May 18th, 2017
The online slots industry is no stranger to change, with new companies entering the market full of cutting edge ideas, established companies getting bought up or leaving the industry completely, and - for branded slots – licence changes due to movement within management.
The extremely popular branded slot games from Marvel, including well-known titles like The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers, X-Men and Daredevil, have been sketched into online slots history while being enjoyed immensely by slot lovers all over the world.
However, Marvel’s time in the slot game slotlight has reached an end, which is obviously expected to greatly affect the selection of online superhero slots available to players in the future. Fortunately, Marvel's biggest rival, DC Comics, stepped in to fill their shoes!
There is no surprise that superheroes have long had a big part in our pop culture. It all started with the Superman comics in 1938, and after that they have just grown. These superheroes have enjoyed much popularity outside of the comic arena with their own cartoons as well as real-life movies and TV shows, all with varying levels of success.
They eventually made their way into the world's top online casinos thanks to a few software developers who saw this golden opportunity. It does not matter what you think about Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, or who you think did the best portrayal of the Hulk; these slots provide an excellent backdrop for you to spin the wheels in hope for excellent prizes. But who were behind these fantastic slots?
Marvel Comics, originally Timely Comics, came to the surface in 1939 with the first appearance of The Human Torch, who later became famous as one of the members of Fantastic Four. Since then, they have released a dozen of superheroes both with and without superpowers, including Thor, the Hulk, Wolverine and the rest of X-Men, as well as dozen others.
No matter if you are a fan of the work of Stan Lee, Frank Kirby and others at Marvel, you are bound to have heard about or seen these famous characters all over the world. And with all the recent revamps storming on the Hollywood scene, all generations have a connection to these timeless Marvel superheros.
These superheroes provide an excellent starting point for slot games, which usually come with extra features between good and evil. There might have been some confusion about the developers of the Marvel slots and with good reason; it was actually two companies that had the honour to develop slots for these popular superheroes.
Cryptologic were first with their Marvel-inspired slots in 2005, while Playtech showed up with their versions and progressive jackpot network in 2010. The two software providers overlapped in some of their slots, while some were specific to one provider. To get a quick history of the Marvel slots, see the below timeline:
The popular slot developer Cryptologic was the first to produce slots based on the popular characters from the comic books and movies, starting in 2005. In their library, they had many popular Marvel slots including:
In an unrelated turn of events, they also decided to sell their company to Amaya Gaming in 2012 due to a number of bad financial years. It was therefore Amaya that was taking care of their Marvel slots for the final years before the contract ended.
Playtech is most famous for their superhero slots that they started producing in 2010. The Marvel slots from Playtech were made even more popular with their progressive jackpot network.
The network stretched between all the slots, and allowed the jackpot to increase significantly based on how many people played any Marvel slot, until one lucky player got the correct combination to unlock a million-dollar-prize.
Among their top slots were favourites like Daredevil and Elektra, Fantastic Four, Iron Man 2 and 3, and The Avengers. Here's the others:
However, the success of the Marvel slots found its nemesis when Marvel was bought up by Disney in 2009. As the licenced agreement with Playtech and Cryptologic did not fit in with their image as a family friendly business who don’t want any relations with casinos at all. It was already decided back then that Playtech was only to complete their contract, and there was no chance of renewal.
This contract ended in April 2017, and all casinos that have previously offered these popular games have withdrawn them. There’s still hope for the superheroes however, as software providers started looking elsewhere for famous branded slots, and found their ally in DC Comics.
DC is the other half of the superhero comic world, starting their fight to save the universe back in 1938 with the first DC comic; Superman. Just as with the Marvel universe, they have enjoyed decades of popularity both from comic fans and members of the general public.
DC Comics is subsidiary of Warner Bros Entertainment Inc., and they have enjoyed a wide selection of adaptions to TV and film, such as the Green Lantern and Justice League. There has also been several re-adaptations with for example the many versions of Batman and Superman. When it comes to the superheroes slots, there are also a few options.
Cryptologic was again first to get a deal with DC and produced a few DC slots before their end, all with great features and bonuses. Some of these have been taken over by NextGen/NYX Gaming, who is a subsidiary of Amaya Gaming:
Microgaming had also jumped on the bandwagon with their own release of The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises in 2013, based of course on the massive big screen-hit of Batman with Christian Bale back in 2008. Unfortunately, their licence expired in 2016, and the popular slot games are no longer available from Microgaming casinos.
With the success of the previous superheroes slots, there no surprise that Playtech jumped on board the opportunity to develop branded DC slots as well. In 2016 they got their first deal with Warner Bros. for the rights to produce DC Slots based on the retro TV-series of Batman. Here is a list over DC-themed slots by Playtech:
Early in 2017 they secured an exclusive licence to the upcoming films based on DC; Batman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League. Playtech also wants to offer the same prize opportunities to their players, and have set up a new progressive jackpot network called DC Super Heroes Jackpot.
That way it doesn’t matter which DC game you are playing, you still have a chance at scoring the evergrowing progressive jackpot as long as you get the winning combination.
And if you miss the feel of the Marvel slots from Playtech, with Age of Gods have been named the new slot to look out for by many casinos, with a lot of the same features and progressive jackpots that made the Marvel slots so popular.
Our fallen heroes are Cryptologic and Microgaming who both produced terrific slot games with excellent payout rates, however, their licences expired and they had to hand over their cape. Not to fear tho, citizens, as Playtech is here to save the day with a whole new round of superhero-based slots!
After producing the popular Marvel series, they have moved on to DC to ensure you can still enjoy amazing graphics and huge progressive jackpots along with your favorite heroes. NextGen is their independent sidekick who has their own licence with DC until further notice. So what are you waiting for? Join the heroes from Slotropolis at LeoVegas Casino today!