Online Gaming and its Close Ties with Popular Culture

Online Gaming and its Close Ties with Popular Culture

The gaming industry is absolutely thriving in America, with $23.5 billion being spent by consumers in 2015. Online gaming is now a massive part of that, with online players spending an average of 6.5 hours per week playing games. One of the reasons why online gaming – especially the iGaming sector – is attracting so many players, is because of its close ties to current trends in popular culture. Nowadays it seems that the success of a franchise is to span as many platforms as possible, with slot games being one of the main go-to genres of game.

The Rise of Themed Video Slots

The iGaming sector pulled in over $47 billion in 2017, and a lot of that success is down to the fact that such wide demographics are catered for. Video slots are the most versatile of all the online casino games, as they can be based on a multitude of different themes. And by creating games with varied themes, there is always a slot to suit everyone’s taste. A winning formula for slot game developers now is to base them on TV shows and films that are hugely popular. Take Game of Thrones for instance: the HBO fantasy series is watched by an average of 23 million viewers per episode, and fans can’t get enough of it. When they’re not watching they want to play games, hence why Microgaming created the Westerosi-themed video slot which is one of the many 32Red casino games based on popular culture. In addition to that game, there is also Ragnarok: Fall of Odin, which is loosely based on the History channel hit Vikings, and Jurassic World which was released soon after the fourth-highest grossing film of all-time hit the big screen.

Films Based on Video Games

Online gaming is so popular now that instead of games following on from movies, a lot of the time it goes the other way with a number of movies now based on games. Take the Hitman video slot which is playable at Spin Palace and Super Lenny for example. That franchise now spans console and mobile games, and led to two films in 2007 and 2014. Both Hitman and Hitman: Agent 47 were box-office sensations, raking in $99 million and $82 million worldwide respectively. The thriving massive multiplayer online role-playing game universe was recently epitomized on the big screen as well. Warcraft, based on the game of the same name was released on May 24, 2016, and is now the highest grossing movie based on a video game in history. It pulled in $433 million at the box office across the globe, and will surely lead to even more game adaptations in Hollywood. The new Tomb Raider film in 2018 is also coming out to a ready-made audience who have played the Tomb Raider slot game at 32Red, as well as enjoyed the Lara Croft Go mobile app and the recent console reboots Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Game and Film Crossovers

With games and films frequently going hand in hand now, there is potential for crossovers between the two mediums. Games in which choices affect the outcome of the story are becoming more prevalent, with the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead Telltale Games series being prime examples. Until Dawn is another success story, which is getting a reboot in virtual reality. Some TV series and movies are also taking this more immersive route, with Late Shift by CtrlMovie giving viewers the opportunity to “choose their own adventure.” Critics have said that the game/movie is difficult to define but opens up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to how people enjoy stories. Netflix has also confirmed that it is experimenting with interactive shows, which could involve viewers making a choice as to what a character should do, with different scenarios playing out.

While online viewing at sites like Netflix and online gaming at iGaming sites continues to flourish, the partnership between the two looks set to continue for a long time. And as illustrated by the immersive content mentioned above, the bond could be set to grow even tighter in the coming years.

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