As slots grow and improve in quality, the expectations of players increase. We look for more things to draw us in since many of us have found our favourites already. That being the case, software providers have to try hard to win punters over. Sometimes, it can be done with fun special features, a big jackpot or a new game mechanic like Megaways. Other times, just the theme can be enough to win players over.
Of course, just opting for fantasy or sci-fi is usually good enough. That said, for developers hoping to draw many players in, nothing beats the appeal or branded slots! These releases allow you to draw in casino-goers using the name of a popular book or TV show. It is an interesting phenomenon and one we will explore in detail in this article.
Branded slots are nothing new in the industry. For physical machines, it has been around for a while. The first online title that used another company’s brand was Microgaming’s 2004 Tomb Raider. Since then, many other software providers have made agreements with TV shows, movies and even music bands. We are looking at you, Motorhead!
The agreements are usually signed for a set amount of time and are renewed if both sides are satisfied. Given the immense popularity of branded games, agreements are rarely ever revoked. It benefits both sides; new players will be drawn to titles with familiar settings. At the same time, punters may end up discovering something new to enjoy when they are not spinning the reels.
While releases are rarely pulled once they are available to players, it can still happen. Two high profile cases we can remember happened to NetEnt and Playtech. NetEnt had a variety of branded slots discontinued, which are now no longer available on the internet. The ones we can recall off the top of our head is the Aliens slot, as well as the two South Park games.
Playtech also had a strong partnership with Marvel, with quite a few superhero titles based on the Avengers. That lasted until Disney acquired Marvel. Disney and their family-friendly image were not big fans of the slots, so they forced Playtech to pull the plug. As a result, the developer had to scramble to give these games a new skin. That is how Disney unintentionally helped create the Age of the Gods slot franchise!
Finally, this downside does not apply to all branded games. However, it does affect a great deal of them. Many software providers use these titles as an excuse to be lazy, relying on a big name to carry them. This has led many punters being distrustful of branded releases. As always, we recommend checkout out a review before going all-in on any slot. That counts double for branded ones!
One title that has captured the hearts and minds of many slot-lovers is NetEnt’s Narcos. Players get to experience the story of Pablo Escobar with stunning visuals and a medium-high variance. Available special features include random Drive-by bonuses, the Locked up special feature and a free spins round. It makes for a thrilling game, with an above-average RTP of 96.23%.
Big Time Gaming is well known for being the company behind the innovative Megaways system. Using it, they were able to create a variety of awesome releases. One of them being Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Megaways! On top of the innovative mechanics, players love it for its high volatility and a shot at winning a 50,000x jackpot. It also sports an above-average RTP of 96.24%.
Ted Jackpot King is made by Blueprint Gaming and follows the (mis)adventures of the stuffed bear Ted. The software provider has done a great job of capturing many of the movie’s best moments in the form of special features. Just by himself, Ted can create up to six different effects on the reels at random. Outside of that, players have five different special features they can enjoy!
The final Indian Casino Club favourite is another NetEnt title: Street Fighter 2. Based on an iconic arcade game, it honours the source by incorporating elements of it within its gameplay. Definitely, one of the most interesting slots NetEnt has launched in 2020 and remains wildly popular as a result. If you liked the original game, make sure to try it!