Most casino industry observers have been complimentary about the way software giant Playtech has rolled out its DC Comics games, especially in light of how it was a seamless transition after losing the licensing rights to Marvel games.
In fact, Disney’s reluctance to extend a contract with a casino product after it purchased Marvel may have helped Playtech in the long run. It was then prompted to make two flagship games series to replace them – Age of the Gods and DC Superheroes games.
While the Age of the Gods series is doing nicely with a handful of new titles released in recent months, including Rulers of Olympus and Medusa & Monsters, the future of DC Superheroes games is arguably a bit more interesting. Obviously, the world of superhero merchandise is big business at the moment, so anything branded with Superman, Batman etc. is sure to get some attention.
If you haven’t checked them out before, you can find those casino slot machines at casino.com to get a flavour of what they are all about. But, in terms of an overview, we are talking about a series of around 20 games, ranging from ‘classic 1960s’ Batman to Ben Affleck’s version of the caped crusader in Dawn of Justice. In fact, you can safely say that nearly all aspects of the DC cinematic universe have been covered.
Where next for Playtech?
The question, then, is where do Playtech go next with the series? As anyone who has seen the games will be aware, the games have a connected progressive jackpot network, with each new title inserting itself into the equation. Playtech might be asking itself if having too many games linked to a jackpot will become problematic. Should there be a cut off point at 30? 40 games? You might even see a situation arise where the jackpots are sectioned off among different sub-genres of the games.
The other question, of course, is what Playtech will use as source material? Looking back at DC Comics library of films, there isn’t a huge amount that has yet to be covered. The Batman films of the late 80’s and 90s might be one such avenue that could be walked down. There are also several DC Comics vehicles that aren’t always associated with your standard superhero, e.g., Watchmen, V for Vendetta and Constantine, all of which were made into movies by Warner Bros.
Obviously, those darker comic tales present a thematic problem. Casino games by their very nature are not supposed to be PG, but at the same time developers are reluctant to take on material that is risqué or could be construed as offensive, and the likes of Watchmen and V for Vendetta can be very, very dark at times.
New movies on the way
Of course, Playtech can look forward to Warner Bros making new movies and use those as source material, just as they did with the likes of Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Shazam! was released in February of this year, and there are upcoming DC Comics films like Birds of Prey (a movie based on Harley Quinn), Wonder Woman 1984 and The Batman coming out over the next couple of years.
Joker – the highly anticipated origins movie with Joaquin Phoenix in the title role – does not take place in the same DC Extended Universe to the others, so it’s unlikely to be part of the casino games franchise given its different production values.
In the end, it’ll be interesting to see what Playtech’s next moves will be. The software giant puts a lot of emphasis on games based on pop culture, and they know how powerful the branding is with DC Superheroes, so expect them to make the most of the tie-up.
Watch this space for updates in the Gaming category on Running Wolf’s Rant.