Originally founded in the 1960s by Katsuki Manabe, Sigma Game Incorporated was a Japanese-based company that sought to create new, exciting games for the arcade halls of the time. The company enjoyed success for more than forty years before finally collapsing due to the economic meltdown of Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the company’s biggest markets. In its time, however, Sigma Games produced slot machines that were recognised as innovative and incredibly high quality. Even now, Sigma Games’ products are still widely recognised in today’s casinos.
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In its long run, Sigma developed not only slots machines, but also developed strong relationships with other game manufacturers as well, including casinos and gambling authorities and groups in the areas that Sigma served. Eventually they were licensed to distribute games to all the major casinos of the United States, receiving multiple awards along the way. These awards included the Nevada Governor’s Industry Appreciation Award, in 1991 and 1994. Sigma established itself in the United States, Central America, South America, Canada, and the Caribbean.
Sigma is particularly recognized in the industry as being the first developer to include a currency reader in the machines – this revolutionized gaming, allowing a dramatic increase in play at casinos that featured Sigma slots. They also created a cashbox extractor and a computer system for machines, both still widely used by casinos when it comes to customizing games to suit the slot area’s needs.
Sigma’s most popular games include the Sigma Select Series and the Treasure collection. Treasure Wheel was immediately a hit when introduced, as was Treasure Tunnel, both managing to win awards within the casino gaming industry, as well as being named two of the “Top 20 Innovative Gaming Products” of 1998. The Treasure series offers high jackpots and plenty of multipliers, creating fans of the game that will remain loyal to their casinos and games.
Another popular game of Sigma’s was Where’s Henry, the follow-up to the Treasure series. In Where’s Henry, the player had to find the main character and potentially winnings as they went along. It won another mention in the “Top 20 Innovative Gaming Products,” this time in 1999. They later won the 2000 version of the award with their game Throw the Dough, a pizza-themed slot machine. Notably, these games were some of the first slanted top slot machines, altering an aspect of the game that allowed players to play longer, benefiting both the player and the casino. Overall, the back catalogue of Sigma stands firm as something that symbolises innovation and creativity.
While no longer in business, Sigma Game Incorporated has proven itself as a strong player in the industry. They were an essential, vital piece of the gaming industry for so long that their mark remains on many casinos in the forms of slot machine games and cutting-edge (for the time) technology. They leave behind many award-winning titles and games that will serve as a reminder and a lasting impression. Overall, Sigma may be gone, physically speaking, but there legacy within the industry is by no means forgotten.