For as long as they’ve existed comic books have attracted fans by the dozens, with the most popular entries building fanbases across generations. With that kind of attention, comes a whole lot of licensing interest from other industries looking to cash in on fans’ loyalty and obsession. No industry does it better than the casino business or more specifically Video Slots. The licensing on video slots reaches out to practically anything that can draw customers in. Books, films, tv, video games, you name it and there’s a video slot adaptation for it. With the ever-growing popularity of slots, even those without a wagering requirement (read more about this), it’s no surprise to see that comic book themes and licensing has made its way here as well.
But how has the relationship been between comic book characters and casino video slots? Read on below as we explore this turbulent relationship in detail.
An Unlikely Alliance
Over the years, the popularity of comic books has partnered well with casino video slots. Throughout the past four decades, many a loyal fan have been drawn to playing video slots that sports their favorite superhero. While video slots themselves may not have had much to offer in terms of features and functionality, the theme alone could be enough to convince fans to spin a few rounds at their own expense. In this time, Marvel comics emerged as the clear victor in the arena. Their roster of caped saviors and spandex-fitted do-gooders drew thousands to the slots, with slot adaptations being developed for decades due to their seemingly undiminishing popularity.
But this happy relationship was not to last. The Marvel film adaptations suffered greatly in cinemas. Although Sam Raimi’s Spiderman adaptations were widely successful, all other attempts at bringing Marvel’s finest to the big screen fell flat on their face. All seemed lost until a new formula was unveiled, and the project kicked off once more, spearheaded with the release of 2008’s Iron Man. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was everything fans hoped it would be and soon enough, it caught the attention of Disney who purchased Marvel Entertainment in 2013. The acquisition brought a number of changes for the Marvel project and while it managed to build on the success of its cinematic vision, it essentially meant the end for its video slot partnership. Disney soon announced that they would be relinquishing the rights to all Marvel property from game providers Amaya and Playtech and sure enough, by 2017 all Marvel video slots were pulled off the net, never to be seen again.
The Dark Slot Rises
The reasons for Marvel or rather Disney’s retraction from the video slot licensing business remains unclear, although one might assume that given Disney’s family-friendly approach, they did not want one of their key assets to be directly linked to gambling activities. But their loss meant someone else’s gain and sure enough, DC comics stepped up to the table and filled the gaping hole that was left behind.
From 1960’s Batman series characters to the somewhat underwhelming cast of 2016’s Suicide Squad, there’s a video slot out there that will satisfy the cravings of all DC comic fans.
Over the years, the relationship between video slots and comic book characters has been strained but has always kept moving forward for better or for worse. The monopoly has shifted from one comic publishing giant to another and who knows if we’ll ever see the two face off once again in the future!