Why Superhero Slots Matter Going Forward
“Whaaaaat? Slot machines? You mean those stupid things where you match fruit pictures or whatever?”, I hear you asking! Well, brace yourself, dear reader, because I’m about to blow your mind! Those things they keep showing in the movies where people pull a lever and 3 symbols need to match up, and when they do confetti starts falling from the sky and they win a million dollars? Yeah, that’s not slots. They’re called fruit machines and aren’t really the norm anymore. What if I told you that most modern slot machines have between 15 and 25 symbols at once instead of just 3? What if I told you they can be based on some of your favorite characters and franchises such as The Avengers, Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, South Park, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, The Walking Dead and many, many more? What if I told you that the biggest jackpot a guy got from an online slot was about €18 million, and that jackpots in the millions are the norm for some slots? What if I told you that they feature bonus games that, albeit simplistic, are sometimes reminiscent of videogames? I mean, look at that!
It looks like a fighting game and plays like a fighting game (albeit a simplified version of one), but it’s a slot! Let’s be honest, while inherently simplistic, slot machines have truly found their ground online, with the harsh competitive environment of online casinos forcing them to experiment and be more creative than ever. Online slots are currently the most popular and the top online casino sites games of all – the profits from them make up more than half of all casino profits, which is in stark contrast of how they perform in physical locations. As a result, 90% of all games offered by the best online casino tend to be various slots, and since they’re very easy and cheap to produce, that has led to an over-saturation of the market. When the players have literally hundreds upon hundreds of slots to choose from, you need to go above and beyond in order to make yours stand out. Grabbing a license and basing the slot on a well-known property was a way to go at first, until people wise up and realized that a licensed slot was actually even more likely to be crappy, as part of its budget went to acquiring said license rather than to making it good. As a result, developers had to up their game – the licensed slots were their most valuable properties, after all, and the ones that were guaranteed to attract most attention due to brand recognition. This led to developers attributing even more resources and effort into their licensed slots, and as such the very best slots that the industry has to offer have the faces of superheroes and TV characters on them.
Now, the question that is probably on everybody’s mind is what exactly makes for a good slot. I mean, slot machines, at their essence, tend to be very simple things as far as interactions are concerned – while there’s plenty of processes going on under the hood, at the end of the day all that the player does is push a button every once in a while. Can that really be fun? Well, yes, but it really depends on what you’re looking for. The bonus games, I’d say, are a big part of what makes a slot appealing. Whenever certain conditions are met (most often you need to get at least 3 of a special symbol on the screen), a bonus game will be activated that allows some interactivity and will always reward you with big wins. These can be anything, from the aforementioned fighting game in “Spider-Man” to taking down the planes in “King Kong” and spraying hippies with a fire extinguisher in “South Park”. If a slot is “The Dark Knight” movie, think of the bonus game as the big chase on the highway where the Joker is trying to kill Harvey Dent – it’s the spectacle, the highlight of the movie, even if there’s lots of more subtle things going on in the rest of the movie.
Though of course the main reason as to why people play slots in the first place is monetary – while they can be fun to play even if you haven’t invested anything, as I mentioned in the beginning of the article they can make you pretty rich. Most slots actually have a pretty generous payout, especially the licensed ones, and with a bit of luck you can make quite a lot of money even without winning any jackpots. A bonus game or bonus feature can win you thousands on a relatively low bet, as can scoring a couple of important symbols (usually the highest payout on symbols alone is between 5000 and 10000 times your bet, so do the math). To be entirely honest, not a lot of people who play slots get rich, but winning huge sums isn’t uncommon at all. I, for one, definitely wouldn’t say no to a win of, say, $500 – which is almost guaranteed to happen relatively soon after you start playing, even if you subtract all the money you invested into the slot prior to that point.
Bottom line, it’s important to note that slots aren’t for everybody. Some people will find them idiotic, and that’s completely fine. Everybody has their own taste, and to some the notion of sitting there and hitting a button every once in a while expecting something exciting to happen, like a big win or a bonus game, isn’t really worth it. But to others it could definitely be something that’s worth their time and attention. The point of this article was to remove a lot of the misconceptions about slots and posit the idea that maybe they’re not what most people think they are, just a stupid money and time waster. Whether or not I succeeded is up to you.