News & Publicity

14.12.2018

Ron Watts looks back on the early days of Astra Games

“After JPM I was doing some consultancy for Eddie Morales with SEGA SA: I knew that Eddie wanted to expand the business so I convinced him to look to do something in the UK. He was receptive to the idea so I invited my friends Jack Jones and Alan Parker to be part of the adventure and it was Jack who came up with the name Astra Games. Jack and Alan were conscious of quite how volatile the pub market was so we took the strategic decision to focus on arcade and bingo which, to a certain extent had been ignored by the manufacturers. One of our first moves was to develop a metal cabinet in order to bring a casino feel to arcades. A lot of the industry was very cynical about our chances and looking back it was really tough at times. Eddie was the major shareholder and it was his support and enthusiasm alongside good friends such as Terry Mac that sustained us. I enjoyed a great friendship with Jack Jones, there’s also Dave Young, John Laine, Harry Kay, Tony Mathias, Reg Morosoli and of course President Graf himself. This is a people business and I’ve been blessed.” 

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