and equipment and are looking to include more game arena features and devices to give their customers something fresh when they return.”
“Covid impacted our US market very quickly. In line with existing operators closing down, we were still installing systems during the commencement of Covid. We have a number of contracts that were put on hold that will be proceeding once the climate change has taken effect. It will recover – of this we are confident. Our friends in Australia have provided great insight to the level of business that has resumed once a ‘normal’ life has returned.”
On the subject of consumer trends in the past year, Wallace said that they have been difficult to track.
“We took action early on to preserve the awards for our players that have time-based criteria. One of the key drivers of return visitors to a Laserforce site is our Achievements Program, rewarding players on their skill levels, number of games played and frequency of visitations. Laserforce provides a player portal, iplaylaserforce.com, that allows players to log in to see their stats on a global or local basis. The players are certainly keen to get back into the arena.”
The world’s fastest selling Laserforce system is the Gen8 system. “This picture perfect player’s vest features large chest and phaser displays, customer selectable languages and is based on our proven Laserforce engine,” Wallace said. “Our equipment maintains its status of Robust, Reputable and Reliable. Another key feature for Laserforce operators is our ‘backward compatibility – this means that all our systems are compatible with each other and we will always support our equipment.”
“We still have over 20 locations still operating with Gen 6 equipment that is the best part of 15 years old and it is still going strong. Some operators have jumped from previous versions of Laserforce equipment to Laserforce Gen8 and have been very excited to explore the benefits and continue to enjoy the reliability of the new equipment.”
He added that there is much to expect from both Laserforce and the US market in the next year. “Laserforce is a very optimistic company; we are bullish about the market in the US. We have assured all of our operators that we will continue to be here for the long haul and we are.”
“The in-house Laserforce development has been working right through to prepare for more software updates that include new features for players and operators. Our big news story coming out this year will be our integration product due for release very soon. This will be big and something we are truly excited about talking about more.”