Something To Marvel At...Geek culture is back – and it’s got your hip pocket in its sights. It seems that all the sorts of things that used to get those unfortunate looking kids from the chess club beaten up each afternoon at school are suddenly hip with a vengeance.
From the resurgence of Apple with its iPod to the box office success of movies like Napoleon Dynamite, it’s Huey Lewis and the News all over again – it’s hip to be square. Another great example of this rebirth of the uber-nerd is the huge surge in popularity of the heroes of yesteryear – comic book characters. I always felt that the negative connotations placed on comic book readers and collectors was totally unwarranted – that is, of course, except for those zany guys (read: mental home escapees) who hangout near my local video store who feel that walking around with the underwear on the outside of their tights is a good look – and it shows. Movies and cartoons such as X-Men and The Punisher have both grossed millions of dollars and the video games based on those characters have sold just as well.
The online gaming industry, now worth an estimated US$11 billion, has also identified this resurgence and is looking to cash in. CryptoLogic, perhaps the premier software developer for online casinos worldwide, has recently signed a multi-year deal with Marvel Enterprises Inc. to roll out a host of products based on such superheroes as The Hulk, Daredevil and Blade. The new relationship, made through CryptoLogic's wholly owned subsidiary, WagerLogic Limited, makes CryptoLogic the sole developer of Marvel-branded casino slot games on the Internet. Lewis Rose, President and CEO of CryptoLogic says of this new partnership, “CryptoLogic's new relationship with Marvel - home to some of the world's legendary entertainment brands - will strengthen our competitive edge through new, exciting Super Hero-themed Internet casino games… by delivering big-name action like the X-Men and The Hulk to the Internet, we're enhancing the entertainment factor of CryptoLogic games - and helping our customers appeal to an even wider player audience.”
The bold move by CryptoLogic also highlights a new strategy marketers are hoping will draw players into their casinos – brand identity. In the extremely competitive online gaming market, not only must casinos first somehow entice players to their services, but more importantly, they have to gain that customer’s trust and respect as to create return business. The power of using such metaphorically legendary figures as Marvel superheroes is a masterstroke by CryptoLogic, with online casino owners likely to be licking their lips in anticipation of the full release of this software – the Version 8 Suite.
Soon to be released to Intercasino.co.uk, Ritz, William Hill and Littlewoods, the Version 8 Suite is currently only available at Intercasino.com. In the short time since the release of the Marvel games at Intercasino.com, the ever-popular casino has already noticed the huge popularity of these new games with its clientele. “Our players demand the best, and that is exactly what we are providing them with Marvel Hero online slot machine offerings… these games have the best graphics, the most interactive options and the most entertaining bonus features of any casino on the web.” said Intercasino spokesperson Peter Marcus.
As the stories of these classic characters exhort: Being a vigilante, scientific mistake or mutant shouldn’t stop you from becoming a superhero. In CryptoLogic’s case, being the saviour of the entire world might be bit of a stretch, but becoming the masters of the online gaming world might not be far out of reach.