EDITORIAL: How game developers use movies to attract players

(Image: The Action Elite)

(Image: The Action Elite)

How games developers use movies to attract players

Today’s UK gambling Industry is worth around £14.5 billion, of which 39% of the market share is from the remote betting, bingo and casino sector with the industry proving to become more and more popular, particularly in the online space. Since the legalisation of the first wave of UK casinos in the early 60’s, through to today’s huge variety of online casinos, bingo sites, betting terminal and virtual slot games, the industry has continued to grow year on year, despite some challenging laws along the way. However with the amount that British gamblers lose on fixed odd betting terminals having increased by 73% since 2009, from £1bn to £1.8bn, some may question what is the draw to these games and what keeps people coming back for more?   

Many conglomerate corporations have piggybacked on hypes that accompany the latest blockbuster film throughout the years from supermarkets, to clothing companies, home-ware stores and many, many more. In fact, in the UK alone, 8 out 10 people own a promotional product of some kind from a business, so it’s not surprising that the Slot game industry have jumped on the film industry bandwagon to promote their slot games and keep people coming back again and again, even when they keep losing money. 

Let’s take a further look into how the slot game industry are utilising movies to promote slot games… 

The Slot Machine Renaissance

Whilst slot machines have been widely popular in casinos, gaming venues and free houses for a number of decades, in recent years as providers have begun to move to mainly online channels, the industry has become somewhat competitive, enabling affiliate sites like Bingoport to breakthrough. With online gambling accounting for 33% of all gambling within Great Britain, owners needed to come up with a clever way to get one over on their competition and it seems that the film industry was an ideal way to do this.

From appealing visuals and graphic wraps on physical slotting machines, to themed webpages and live scenes from movies incorporated into the slot game itself, the association of movies has brought much appeal to slot games in recent years. From box office hits such as Star Wars and the Avengers, to timeless classics like Grease, Jurassic Park and King Kong himself, these titles are helping to bring a new wave of people to the slot gaming world that may otherwise have not of considered playing. 

By incorporating these much loved characters into slot games, the industry are now reaching a whole new target audience whose adorning memories of their favourite films are being cleverly targeting to draw their focus onto slot games. 

So what’s the appeal?

The Psychology behind it

The market share of independent UK films at the box office in 2018 was 11.7%, an increase from 9.5% in 2017 and at the third highest point in a decade. What does this mean? It means people love movies and the UK film industry has received continued growth year on year, with the industry now seeing the highest level of cinema admissions since 1970. 

People seem to have a rich and complex relationship with movies that extends far beyond simply watching for enjoyment. From escapism from everyday life, to emotional connections with the characters, movie watching has for many become an experience rather than an activity to pass time. Naturally, as a part of a consumerist society, merchandise has been a huge part of the movie experience, with many box office hits making more money from the merchandise itself rather than ticket sales. From Harry Potter, to Marvel, Toy Story, Jurassic Park and more, these movies have been raking in the profits.

By incorporating these movies into games, it extends the movie experience for fans, allowing them to continue to live out and become actively involved in their fantasy world long after the movie has finished.  Therefore many slot game providers are now incorporating movie themes into their games as a way of differentiating from the competition, whilst appealing to a wider audience and ensuring players keep coming back. 

How do they enhance the game?

Whilst the promise of a financial win is enough to draw players in for multiple games, playing a slot game for a repeated amount of time can often become repetitive and the player can loose interest, particularly if their not winning. 

Incorporating movies into slot games allows for different levels with multiple themes, the chance to unlock bonus characters and movie items which captures the players imagination and encourages them to continue playing to see more of their favourite movie content. Ultimately, movie content is a huge attraction, which encourages gamers to come back and prevents boredom from seeing the same thing happen spin after spin.  

What are the best movie themed slot games?

Today, there are a huge variety of slot games based on movies. One of the most popular is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. This game incorporates everything from adventure to problem solving and even a bit of romance as players navigate their way through a series of puzzles whilst utilising the movies characters skills and personas.  

Other popular slot games to incorporate movie themes include Blade Runner, Star Wars –Tie Fighter, Star Wars Battle Front and Tron 2.0. For a further insight into these games, check out this article on the 10 best games based on movies. 

In all, whilst the slot game industry used to be dependant on people coming back to play again based on the appeal to win money, the movie industry has enabled slot game makers to appeal to a wider audience who may not have otherwise considered playing a slot game. The emotional connection people have with movies acts as a powerful enticement to get them to continue playing the game.