Before online slot sites like 888 slots burst into the collective consciousness of slot players everywhere, casinos were constantly trying to find ways to make the venerable slot machine appeal to more players.
The answer: themed machines. More specifically, machines that lifted familiar elements off popular TV shows. Read on to learn how themed slot machines revolutionized slot culture in recent history.
It all started with the Wheel of Fortune.
Slot machines have been around since the beginning of the 20th century. They have always been a consistent staple in gambling establishments in most states, and are often considered as sure cash-making machines due to the their high house advantage (extra fun fact: slot machines are also called as “beautiful vaults” due to the fact that they bring in most– almost three-quarters- of a casino’s total profit).
In 1996, riding on the huge popularity of the Wheel of Fortune game show, gaming machine manufacturer International Game Technology (IGT) offered Wheel of Fortune-themed progressive slot machines for public leasing. The machines were an instant hit. Though there’s no Pat Sajak or Vanna White to egg you on as you play, the machines feature a lot of graphics and sound effects from the popular game show. Though there are a number of copycats who imitated the idea of putting a theme on slot machines, Wheel of Fortune has been consistently popular over the years. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a casino without a Wheel of Fortune in the slots area.
Now you get TV and movie-themed slots everywhere. The rationale for this phenomenon is simple, these TV shows and films lend a little bit of their popularity to the slot machines that they grace. For example, the Avatar slot machine that was released just late last year was also a hit with younger slots players. You get to choose your “player” (a Nav’i character from the movie) plus your selected background music and play environment. When you’ve managed to play long enough, you also have the option of unlocking extra content.
The Slot Machine Generational Shift – Video Games and Social Media
Now as slot machine operators are trying to get younger players into the fold, they are slowly realizing that the old “push-the-button-and-wait” method of playing isn’t enough to draw in people who grew up with video games and the Internet.
Millenials are used to the excitement offered by video games. This is the reason why several video gamed-themed slot machines are already hitting casinos in droves. For example, Centipede-themed slots have already been released last year. Not only can people play slots, they also get to play Centipede too! The insect pests they destroy are convertible; and two players can also play against one another on a single machine- the one with the better score gets a larger payout.
For online-based slots, the trend is even more exciting. Everything is gamified and social. Players earn points through playing, which they can show off to their friends in their profiles. An example of a social networking-themed slots game is Lucky Bank’s Penny Slots on Facebook.