Bally hopes Michael Jackson slot machine will thrill players
The King of Pop is making a comeback in Las Vegas. Expect to soon hear his classic tunes in casinos all over town.
Slot machine manufacturer Bally Technologies next week will unveil a Michael Jackson-themed slot machine that the company hopes will be its next big hit. It will debut at the Global Gaming Expo, which begins Monday at the Sands Expo.
The digital penny slot uses original Jackson songs and video to entertain players. Hit a certain combination on the reels and Jackson moonwalks across the screen to “Bad.” Use his iconic sequin glove to spin a wheel for prizes as “Smooth Criminal” plays in the background. Watch his dancing foot kick icons to transform them into wilds during a “Beat It” bonus round.
Sony and the Jackson estate provided to Bally audio and video for the project. A professional musician-turned-Bally engineer remixed them for the game in a sound studio at the company’s headquarters.
Six songs — “Billie Jean,” “Dirty Diana,” “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Beat It” and “Bad” — are used in the game’s first generation, and Bally has a second version with two more songs planned for the future.
Crews have been working on the machine for six months. It will have been under development for almost a year by the time it hits casino floors early next year. Bally plans to introduce it in several Las Vegas resorts and export it around the world.
“Michael Jackson appeals internationally,” Director of Development David Schultz said. “He was such an incredible performer. He changed popular music as we know it.”
The slot machine is progressive, with a wide area jackpot that is linked to two other games. The minimum bet is 40 cents and the maximum $4. The game features digital, high-definition screens with a digital bet line and a surround-sound seat.
“Imagine walking by” as a gold Michael Jackson statue erupts in flames while music blares, Schultz said. “People just can’t help but stop.”
Bally executives call it coincidence, but the timing of the game’s debut couldn’t be better. Las Vegas will be awash in all things Jackson as the slot is rolled out.
Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: Immortal” opens Dec. 3 at Mandalay Bay . It runs in tandem with the first-ever officially authorized Michael Jackson Fan Fest where people can view Jackson memorabilia and take pictures in re-created video sets. And Madame Tussauds at the Venetian will run a Jackson exhibit Sept. 8 to Dec. 27 with three wax figures from various stages of his career.