What Happened To All The Marvel Pokies?
Marvel movies have long dominated the superhero genre, but why are they not so successful in the world of online gaming?
Well, that’s not entirely true. For many years players could find Marvel pokies everywhere, featuring an array of Marvel’s most popular characters.
What Marvel Games Were Available?
Back when Marvel pokies were around, you could find a whole array of different Marvel superheroes online. Many of these were the favoured ones from comic books. But others came directly from the movies and the growing popularity of some characters found there.
While DC characters such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and The Flash could, and still can, be easily found, Marvel characters are a lot harder. Pokies for the Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor and The Hulk were, at one time, all readily available. In fact, there was in excess of 15 different Marvel pokies.
This meant that players were able to find their favourite superhero, be it Wolverine or Ghost Rider, and relive some of these different characters’ stories long after the film had ended.
The Provider Behind the Marvel Pokies
Popular slot provider PlayTech was the creator and driving force behind these games.
After their initial release of Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk, the company decided to continue releasing superhero pokies from the Marvel studio.
Armed with a third-party licence, PlayTech was able to create games using characters from the films and adding in soundbites, music and more, for a complete package.
The popularity of these pokies grew. This is possibly because these superheroes were popular in the United States and the States are one of the biggest users.
The Many Faces Behind Marvel Superheroes - Bonus Infographic!
What Made These Pokies Popular
It will come as no surprise to realise that these pokies were popular simply because of the characters. In the comic book world, DC has always come out on top in the battle between Marvel and DC. But not so any more. In the world of movies, it’s Marvel that’s the winner.
And these pokies proved it. By providing these games to the public, Marvel was able to continue providing entertainment. Once the movie was over players could still join in the lives of their favourite superhero.
An additional part of the fun is the way that the Marvel universe is so intertwined. This means that if a superhero pops up in another hero’s game, it all makes sense. However, it wasn’t just this story element that made these games popular, but the game mechanics.
PlayTech were smart in their creation of these games offering a ton of in-game bonuses and fun features to their players. Part of these bonuses involved having characters crossover into the bonus games, with 20 different squares each featuring a different superhero.
On top of that, PlayTech also linked many of these games together, much like Marvel did. However, here, these links were to a massive progressive jackpot provided that you played them for real money. This meant that players enjoying Marvel-themed slots could also be in for a massive win.
Why They Disappeared
With such success, it would seem a strange choice to remove these pokies from circulation. But there is a reason for this. For many years, Marvel was its own company, able to sell any licensing to whomever it chose. But, Disney ended up buying Marvel back in 2009.
Initially, this didn’t affect the pokies at all, possibly because Disney hadn’t realised how lucrative the franchise would become. The problem came with success and Disney had to start looking into all the third party licensing.
As Disney is a family-orientated company, licences can’t be given to companies that are inappropriate for the target audience. With Disney’s target primarily the younger generation, gambling fell under that category. In fact, even prior to Disney’s Marvel buyout, the company has been well-known for being against gambling.
Despite this, the ban actually took a while to materialise, with the pokies lasting online until the beginning of 2017. This goes back to the fact that Disney was unable to predict just how big a success Marvel movies were going to be — Iron Man only came out in 2008.
Essentially, once Disney was in control, the gambling licences were never going to be renewed, it was just a case of waiting for the pre-exisiting licences to expire.
So, did this really have any effect on online casinos or Marvel itself? The answer is no. The Marvel games accounted for less than 20 games. In a world where there are thousands of pokies, it was hardly going to make a difference.
While players who may have preferred them to other pokies noticed at first, they were soon replaced by other favourite games. On top of that, these PlayTech games weren’t available everywhere anyway! In Australia pokies from suppliers like Aristocrat, Ainsworth and Konami were much more popular to begin with.