Emojis: they're a symptom of our ongoing fascination with social media and informal communication. Whether you see them as a bit of fun or harmful to the communicative skills of the next generation, there’s no doubt that those descriptive yellow faces are here to stay. A stack of emoji-themed merchandise has already hit the stores and there’s even the Emoji Movie set for release in 2017.
The movie features one of the greatest acts of casting in Hollywood history with Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself, Sir Patrick Stewart, voicing the poo emoji. So it's no surprise to learn that the world of online casinos has got on board, with industry heavyweight NetEnt revealing its own themed slot title: Emojiplanet.
The ICE Totally Gaming conference in February featured plenty of exciting reveals and announcements – Playtech’s hook-up with Warner Bros to deliver exclusive branded content to William Hill being just one of them. And it was here that NetEnt also offered a sample of its slate of releases for 2017.
Alongside an eye-catching Planet of the Apes slot game, the much-loved software house also brought Emojiplanet to the wider attention for the first time, with an August release date scheduled to coincide with the Emoji Movie. There was plenty of intrigue surrounding the reveal and Simon Hammon – the chief product officer at NetEnt – was no less excited:
"As a leader in both mobile online gaming and innovation, emojis are a perfect fit with NetEnt. Every day, millions – if not billions – of people around the world enjoy using emojis. They have become a language in their own right; it is hard to think of a more collectively familiar and loved brand to partner up with."
The licensing manager responsible for the link-up between NetEnt and the world of emojis is Jens Drinkwater of Global Merchandising Services:
"We are tremendously excited to bring the colourful and exciting world of the emoji company to the gaming community. We are sure that the Emojiplanet game will be a fantastic success for players of all ages."
So get ready folks: gone are the days of spinning fruit symbols on your reels or any of the other branded symbols; in August, you can look forward to the likes of smiley, sad face and giant poo coming together to reveal winning combinations on your reels!
NetEnt remains at the forefront of innovation and dynamism in slot game production and its 2017 slate of releases looks jam-packed with potential classics. If Emojiplanet wasn’t enough to look forward to, there’s the continuation of the brand’s Fairytale Legends series with Hansel and Gretel, a take on the famous children’s tale in which the main characters get to gorge on a house made of sweets, among other things.
That’s the main release scheduled for April and that follows hot on the heels of the early year releases. Scruffy Duck has already gained a cult following among players with its simple and super-fun graphics. And to keep the animal theme going, NetEnt’s May reveal is Copy Cats, which presumably will feature a) cats and b) symbols ‘copying’ each other, so expect plenty of stacked wilds here. That’s the hope for players anyway.
No wanting to leave any members of the animal kingdom out, NetEnt’s June release is titled Butterfly Staxx, which sounds like a distant cousin of one of their older titles: Neon Staxx. In that game players were capable of spinning huge stacked sequences, so the hope is that this new title will follow suit, with lots of cute butterfly animations into the bargain.
So that’s a little glimpse into NetEnt’s springtime release schedule and while that's exciting enough in its own right, anticipation is already building for Emojiplanet and the rest of the summer season, which tends to be when the leading software suppliers bring out the big guns. It’s hard to know whether to be happy, excited, surprised or confused...it’s a good job we’ve got emojis to express our emotions!
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