Pop culture and slot machine mashups
For the past ten years (give or take), it seems like there has been a ridiculous glut of film adaptations of comic book characters. Although it’s kind of easy to take it for granted now, most comic book fans back in the day couldn’t have imagined that an honest-to-goodness, big-budget, seriously entertaining Avengers movie would ever be produced in their lifetime. Yet that’s exactly what happened. Not only that, The Avengers has pretty much shattered numerous box office records both in the U.S. and worldwide: the movie enjoyed the biggest opening weekend in North America, as well as being the fastest film to gross $1 billion. As a matter of fact, it’s also the first Marvel production to generate $1 billion in ticket sales. Speaking of billions, The Avengers grossed $1.51 billion worldwide, making it the third-highest-grossing film of all time. And to top it all off, the Avengers 2: Age of Ultron sequel is already scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2015.
Those are mind-boggling facts. What’s even more amazing is that even relatively lesser-known (some would say downright obscure) comic book characters now have their own big-budget movies set to be released over the next couple of years. Guardians of the Galaxy is already in post-production with an August 1, 2014 U.S. release date; it features a motley crew that includes Groot, a tree-like humanoid, Rocket Racoon, a genetically engineered raccoon who also happens to be an expert marksman, and the adopted daughter of Thanos, to name a few. Ant-Man is currently in pre-production with a targeted U.S. release date of July 31, 2015.
All of this is to say that the demand for massive superhero blockbusters is not only coming from the diehard comic book geeks. Millions of casual fans who just want to be entertained are now clamouring for more superhero extravaganzas with the necessary big explosions and snappy humour. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is both a shared fictional to the one that exists on the page and a media franchise juggernaut – this not only means hundreds of hours devoted to advertising in pretty much every form of media, it also means tons of official merchandise. Indeed, it’s going to be surreal seeing Ant-Man tumblers displayed on fast-food chains or even Rocket Raccoon keychains and Drax the Destroyer backpacks. And yes, there are superhero-themed slot machines both in land-based casinos and their online counterparts. In fact, one of the most intriguing, high-profile examples is The Dark Knight video slots game installed in five Monte-Carlo Societe des Bains de Mer (SBM) casinos located in Monaco; players can choose to play as Batman or the Joker while gunning for lucrative individual or group play bonuses.
The advent of mobile casinos has introduced a younger, more Internet-savvy generation to the simple joys of playing slot machines for hours on end.
AlchemyBet, a mobile gambling company based in the United Kingdom, has been savvy enough to incorporate elements of pop culture in their wildly successful mobile slots games. Indeed, pocketfruity.com – one of AlchemyBet’s most popular mobile casino platforms – have included games named Paid in Chelsea (a witty little twist on the popular Made in Chelsea reality show), Kerrang Radio Stairway to 7 (a collaboration with the rock magazine’s music station), and Grand Master Cash (obviously a reference to the old-school rapper Grand Master Flash), in addition to slots with certain themes such as Count Ya Money (a Dracula-themed slots game). They even have a mobile version of the classic Bar-X and Bar-X 7 pub fruit slot machines that were really famous back in the 80s and 90s – in partnership with no less than Electrocoin, the original creators of the world-famous fruit machine that has entertained generations of slots players and casino enthusiasts throughout the years.