IAAPA Expo Europe 2023 Preview

arcadehero September 21, 2023 0
IAAPA Expo Europe 2023 Preview

IAAPA is here, although it’s not “the” IAAPA that is implied in most of my posts. IAAPA themselves are an amusement industry related trade organization and they put together various shows throughout each year. The largest of these events is just called the IAAPA Expo and it takes place every November the week before Thanksgiving. The one we’ll be discussing today is the European show, which is usually held in September and serves as a kind of primer for the larger show later on – it is labeled in the post as IAE’23.

IAAPA Expo Europe 2023 is being held from September 25th-28th in Vienna, Austria. This post (I’ll also do a video about it), serves as a preview of what will or might be there. The latter is the keyword since many companies don’t announce everything that they’re taking to a show. I am focusing primarily on video game & pinball producers and distributors, although there is a bit of overlap on the video side these days with ticket redemption pieces, in what I like to call “videmption” titles.

Please note for any sales people at a manufacturer who will be there – I am not going to be there. If anyone is there and wishes to pass long info to share (pics, video, statements, whatever), it would be greatly appreciated. I am planning on being at IAAPA 2023 in November – I just need to follow-up with the press office again about my badge, as I applied and have yet to hear anything from them.

This list will be alphabetized, excepting the first entry, as they are sponsors to the site and as a thanks for them helping keep the site going, I’m putting them at the top. Note that IAAPA Europe is attended by far fewer companies than IAAPA proper, so the list will not be as extensive as when I do the IAAPA preview/reviews.

Touch Magix

Touch Magix sent out a press release this morning detailing their presence at booth #B203 (the UDC booth), where they will be showcasing their unique Pop It! game to European customers. This game launched in the US earlier this year at Bowl Expo but it sounds like Europeans have had to wait on it.

Note that other AH advertisers like Raw Thrills and Wahlap do not have a booth at the show but their products should by represented by their appropriate authorized distributors – otherwise I’d include them up here too, but I haven’t heard anything about what they’ll take to the show.

Ace Amusement (Booth A-1932)

We’ve discussed products from this Chinese company several times in recent years, as they’ve been rather prevalent in producing a number of original titles. These are usually created with redemption in mind, although I believe that in most instances, that can be shut off and the game can operate as an amusement only piece. In Europe, UDC has often distributed their products but for this show, Ace is running their own booth. They have little to no social media presence so I have not seen any announcements for show specific games so we can assume that many of the latest games on their website will be there. That may include their Bullseye Crackshot game that was announced earlier this year.

Bandai Namco Amusements Europe (Booth B-1110)

This division of Bandai Namco (which I’ll just call BNAE) does result in some confusion for those who are new to the business – they primarily operate as a distributor of equipment, representing brands like Adrenaline Amusements and Raw Thrills to certain regions of the world – on top of Bandai Namco’s own equipment. This is why you’ll find Adrenaline and RT games at the IAAPA booth in November, as BNAE and the American divisions come together for a unified booth space.

That all said, we haven’t heard any new-new product reveals coming from any of these companies at the moment, although you can be sure to find some of their latest titles at BNAE’s booth. It’ll likely be a racer packed frenzy with Dead Heat Unleashed from Namco, Fast & Furious Arcade from Raw Thrills, and NFS Heat Takedown from Adrenaline – assuming they intend on showcasing those games. Otherwise, we might get a surprise there, although most manufacturers do tend to keep their powder dry until the main IAAPA. For that event, I’m hoping to see GoldStorm Pirates, Bike Dash Delivery and Taiko No Tatsujin – if any of those popped up at IAE’23, I’d be floored (especially Taiko).

Elaut (Booth B-201)

Elaut’s rarely big on video games, but they do occasionally dabble with videmption. Otherwise, they’re focusing on their bread-and-butter, crane machines and pushers. Per their website, they are bringing: “E-Claw 900 2-player, E-Claw Cosmic 1-plr, Wizard of Oz – Emerald City edition;…Ticket Trail, Fun Zone 2-pl, Surfin Surfari and Ticket station, and much more.”

