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Former IGT game developer joins Aristocrat Leisure

International Game Technology’s former top game developer has joined a rival slot machine manufacturer.

Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. said Tuesday Joe Kaminkow has joined the company’s U.S. division as senior vice president of game development. Kaminkow will be based in Las Vegas and is expected to begin work in May. His employment is subject to certain regulatory approvals and other pre-employment conditions.

During his 20 years with IGT, Kaminkow led the development of some of the casino industries best performing slot machine titles, including games based on pop culture television shows and movies, including “Wheel of Fortune,” “Sex and the City” and “Ghostbusters.”

In a statement, Aristocrat, which is headquartered in Australia, said it would rely on Kaminkow’s experience to grow the company’s North American market segment where the manufacturer and the casino share in gaming revenues produced by particular slot machines, often referred to as recurring revenue games.

Aristocrat has trailed IGT, Bally Technologies and WMS Industries for slot machine market share in North America. With added competition from Japan-based Konami Gaming and MultiMedia Games, manufacturers are renewed demand for innovative content and machines.

“Joe knows how to combine math, art and brands to make great games that delight players and drive revenues for our customers,” Aristocrat Chief Executive Officer Jamie Odell, said in a statement. “We look forward to Joe’s contribution as we take another step up in our ability to grow returns in the critical North American recurring revenue segment, in line with our strategy.”

Aristocrat recently announced third-party deals with game developers Daniel Marks and Scott Olive, that Odell said would further enhance the company’s game content pool.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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