With Street Fighter 2 having just been released, let’s look at some other classic video games that would make great branded slots!
We all know video gaming is absolutely huge now, but a few eye opening stats help illustrate just how monstrous it has become. For one, the gaming industry is estimated to generate nearly $200 billion in revenue by 2022, and Microsoft reckons there are 2 billion gamers on the planet. From Google to Apple, to the flourishing eSports industry, it seems everyone and their dog is looking at ways to tap into the colossal pool of funds.
For gamers who also like a punt on the reels, this interest can only be a good thing, and the recent spate of branded video game slots, such as Street Fighter 2, got the crew thinking. What are some other video games ripe for conversion? Putting our thinking caps on we came up with five prime candidates we reason would suit the reels to a tee plus offer a few quick-fire suggestions to help stir the debate.
Minecraft is the block filled, world-building game par excellence from Mojang Studios. Its success might puzzle older gamers who had no choice but to play with chunky graphics back in the day, yet there is no denying it is a current crowd favourite. When it comes to a slots cross over, it is hard to think of a video game which would fit the grid slot format more perfectly.
There are a ton of objectives that could be integrated into a slot version, or perhaps some sort of construction mechanic a la Castle Builder II could be built in. Can you imagine Big Time Gaming getting their hands on it – doesn’t Minecraft Megaclusters have a satisfying resonance?
Pirate themed slots abound, so they clearly resonate with the slots playing public. That being the case, the category is wide open for a conversion of the successful Monkey Island series from Lucas Arts and Telltale Games.
What makes Monkey Island so great is the delightfully atmospheric world to solve puzzles in, along with a rapier-sharp wit. In keeping to the spirit of the video game, a slot version could be peppered with map features, maybe collecting improvised items to create things (such as hangover medicine or voodoo dolls), plus stacks of mini-games. Mix in copious amounts of tongue in cheek pop culture references and how could you not have a winning formula on your hands?
Grand Theft Auto
Older gamers might remember saying things to their friends like ‘can you imagine a game where you can go anywhere you want or do anything you’d like?‘ Those wistful days are long gone thanks to open-world titles like Grand Theft Auto where players have unbelievable amounts of freedom to cause mayhem.
NetEnt offered a taste of what a GTA slot could be like thanks to the high action of Narcos (itself a branded slot). So it’s not a huge leap to imagine GTA gracing reels. The hard part is choosing a protagonist from the line-up. Tommy Vercetti was the first to speak, so he’s a favourite, then there’s badass Trevor Phillips or the enigmatic Niko Bellic. Clearly, there is a wealth of source material to work with. All that’s left is to toss in exciting features like a bag of grenades for some explosive iGaming.
If there is one lovable character sorely missing from the reels, it’s got to be Mario. The evolution of everyone’s favourite Italian-American plumber, in many ways, reads like an evolution of console gaming itself.
Mario plus his cheerful pals would transition effortlessly to a slot. Just picture a big, bold, colourful game world in the style of Strolling Staxx, or Reel Rush 2 – are we on to something here? All that’s left is to load the bouncing overall-wearing guy up with a bunch of power-ups and modifiers, along with just the right dash of compelling gameplay, to create a light-hearted, hard to put down slot.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater
You might have been an average skater in real life or didn’t skate at all, but thanks to Tony Hawk Pro Skater, you could be a deity on four wheels. Part 1 laid the scene, but it was THPS 2, which blew the franchise up. Its open-world gameplay, huge gap list, unlockable characters as well as extra levels, plus an unbelievable array of tricks gave it a virtually limitless shelf life.
The key to scoring big was linking aerials with manuals and grinds to send the score multiplier skyrocketing. The slot version would need to capitalise on that using some form of cascading feature with an equally effective progressive multiplier. For fans, another must-have inclusion which was a strong selling point of the game, is a full soundtrack of alternative/punk classics.
It might not feature Tony Hawk, but a branded slot based on pro skater Nyjah Huston is right around the corner and soon to be released by Play’n GO. Titled Nyjah Huston – Skate for Gold, skateboarding slots fans are in for a treat!
As well as these five suggestions there are plenty more excellent options. Does anyone remember those old Sierra games? They were clunky thanks to all the typing and clicking, but there were some stellar personalities on board. Desperately debonair Leisure Suit Larry immediately springs to mind as an interesting choice. Fortnite is another one screaming out to be slotted up due to its gigantic fan base and Hunger Games-style survival of the fittest ethos.
Indeed, once you open the can of worms, endless ideas flow forth. What about some first-person shooter action like Doom, Quake, Halo, or Wolfenstein? We’ve got Street Fighter 2 now, how about some Mortal Kombat action, or maybe even call up the gang from the legendary fight series Tekken?
Mythology themed slots are huge too, just look at the vast swathes of Norse, Greek, or Roman Slots. How about using the same approach with games like God of War, Dark Souls or Skyrim? All three use fantastic themes and star larger than life characters – not to mention epic baddies.
So what do you think? Are we onto something here or have we drifted completely off-piste? Leave a comment to tell us what you think, or make a suggestion of your own. Like throwing a stone into a lake, you never know where the ripples might come to rest.