Electrocoin (Booth B-1410)

This UK-based distributor represents products from companies like Konami and Stern Pinball, although Konami’s not putting out much for the West these days. Still, this is probably one of the few places that one will come across pinball at the show and there’s a chance that they could have a new video piece on hand from one of their Chinese partners. For pinball, I would assume that they will showcase the likes of VENOM, James Bond 007, and Foo Fighters.

UPDATE: Electrocoin has posted this flyer promoting their show presence. I forgot to mention their Mr. Do! redemption game and they have what looks like it could be another redemption piece as a mystery:

“Guangzhou” Companies

In looking over the exhibitor list, I noticed that there were quite a few companies starting with “Guangzhou” – 27 of them to be exact. This being the capital of Guangdong providnce in China,I believe they are required by law to have the capital name in their corporate name, although I’m certainly no expert on Chinese business law. Either way, between those and seven companies starting with “Guangdong,” might as well give them a passing mention.

Most of the companies do not appear to be involved in producing video games, but other amusement related products (crane machines, redemption games of various types, maybe something like inflatables or giant theme park rides). A couple also mention VR in their names, but several of the URLs I clicked on went nowhere (here’s one to a company called Oculeap that did work, at least). There’s a solid chance that among these many developers, one of the other manufacturers or distributors will partner up to sell their products in places like Europe and beyond, but it’s one of those uncertainties we’ll have to wait and see on.

JET Games (Booth B-924)

This company based out of Florida has been slowly creeping into the videmption space, whereas they used to be focused all on EM redemption games and kiddie rides. They’ve brought a few games over from Chinese manufacturers, including their latest title Big Shot – I’m not sure if they might debut a new piece here or not but they have been a source of surprises over the past few shows so I’ll be keeping an eye out for what they might have. If anyone from JET reads this though – please update your website. You still don’t show Quick Shot, Big Shot, or Quick Toss as being part of your line-up. 😛

Big Shot arcade game by JET Games

JNC Sales (Booth B-1404)

This UK-based distributor caught our attention at EAG 2023 for debuting Zombie Crisis, a Chinese made gun shooter which is available in the States through a different company (ASI). I’m not sure what they might be representing at IAE’23, although judging from their website it does look more focused on ticket redemption titles.

Kalkomat (Booth B-1300)

This Polish company mainly creates boxing machines but they do branch out into other kinds of coin-op amusement products here and there. The puching & kicking game Hit The Green is one of their latest creations:

LAI Games (Booth B-1307)

LAI will be there to showcase pieces like Asphalt 9 Legends Arcade, but if they are going to show more than that, I’m not sure. I’ve been guessing that they will announce another partnership with Wahlap on the new Asphalt Moto Blitz DX, but until there’s something official about that, it’s one of those things that is up-in-the-air. UPDATE: After publishing this – I’m not sure if I had missed it – a reader noticed a placeholder page for AMBDX on LAI’s website. So while there hasn’t been a big announcement yet, LAI will bring that to North America.   

PrimeTime Amusements (Booth A-2822)

This US-based distributor has a booth there but they are mainly looking to connect with clients; They won’t be showcasing any product from one of their partners.

Pro-Games Poland (Booth B-2612)

I hadn’t heard of this company before but looking at their website, they appear to be a distributor in Poland – I’m not sure if they do any manufacturing or not.

RS-Pinball GmbH (Booth C-1101)

This Austria-based distributor is mainly focused on…you guessed it, pinball. They appear to represent everyone (although it’s way past time for them to remove Deeproot Pinball from their list), so if you’re in a pinball mood, you should be able to find Stern there, along with Jersey Jack Pinball, American Pinball, Chicago Gaming Company, Pinball Brothers, Spooky Pinball, Haggis Pinball, Multimorphic, Dutch Pinball, Homepin and more. I’m not sure how many machines they plan on taking to the show, but with a 6x9m space, they should be able to fit a few there.

