If you’ve ever been to a brick-and-mortar casino, or visited a casino website, then you would have noticed that one of the most popular casino games is the slot machine. Perhaps the popularity of slot machines has to do with the fact that it is very easy to play, even for first-time casino visitors. It is also highly enjoyable, for casual and serious casino players alike.
The growth in popularity of slot machines has made it necessary for game developers to come up with more and more creative designs and structures for their machines. It also became important for developers to think of fresh ways of making online slot games more interesting. One of the things they thought of doing--one which has proven to be a good idea--is to create slots that follow a certain theme.
If you’re not very familiar with slot machines, or if you only recently became interested in casino gaming, you would probably think themed slot machines are part of a recent development in the gaming industry. The truth is that themed slot machines have been in existence since about two decades ago. And the themes have become more diverse as the years went by; you’d be surprised at the range of themes you’ll find in slot machines these days.
Among those that have become hugely popular among slot players worldwide are movie- and TV show-themed slot machines. From classic movies and TV shows to more recent offerings from the film and TV industry, you’ll be sure to see a familiar story from among the slots currently in operation. So let’s take a look at why it makes sense for game developers and casino operators to use popular movies and TV shows as themes for their slot machines.
The very reason why people go to the movies is to be entertained. They want to leave their stressors behind even just for a couple of hours, and the movies are an excellent way to do so. In the same way, the main reason why people go to casinos and play slot machines, whether physical or online, is to relax and de-stress even for a few hours.
Movies and slot machines, therefore, are both forms of entertainment. So it makes sense that these two platforms would work well together in bringing joy to those who patronize them. Bringing movies and slot machines together give you double the entertainment, double the excitement, and double the fun. For a game developer, this is definitely something worth offering to the target market.
Think about it. Given the same features and bonuses, would you rather play a basic slot machine with the usual playing card symbols, cherries, and Lucky 7, or would you prefer one inspired by your favorite movie or TV show, with the characters and other theme-related details as game symbols? You would most likely go with the one with a theme that’s close to your heart, right?
More than anything else, a slot machine is a money-making venture. It is part of the casino business. And in order for a business to succeed, it is important to cater to the needs and preferences of the target market. After all, how can you expect your business to succeed if the needs of the people you want to attract are not met?
Considering how much support certain movies and TV shows get from their fan base, it goes without saying that game developers would want to take advantage by partnering with film and TV studios to bring us some of the best themed slots we’ve ever seen.
When game developers create themed slot machines, they usually have to come up with an engaging storyline that can effectively capture and keep the interest of slot players. If you’re a developer who has been in the business for quite some time, it can be a bit difficult to come up with fresh storylines, especially if you already have countless themed slots under your belt.
The advantage of partnering with movie and TV studios is that they already have the storylines; you just need to translate it into a fun slot game. And if you choose movies and TV shows that have gained global popularity, you are assured that people like the stories. There is therefore a good chance that the game you developed will be well-received as well.
If you think only movies and TV shows that are currently popular make for successful slot machine themes, think again. Classic movies and TV shows that were hugely popular when they were shown are also good slot machine theme ideas. Many people appreciate the chance to go down memory lane and revisit films and shows that once caught their fancy.
Consider the TV game show Wheel of Fortune and the movie A Nightmare on Elm Street. These are both from decades ago, but are still quite popular in the world of casino gaming. People still enjoy the feeling of being one of the contestants who get to spin the wheel for the chance to win amazing prizes. And those who were scared out of their wits when the Nightmare movie franchise was all the rage do like to relive those fun times once in a while.
What is one thing a popular movie or TV show has that a casino operator or slot game developer would be crazy not to use to their advantage? A solid fan base, that’s what. Have you ever noticed how much avid fans are willing to spend their money on anything remotely related to whatever or whoever they are supporting? Be it for a movie, a TV show, an actor, or a sports team, fans would jump at the chance to show the world how loyal they are.
So when you’re in the business of developing slot games and you don’t take advantage of this captive audience, you have got to be out of your mind. The interest is already there. Most of the time, it even goes way beyond interest and well into adulation. If people are willing to buy posters, mugs, hats, pens, notebooks, and just about any merchandise inspired by their favorite movie or TV show, who’s to say they’re not willing to play a slot game with that film or show as a theme?
