Everyone knows that successful movies don’t just aim to make a profit from ticket sales. In fact, the close to £25 billion of merchandise sales generated by the Star Wars franchise completely dwarf the initial cinema ticket and VHS / DVD / Blu-ray / Streaming sales since A New Hope arrived in 1977. The range of tie-ins, merchandise and licensed products grows bigger each year as movie studios look for new revenue streams and ways to maximize profit.
One of the less mainstream bits of merchandise that was once a big money maker for casinos was the themed slot machine. Slot machines rely on their appearance to get players spending, and having a recognizable big-name movie emblazoned across the machine is an easy way to get fans of the movie interested in playing. Despite traditional slot machines seeing less players than ever before, online slot machines are experiencing something of a renaissance, with a sizeable chunk of the £4.9 billion online gambling industry in the UK made up by casino gaming.
This new interest in slots has been driven by several factors. Alongside improved graphics and animations thanks to technological advancements to browsers and of course more functionality from mobile apps, modern slots are taking advantage of great themes and artwork to continue bringing in new players to online casinos, and providing things like immersion and replay value that traditional slots just couldn’t manage. However, to fully appreciate the array of games, you would benefit from learning how to win at slots, it certainly makes the games more enjoyable!
Another huge factor for players is that fact that online providers can provide much better jackpots and return to player percentages, the number that dictates how much the machine will pay out over time. Thanks to a lack of premises overheads, online casinos can often have better incentives for players, and can take advantage of features like progressive jackpots too.
One of the ways that online slot creators and online casinos continue to attract new players is by using movies as a basis for slot machine design. As well as providing a foundation theme, the animations, symbols and things like bonus rounds can all be built around features of the movie, and of course the draw of seeing your favourite characters or even just the movie logo can be the difference between overlooking a slot machine or giving it a go.
Now, you’ll find a huge range of slot machines all based on movies. From the massive selection Avengers and Marvel superheroes slots that are currently riding the wave of superhero movie madness, all the way to niche titles like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the Bridesmaids slots that many movie fans may not have known existed. These slot games offer an advantage to both sides of the industry, with movie studios making an incoming from the licensing of their right to companies that create these slot machines, and of course the online casino providers gaining more customers who may be tempted to give a slot based on their favourite movie a try.
The most successful online slot providers in the UK, use movies to ensure the success of many of their slot games. Titles like Clash of the Titans and A Nightmare on Elm Street, are accompanied by games that don’t require licensing, but can still enjoy piggybacking off the success of a big title.
The Lady Robin Hood slot is proving to be particularly popular, no doubt thanks to multiple Robin Hood movies that have been so popular over the years. From Disney classic that tugs on the heartstrings of potential players, to the successful remakes featuring Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe, the Robin Hood story provides something recognisable and trusted for players, as well as providing a fun experience. Incredibly however, there was actually a movie called Lady Robinhood that was released in 1925, just going to show how much movies can be an often silent influence on slot machine design.
Alongside these named slots, you’ll also find Spartacus, Wild Wild West, The Big Lebowski, Cleopatra, Captain Hook and even a Bruce Lee themed slot, showing just how many opportunities the movies are providing to new slot machine providers. These titles are at the prove that a large part of online casino strategy is focusing on the recognizable to boost visitor numbers.
Ask any slot game player if they’d rather play a plain slot game or one that has a theme, then after they’ve asked you about the jackpot, they’ll always gravitate towards the themed option. Playing slot games repeatedly for long amount of time requires variation, and plain slot games can get boring pretty quickly. With new features, free spins, and unlockable rounds almost guaranteed on big budget slot games that feature movies, then attraction will always be there for gamers who don’t want to get bored of seeing the same old thing happening spin after spin.
It looks like the future of virtual slots is heavily linked to movie tie-ins, and even big-name TV shows. There are plenty of slots in the pipeline featuring Tarzan, Dumb and Dumber, Jurassic Park, Magic Mike, and Avatar, Game of Thrones and The X files, all tying in with new releases, box sets or sequels.
As long as there is a chance to make some cash from licensing, then movie studios will continue to release their rights for slot games, and as long as casinos need new players (which is for the rest of time), then there’ll be licensed slots ready to be played.