Factory Aims to Revive the Golden Age of Amusement Games
TouchMagix, producers of both coin-op redemption games and interactive display technologies, says it’s on a mission to “revive the golden age of arcade games” by making the skill factor the foremost ingredient of game play.
Established in 2009, TouchMagix claims to bring a wealth of experience in developing next-gen interactive display solutions, including augmented reality and mixed reality-based experiences and games. Management says the company is backed by a high-pedigree team, part of a 100-year-old family-owned group with $700 million in revenue and the experience of selling 500-plus games and experiences in more than 60 countries.
TouchMagix, they say, had already serviced over 100 of the Fortune 500 companies before even entering the amusement and entertainment industry in 2016, which they say has helped them create immediate impact. And despite their advanced technological capabilities, their team says it strongly believes that great gameplay is the most important factor to ensure sustainable success.
Inspired by a term credited to the father of the video game, Nolan Bushnell, the team believes in designing games that are “easy to understand and difficult to master.”
“That ethos has been the guiding principle behind all of our redemption games. Whenever we design a game, one thing we are very careful about is ensuring that the player always sees where they went wrong, so they can learn from that mistake and try again,” said Anup Tapadia, founder and chief technology officer. “This way, we enable lots of repeat play value.”
The TouchMagix chief says they also utilize “innovative technologies to wow users and add grandeur. When people step out of their homes to visit an arcade, the entire experience matters because we have to deliver something that they cannot experience at home,” Tapadia added.
One of their ticket redemption games is SpaceWarp 66, where the player has to dodge their spaceship from dangerous obstacles in an adventurous wormhole. They also debuted an amusement only version of the game at Amusement Expo last month (pictured). Speaking of new games, they also showed Ticket Pinball, a sleek video redemption unit that will begin shipping in May.
Also on the redemption side is Carnival Cups – a popular carnival game turned into a 2-player competitive skill redemption format where players have to spot the cup with their ball in it.
Similarly, their games Drift ‘N’ Thrift, Dicey Jump, Hop ‘N’ Stack and MagixFloor have all been designed with a mission to add “skill, smiles and a great experience for the entire family visiting any type of location,” the company says.
“The industry, globally, has been very rewarding and has accepted our games with open arms,” said CEO Jayesh Kariya. “We are grateful to all our stakeholders – customers, distributors, suppliers and media – for their encouragement and support throughout our journey.”
“Creating games that are easy to understand and hard to master has driven high repeat value and helped our operators to maximize revenue,” Kariya noted. “This unique combination of addictive gameplay coupled with ROI focus is what has made TouchMagix stand out in terms of performance.”
TouchMagix roped in one of the oldest veterans in the arcade industry, Ken Anderson, to further drive this “new age wave,” they say. “Ken is a leading industry veteran, literally from the golden age and forward, and his vast experience and insights have accelerated our growth into the U.S. market,” Kariya added.
Made in the U.S.A.
The India-based company manufactures its games in Wisconsin, while maintaining a research and development facility in Pune, India. The team brings in several kids across various age groups every month to test the new games under development.
“We believe in rapid prototyping, where we typically test 15-20 games and have kids come down to our office to give feedback on them,” Tapadia said. “Early feedback from kids has helped us get an early assurance that the games will perform well on the ground.” TouchMagix said that out of 20 games prototyped, only two or three go into production.
TouchMagix also believes the social aspect of a game plays a key role when people go out to an arcade, so some of the games like MagixFloor have been specifically designed with this in mind – it’s something parents and kids can enjoy together. Another social aspect important to TouchMagix is stress-reduction, relaxation and fulfillment while playing the games. “We want users to leave behind all their stress when they visit an arcade and play our games,” Kariya explained.
Additionally, TouchMagix has partnered with Brunswick to introduce Spark technology, which it says is the industry’s “first immersive and interactive scoring experience, which revolutionizes the on-lane projection experience in bowling.”
“Spark surrounds the bowler in a mesmerizing, one-of-a-kind experience as it delivers the latest technology and entertainment trends to your lanes,” Kariya said. “We found the perfect synergy with Brunswick to roll out Spark technology to their established market. It’s been wonderful collaborating with them on this next-gen product offering.
“We are very excited for the future this industry has for us and are committed to the long term and sustainable success of it,” he concluded, adding a bold pledge: “In three years, we will be among the top three game manufacturers in the industry.”
Kudos to a Company & Its Products
TouchMagix says its mission and vision have resonated with the amusement industry, and that’s made evident by such compliments they forwarded to RePlay they’ve earned by some industry leaders. George Smith, CEO of the Family Entertainment Group, wrote:
“I continue to be amazed and overjoyed at the energy and creativity that Touch-Magix is putting into game creation and production. Each year, the product list expands and is truly unique in the industry. The whole TouchMagix team has been honorable, helpful and productive in their relationship with Family Entertainment Group.”
Kevin Williams, author of the Stinger Report, stated: “It has been amazing to watch the rise of TouchMagix and its innovative range of products that embody the proven needs of enjoyment and consistency in the video redemption and amusement scene. But, rather than just focusing on traditional entertainment, the company has started to push the boundaries with new concepts and deployments. I personally feel that their projection surfaces game technology will play a major part in defining interactive plays’ future.”
Then, the celebrated leader of the Alpha-Omega, Frank Seninsky, said: “I have been thoroughly impressed with TouchMagix since I first was introduced to Jayesh Kariya at their first U.S. trade show exhibit. Their mission of developing new technologies to enhance their very reasonably priced skill games (for both the family entertainment center and street markets) has been right on target and very consistent. TouchMagix has come a long way in a very short time period and the industry welcomes them with open arms.”
Betson’s senior VP of sales and business development, Jonathan Betti, stated: “TouchMagix is an up and coming company that focuses on creative, inexpensive, skill-based games with a small footprint size. Many locations are looking for that combination of attributes in a product.”
TouchMagix also received a kudo from Player One’s Business Development VP Jon Brady: “The games and content that TouchMagix is supplying to our client base are truly unique and revolutionary. They’re intuitive and very easy to play, which is key. Players immediately understand the game concept and have a great time interacting with the simple-yet-fun gameplay. There are a number of good games to choose from, all very reasonably priced, which increase the return on investment for our customers. We have been extremely excited to offer this new line to our customer base.”
Finally, Utah’s Arcade Galactic owner/operator Adam Pratt said: “What has impressed me the most about TouchMagix in the time that I’ve known them is the energy they have for innovation. It’s refreshing to see a company come into the amusement space with original and fun ideas that find different ways to make technology work for our craft.”
Word from the Man
Ken Anderson, the firm’s Sales VP, has been selling games and/or jukeboxes for over 50 years and is one of the best-known figures to many in the trade today with his most recent experience being a senior VP of sales for Sega U.S.
“I joined TouchMagix after sharing an in-depth conversation with the principals, Anup Tapadia, and Jayesh Kariya. That conversation focused on their game design strategy, and included their intention on being a serious participant of the coin-operated amusement industry. Their vision and excellence along with the dedication to the coin-operated industry appealed to me greatly.
“Together we modified TouchMagix’s current game, MagixFloor, and were successful in selling numerous games to the industry’s major established distribution networks. I am very proud of my association with the research and development efforts focusing on putting more skill and playability back into the games we have developed. Finally, I feel that the state-of-the-art games we are generating, and our dedication to excellence, will ensure our intended longevity in the coin-operated industry.”