If you take the time to observe viewer behavior, you will notice that many loyal fans of TV shows cry buckets of tears once their favorite shows come to an end. Creating a slot machine inspired by a highly popular show that is in its last season, or one that has just ended, is an excellent way to tap into the overwhelming emotions that fans are currently feeling.
Note as well that this deep sadness and collective breaking of hearts don’t just happen when a TV series ends, but also when a movie franchise draws to a close. If you’ve been paying attention, then you’ll know how affected moviegoers still are by the latest film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is the culmination of a decade of superhero films that truly captured the hearts of moviegoers all over the world.
As a game developer, you can be a knight in shining armor to grieving fans by offering them a way to hold on to their favorite characters and keep reliving their favorite scenes. Of course, you can’t offer them a complete replay, but sometimes the opportunity of seeing these familiar characters and scenes on a completely different platform actually helps fans deal with the fact that the series has come to an end and helps them realize that it’s time to move on.
Now you know why it makes sense for game developers to use movies and TV shows as themes for the slot machine they design, and you understand why these are among the most successful slot themes. But why do the studios allow this? Why do they agree to go into a partnership with casinos or offer licenses for use of their intellectual properties? What’s in it for them?
Movies are only shown in cinemas for about a week or so, and while TV shows may be aired for a bit longer, they aren’t likely to stay on the air for more than a few years. But when the studio allows game developers to create games inspired by their movies or TV shows, they get the chance to extend the life and popularity of these films and shows.
As long as their titles are emblazoned at the top of slot machines--whether in a brick-and-mortar casino or online--people will remember them and how they made viewers feel. As long as the characters are shown in the slots, whether as backdrops or feature symbols, people will never forget how they made the movies and TV shows more exciting. As long as the theme songs and soundtracks keep being used as background music in the slot games, people will be able to appreciate the experience they had when these movies and TV shows were shown.
Another advantage for the studios is that the presence of their movies and TV shows on slot machines paves the way for people who, for some reason, have never heard of these films and shows to learn about them and maybe feel inclined to watch. This could effectively extend the reach of these shows.
Let’s face it. Movie and TV producers make films and shows for profit. Sure, they do their research and make sure the projects they come up with appeal to our tastes. And they do try to satisfy our needs and preferences as much as they can, but in the end, they design their projects in the most profitable way possible.
It is therefore easy to understand that whenever an opportunity to earn more profits from a particular project arises, producers would be inclined to grab that opportunity. And that is exactly what casino owners and game developers have to offer--the opportunity to gain more money from a film or TV show than it has already earned so far.
Whenever a movie or TV show becomes a blockbuster, it is almost always followed by the selling of related merchandise. So if a film’s profits can be extended via the selling of coffee mugs, hats, notebooks, keychains, and other memorabilia, why extend it even more by getting a game developer to pay for licensing? Even if the game ends up being unpopular, the producers would still have earned from the licensing.
Investment for Future Projects
Even when certain stories, series, or franchises end, producers most likely already have related future projects lined up. And they want to make sure these follow-up projects or spin-offs gain as much or, if possible, even more popularity than their predecessors. For this reason, they usually try to find ways of hyping up a follow-up project years before it even starts production.
Having a slot machine version of the original project--or even a slot loosely based on the story--is an excellent way of drumming up interest in the follow-up projects. When the stories are kept fresh in the minds of fans and the characters are kept from being forgotten, it will be so much easier to get these fans engaged in a future project that continues or runs parallel to the storyline.
Slot machines with movies or TV shows as themes offers a number of advantages to producers, game developers, and players alike. It is therefore safe to say that these themed slots aren’t going away anytime soon. You can expect to continue seeing them in physical and online casinos for as long as they continue to offer these advantages.
These slot themes are among the safest choices for casinos, the most profitable for studios, and the most enjoyable for players. So just like the classic fruit machines, adventure games, and fairytale slots, these blockbuster slot machines are most likely here to stay. And there is absolutely no reason for that not to be so.