|Merit Entertainment Advises Operators on Gamelink|
Bristol, PA – Merit Entertainment advises operators that TouchTunes’ newest software release, Gen3, does not support the industry-standard link (Gamelink) between TouchTunes jukeboxes and Merit’s Megatouch games. Numerous operators have turned to Merit for advice after unsuccessfully attempting to upgrade to Gen3 software and being forced to revert to Gen2, or switch music networks, to retain the earnings advantage of a Merit linked jukebox.
TouchTunes has apparently chosen to discontinue support for the current interface, leaving operators without an option to connect Merit games to current-release TouchTunes jukeboxes. Merit software is unchanged and therefore will continue to fully support the existing link, providing seamless connection to old (Gen 2) TouchTunes jukeboxes as well as state-of-the-art Rowe/AMI jukeboxes.
“We are stunned that TouchTunes would turn its back not only on our long-standing relationship, but also on their operators," said Colin Higbie, Director of Marketing at Merit. "In contrast, Merit has been steadily adding capability for operators without threatening their previous investments.”
Merit Entertainment maintains an installed base estimated at 250,000 systems, and protects operator investments with annual software releases that keep products fresh many years after initial purchase. After 30 years in the coin-op business, Merit understands that operator ROI depends on predictable, steady product improvement, as opposed to radical, unilateral change that obsoletes last year’s investment.
“Since we know music earnings increase by 15% when linked to a Merit countertop, I cannot imagine why TouchTunes decided to eliminate the feature in Gen 3,” said Mike Maas, Merit’s CEO. “Despite no direct profit for Merit, we have invested substantially in Gamelink to provide Merit operators a proven ability to increase their music coin-drop, and with Gen3, TouchTunes has apparently disregarded the operators’ needs. It just doesn’t make sense to eliminate the $20-plus a week that is possible by linking the Megatouch.”
“Given no new specs are even published for Gen3, let alone understood and implemented in the industry,” Maas added, “it could take years before operators of Gen3 equipment get the 15% earnings boost that Merit customers achieve today.”
Assuming TouchTunes continues to support Gen2 software, the Merit link will remain fully functional for older TouchTunes systems. The link continues to be fully supported for all AMI-powered jukeboxes. For more information on the technical implications of this change for TouchTunes and Megatouch operators, please see the Tech Note at http://www.meritgames.com/TN95.pdf.
For almost 30 years, Merit has ensured long-term return on investment for operators by providing continually high-earning equipment along with updates and upgrades for its products. With an installed base of over 250,000 touchscreen games garnering nearly 4.6 billion plays per year, Merit Entertainment is the worldwide leader in touchscreen entertainment devices. Merit Entertainment products appear globally in a wide array of venues & appeal to an almost limitless demographic. Merit continues to expand its position in the industry with ever-increasing entertainment, content, and new games. The company maintains a Web site with all the latest information at www.meritgames.com.