The online casino industry has flourished so much since its inception and initial growth at the turn of the century.
The healthy competition of rival sites, as well as the ability to game not just on traditional desktop means but through other devices too, have enabled the industry to utilize every tool available to them in their technological arsenal. One of these methods has been through tie-ins to other elements of pop culture. But how has tying franchises to online casino titles helped expand the industry and appeal to new audiences?
Franchises Have Existing Audiences
In the same way that celebrity endorsements for products bridge the gap between the customer and the (often unknown) product through a celebrity they trust, franchise tie-ins help to show fans of various brands that there is another way to engage with the in-game world.
Some of these are related to blockbuster movies – with Jurassic Park/World, Batman, and Planet of the Apes all turned into some form of slot game. The movies did well enough at the box office to have a large cross-section of fans, so these fans may feel comfortable having their first experience at a casino site through a franchise they already know, which helps bring them to said site.
— CNN (@CNN) June 24, 2018
Franchises and Tie-ins Can Share a Similar Atmosphere
Sometimes the franchise tie-ins are more related to the casino games they’ve inspired than just by means of a theme. For example, casino games that are inspired by game shows help to bring the tension and atmosphere from the game show to the online casino game.
The wide selection of gambling games that take inspiration from game shows – from Deal or No Deal and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to Wheel of Fortune – allow players to experience an extra level of tension. Many of the same skills required for these game shows, such as the ability to think calmly under pressure and being able to take measured risks, are also suited to the casino games themselves, while bespoke mini games and gameplay functions often mirror the game show they were inspired from.
Tie-ins Help Franchises Expand Their World
There are countless examples of die-hard fans who collect every scrap of merchandise and tie-in with franchises they love. While most people aren’t this committed to series they enjoy, many do like to explore every single aspect of the world. Seeing a franchise being made into a casino game shows that the creators and developers have communicated about how the game could be an offshoot of the franchise. The game would never change the aspects that make the franchise work or attempt to derail key plot elements.
So, for many, a franchise tie-in like this provides an extra layer to the world of the franchise. During its hiatus, Game of Thrones was offered as a slot game, which proved popular among fans who had a 20-month drought from the show. With the Game of Thrones IP so closely guarded, the game signaled to fans of the franchise that they would be able to embrace elements of the show as approved by HBO and its producers.
— Telegraph TV & Radio (@TeleTVRadio) April 23, 2020
As the online casino industry grew to encompass more than just the standard roulette and blackjack table games and basic slots, the range of what was offered also grew. Franchise tie-ins are nothing new in the world of gaming or the world of casino, but the online casino industry allows them to be executed in a more engaging way than before.
With so much competition for online sites, being able to attract fans of an existing franchise helps bridge the gap to attract customers. Borrowing the atmosphere from the franchises can also help, while franchises benefit from games that help flesh out their world, especially in times when the franchise needs to remain relevant. Franchise tie-ins are enjoyable for gaming fans and can be useful for the franchise owners in equal measure.