When you arrive at a casino and head over to the slot machines; you don’t expect to see pop culture references littering the reels necessarily. Instead, you’re most likely met by a long line of ‘One Armed Bandits’ adorned with fruit or playing card designs – so why are the online slots so often linked to TV, Movies and Celebrities?
Naturally, the first thought here is the concept that popular figures and programmes can be used to attract fans to something officially endorsed. However, the general public are clearly catching on to this exploitation of a popular brand as Disney continue to milk the Star Wars brand for all it’s worth – you can even buy bread with Stormtroopers on these days!
So it’s not the popularity factor; does that mean it’s the edge of familiarity that encourages designers to emblazon their slot machines with images of Jon Snow and the like? Will people be more inclined to play an online slot if they recognise the character and are familiar with the series they are affiliated with?
Probably not; there are a wide variety of people who watch Game of Thrones and you can’t say that they would all be happy to play the online GoT slot simply because it’s in someway linked to the television programme.
Whatever the reason for the mass influx of officially licensed online slot tie ins; the question to be answered is do they really need to be themed?
Some of the most popular games available through the online casinos have very basic themes that have been plucked from history and stereotypes such as Thunderstruck and Rainbow Riches – vastly outperforming many of the tied in slots over the years!
Personally, I find video clips of a movie in an online slot quite tedious and I yearn for the ability to skip them and get on with my bonus round – I’m not a particularly patient gambler when it comes to slots – and I find the whole concept a bit exploitative of popular products. I don’t expect it to be long before the likes of the Disney corporation relax their marketing restrictions and allow online slot versions of their beloved animations.
For me, a simple slot concept is best but there are those out there who would far rather play a slot featuring something they recognise and can relate to easily. This is why the Marilyn Monroe and Marvel slots have proven so popular online – each to their own I guess!