Movies and casinos have always had an intertwined relationship. Indeed, even some of Canada’s best movies are set in casinos. In the past, the cross-over was one-way traffic, meaning that we would come across movies set in Las Vegas, Monte Carlo and anywhere else with bright lights, a blackjack table and a pit boss. Increasingly, however, the trend is moving the other way. That is to say that casino games, specifically slots, are being themed on movies.
At a typical online casino and, to a lesser extent, on the floors of the mega casinos around the world, you will find dozens of games based on movies, most of which are officially licensed through merchandise deals. Now, as you would expect, it is a certain type of movie that gets the slot treatment. It is not as if Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist is going to make for a compelling movie-themed slot. The slot games follow the money so to speak, being created to run parallel to Hollywood blockbusters.
Blockbuster movie slots growing in number
So, what’s on offer? Combing through the broad list of movie-themed slots at https://www.mrgreen.com/ca/, we find Jurassic Park and Jurassic World. Both games feature all the iconography of the movies, so plenty of Chris Pratt, Sam Neill, raptors and so on. But there is another side to things: because the movies were blockbusters, it means the slots have been created as ‘blockbusters’ too. What that means in plain English is that it is not sufficient for the slot to play like the fruit machines of yore. The Jurassic Park games, and others, are stuffed full of bonus features and special ways to win.
It’s not all action movies either. Mr Green offers Bridesmaid’s slot, based on the Kristen Whig smash-hit comedy of 2011. To be honest, it doesn’t really reflect the humour of the movie, but there is plenty in there to satisfy fans. Ghostbusters is also available to play. It’s the original Bill Murray version, so those that loathed the recent reboot can stay happy. Other smash-hit movies that get an outing are Terminator 2, Tomb Raider (although, this is based more on the video games, so no Angelina Jolie) and Ted.
Hit television shows also get the slot treatment
The cross-over does not stop with movies either. Much like the television series, Game of Thrones slot is widely considered one of the world’s most popular. Seth McFarlane also pops up again with slot games for Family Guy and American Dad. Music-themed slots are mostly rock n’ roll, so you’ll find slots for Guns n’ Roses, Jimi Hendrix and Motorhead, all featuring real music from the bands.
What should we make of this? Is it a merchandising step too far? It is simply a truth of modern marketing that sticking a brand name on something helps it sell. This is online gaming’s version of George Lucas sticking Chewbacca’s face on a lunchbox and selling it. Yes, we should always gamble responsibly, but if you enjoy movies and the odd punt, there is nothing wrong with playing with movie-themed games.