Sega Amusements (Booth B-1603)

Sega is one of the few who likes to provide a detailed preview of their booths before the show and thanks to an email they sent out, they will be debuting a some new redemption & merchandizer pieces at IAE’23, including Ballzania, Win Fall Revolution (called Skill Fall in the US), and a new version of the Capto Crane. Video games like Storm Rider 2 and Drone Racing Genesis will be there, but we’ll have to wait and see if there are any new-new video games at IAAPA. Here’s the Sega booth from Amusement Expo in Vegas earlier this year:

Tecway (Booth A-205)

Here’s a company that sometimes appears at IAAPA, then sometimes they don’t (or perhaps they have a tiny booth that I overlook). Based in Taiwan, they produce redemption focused games including videmption games, although I haven’t seen any get official distribution here in the States in a long time. One of their redemption games has though, a ball pit game called Snow Day.

Triotech (Booth A-1601)

Triotech does have an ad on LinkedIn talking about their booth but it doesn’t say what will be there. I’d take a guess at QUBE, Storm VR and Typhoon, although give the size of their booth, they may have something like the XD Dark Ride on hand too. UPDATE: After hitting publish, I came across this post from Blooloop that gets into detail on Trio-Tech’s booth. They will mainly be focusing on new dark ride experiences (stuff for giant FECs and theme parks, not really arcades)

UDC (Booth B-203)

This UK-based distributor will be there, although apart from showcasing Touch Magix’s Pop It!, I’m not certain what else they will have. I can assume the latest games that you see on their homepage, including Step Revolution’s Step ManiaX and some pieces from Ace Amusements like Bullseye Crackshot and Dinosaur Era. UPDATE: I’ve confirmed that Step ManiaX will be at their booth; They also posted a video showcasing Air Zone Deluxe. I’ve been wondering if anyone in the US will be carrying this one or not:

UNIS (Booth B-431)

UNIS is currently promoting the new products that they will debut at IAAPA 2023, although they haven’t mentioned IAE’23 in those so far. Perhaps one of those games like Raccoon Rampage and Dynamic Orbs will head to Europe first – or they’ll focus on their older but still new titles like Over The Edge and Emoji Frenzy.

WIK (Booth B-406 & B-706)

This Polish company has been around for a while, I used to get confused between them and Kalkomat as they produce similar products like boxers. Wik has been expanding their product line-up though, at the last IAAPA they had a pretty cool alley bowler called Roll ‘N Jump (I think – they often are not clear on the names and this particular game isn’t on their website still)

Yuto Games (Booths B-2022 & B-332)

Yuto is one of the very few Chinese factories that maintains a strong social media presence, posting a lot on YouTube and LinkedIn. Thanks to that, here’s a quick preview of what they’ll have at their booth – a mix of redemption, videmption and VR. They will also be at IAAPA 2023 in Orlando (which might be the first time for them – I don’t recall if they were there last year).

VR-Focused Companies

A few of the staples of Location Based Entertainment (LBE) VR will be there including Hero Zone VR(B-723), Hologate(B-701), Inowize (B-417), Movie Power (B-1804), OctopodVR (C-218), SPREE Interactive (A-2132), Valo Motion(B-2301), and VEX Solutions (B-410). I haven’t heard of any one company rolling out a big new piece at this point, although I would assume that they’ll have the latest games for their existing platforms. That’s certainly the case with Inowize, who I recently mentioned has been adding new games to their non-VR QBIX platform.

Conclusion

There are many more companies than this that will be there, but given the focus of the site here, it’s not our thing to focus on arcade-adjacent products like inflatables or photo booths. I will do a review if possible, as one person I know said he’ll send me some photos to share, but if anyone else reading this wants to help, I won’t turn down additional info 🙂

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