Based on a pair of press releases issued last week, leading online slot designers are leaning toward branded content in 2018.
After reaching an agreement with Sony Pictures Consumer Products, iGaming software developer Net Entertainment (NetEnt) announced that the jungle hijinks of Jumanji would serve as the inspiration for a new virtual slot game.
NetEnt is set to debut its new Jumanji slot on February 6 at the upcoming ICE Totally Gaming expo in London.
The game will be based on the original “Jumanji” film, which was released in 1995 with the late Robin Williams in the lead role. The first Jumanji has since become a beloved family flick, and late last year “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” was released to rave reviews.
The latest incarnation of Jumanji – starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black – became a surprise smash, garnering more than $676 million at the worldwide box office.
According to NetEnt’s chief product officer Henrik Fagerlund, nostalgia for the first film combined with the sequel’s rousing success prompted the company to seek a deal with Sony:
“The original Jumanji movie, which debuted in 1995, remains a moviegoer favorite and continues to demonstrate its cross-generational appeal more than 20 years later!
Also, with the recent release of the new film, the Jumanji brand is more popular than ever. We’re excited for the game launch in 2018.”
NetEnt isn’t new to licensing pop culture properties for its online slot library, with Planet of the Apes, Guns N’ Roses, and Motörhead among its more popular branded content titles.
Considering the astounding popularity of the latest Jumanji movie, Fagerlund was understandably proud of NetEnt’s ability to land top-tier licensing opportunities:
“Being able to secure a deal for another high-profile title showcases the moves we’re making in diversifying our roster of games.”
One of NetEnt’s chief competitors in the online slot space hopes to keep pace with an adult-oriented theme, as Microgaming also announced the upcoming launch of its Playboy Gold game.
Microgaming and Playboy have history together, as the iGaming software supplier previously partnered with the men’s magazine to create an online slot in 2013. Microgaming also developed a Playboy Live Dealer studio, which connects players at home with the magazine’s signature “bunnies” while the latter deal live table games.
Playboy Gold will be also be unveiled at the ICE Totally Gaming expo in London between February 6-8.
Valerie Golson – who serves as Playboy’s senior vice president of gaming and location based entertainment – issued a statement to hype the company’s latest flirtation with Microgaming:
“For decades, gaming has been one of the most popular and iconic parts of the Playboy Lifestyle.
From our successful Playboy Clubs and Casinos and land-based games to our VIP player events and our online gaming properties, Playboy’s unique and exciting take on the world of gaming have been some of the most successful in the industry.
We’re thrilled to be working with Microgaming to expand our partnership and introduce a new gaming experience for players around the world.”
The six-reel slot concept was developed in conjunction with Triple Edge Studios, the designer behind popular online slots such as Oink Country Love and 108 Heroes Multiplier Fortunes.
Microgaming games publisher David Reynolds commented on the company’s relationship with Playboy, along with Triple Edge Studios’ ongoing commitment to creating the Playboy Gold concept.
“To work with Playboy again has been a real pleasure.
They are one of the most recognised and popular consumer brands in the world and Triple Edge Studios has worked tirelessly to bring the brand to life in Playboy Gold.”
Playboy Gold will officially go live on the Microgaming network March 7.