— GameSpot (@gamespot) January 18, 2017
In a week when a Resident Evil film is making waves at the global box office at the same time as a new game in the ongoing series is released, it seems more relevant than ever to look at the entertainment industry’s ‘franchise’ phenomenon.
The rise of sequels, prequels and wider cinematic universes means that TV, film and gaming studios are no longer looking to simply make a one-off hit show, movie or title, but rather develop the success of a blockbuster to create a brand that can be adopted and adapted for use in a range of formats.
Why? To tap into the potential and popularity of characters and make a money-spinning multimillion media phenomenon, which fans simply cannot get enough of.
Taking Hot Properties into New Areas
Take the all-conquering Game of Thrones for example. The epic saga began life within the pages of George RR Martin’s vivid and action-packed books, before it was adapted into a series for HBO and went on to scoop a host of awards in the process.
Although the story is yet to conclude in either the books or the show, the franchise has already developed a strong life outside of those core areas. While fans have been teased this year about a spin-off short story and even another show based in the same universe, they can also buy memorabilia, stationery, graphic novels and even play games based on it.
In terms of the latter, TellTale Games produced a warmly received video game based on the hit, but a slightly more surprising adaptation has been an online slot. Not only does 32Red’s Game of Thrones slot adapt the look and feel of the hit show, it even goes further by basing some of the game’s options on the respective warring houses found within it. In order to attract fans who may have never entered an iGaming site, 32Red lets players try the game without depositing when they register for the first time.
— freecasinogames (@freecasinogm) July 27, 2016
Not the Only One
The example of online slots is a particularly interesting one, as Game of Thrones is just one of a number of major franchises that have gone on to make an appearance on online gaming sites like Castle Jackpot, Lucky Admiral and a host of others.
A fairly exhaustive list of well-known properties have made their way into this area, from Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park to the hugely popular wedding comedy hit Bridesmaids. Even Lara Croft and Hitman, who of course made their mark on other gaming formats before heading to the big screen and elsewhere, had the online slot treatment.
It seems like very few brands are immune to the charms of being adapted into this format.
Reflecting an Iconic Brand
The reason why major franchises have gone down the route of online slots is perhaps not a surprising one, as the aim is simply to once again take advantage of the brand’s popularity with a huge number of people.
The online slot format is very recognizable and offers plenty of opportunities for a brand to be fully integrated within it. With the likes of Game of Thrones or Jurassic Park for example, this would be through the use of imagery and branding from the show or film, as well as music and sound effects to create an immersive atmosphere.
Attracting Fans and Creating New Ones
It should be remembered that diversifying a popular brand or franchise into new areas can have several outcomes.
For example, in the respect of online slots the creation of a game based on a major TV show means there is a new title for regular visitors to such websites to play. In addition, the availability of the game may also encourage fans of that specific franchise who had not previously considered visiting gaming sites to see how their beloved show or film has been adapted.
All in all, the pulling power of the brand is a key part of drawing people in and the same can be said across a host of formats – whether you are talking about a PC game, graphic novel or any other form of entertainment.
Many More to Come?
With so much emphasis being placed on universe building across the entertainment industry, it is likely that this trend that allows fans to get their franchise fix in a range of different formats will only continue for the foreseeable future – with slots and other online gaming options playing a key role.