In 1998 Blade became a saving grace for Hollywood taking comic books mainstream and opening the flood gates for a multi billion dollar empire for decades to come. Just as the motion picture industry would benefit from Marvel, another but more immature entertainments sector was ready to jump on the band wagon. This is the story of how leading casino software companies pioneered an invasion of the slots industry, to bring home some of the greatest games a player could ever spin.
The birth of marvel slots online – in the very beginning
In the mid 90′s the idea of playing games to win real cash on the internet was no longer science fiction, this was the time of the online casino. It was early days but gaming sites were sprouting up all over the place, so naturally they began to compete with each other. They all had one goal in common, to become the dominant force in this new world of virtual betting. For that they would need the best roulette machines, blackjack tables and most importantly video slots.
Three reels, No 7 symbols and minimum pay lines were becoming common place, not to mention the low jackpots and nowhere to be seen bonus features. Slots needed saving, they needed the steroids that super heroes could deliver, they needed a new direction and a future that was certain.
Cryptologic became the first software developer to stamp marvels name onto the reels of an online slot machine in 1996, Playtech joined the arms race a couple of years later and both companies would venture into the Millennium as two of the industries leading creators of super hero based fruit machines. The explosion of Marvel in Hollywood with 2000′s X Men created one of the fastest growing fan bases the world had ever seen, slots with a marvel tag were now considered priceless. Cryptologic and Playtech were about to monopolise the market.
Marvels casino conquest – the rise of the hero slot
The early Millennium became a pinnacle in the history of marvel slots, it was films like X Men, Daredevil and the Spiderman series that were plugging the ideas of games to come. Software developers in these early days began to release their first wave of serious super slot contenders.
It was the birth of more innovative bonus features as free spin rounds were now incorporated into character driven scenarios. These slots also played a major factor in pushing up the jackpots and prize pools in cyberspace, more players meant subsequently more payouts at a greater scale. By 2004 fruit machine jackpot figures had increased from an average of £506 to £14, 876. This would later pave the way for progressive slots and their life transforming payouts.
In 2005 movies like Electra and the Fantastic 4 were backing up highly successful X Men and Spiderman franchises in Hollywood’s Marvel war machine. Early games such as Blade and Spiderman were becoming popular, more reels meant more pay lines and with them came the features needed to make the slots even more successful.
Home broadband and data rates were also increasing by this point which meant Playtech and Cryptologic could do more for their players. The performance of these games increased significantly, graphics were more defined and tin pot sound effects were now gone forever. This was the rise of the hero slot, Marvels conquest of the casino industry was now unstoppable.
2008 – The year that secured the future of the slots race
In 2008 Hollywood made its best move yet when Tony Stark built a metal suit in a cave with nothing but iron plates and a few brain cells. Iron Man was a gamble that paid off big time, not only did it secure the next generation of blockbusters for their pension pots, but it secured the direction of marvels influence with regards to online slots.
These movies were surpassing all expectations, special effects were out of this world, CGI was becoming almost life like and 3D filming technology was up and coming. Software developers for the casino industry were now under pressure to keep up. After all, they didn’t want their babies growing up and getting old, they needed them current and fresh in the face.
2011 proved a triumph in the evolution of slot games, Playtech had mastered the 5 reel 25 payline layout and on average each super hero based fruit machine was boasting some 5 features. These included free spin rounds, multipliers, wilds, random wilds, scatter symbols, hero modes and even villain modes too, the characters were also given introductions and impressive animations which told their stories. Gaming sites and casinos obtaining playtech and cryptologic driven video slots had increased ten fold.
Iron man sequels and the avengers build up led a drive to begin formulating the plans for a new series of more advanced reel simulators. The likes of Thor and Captain America quickly found their own faces on the reels of Playtech’s latest innovations.
The present and future of comic book fruit machines
At present it is the likes of the avengers slot game that demonstrates the current level of marvels stamp when it comes to a 5 reel masterpiece. The software flows like a dream, the reels move with precision and the characters bring life to the features. Winning has never been more exciting, or cheaper for that matter.
Our heroes are also progressive now too, meaning that marvel based slots are often interlinked on playtech casinos to provide a running jackpot that can be won by spinning any of marvels team players. It’s also not uncommon for these jackpots to reach hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The question of whether or not our muscle bound comic creations saved online slots is a no brainer really, whilst the industry may not have relied on them alone. They have played a huge part in shaping its future. You can look forward to more explosive games, more avenger style collective designs and more spin offs. Expect more reels, more 3D visuals and multiple player interaction. It is likely that the next ten years will see a vast number of new hero slots arriving in cyberspace and this idea alone is exciting. When you combine future technology and greater jackpots then the end result can only be positive, or perhaps even super.