Egypt, leprechauns, fruits and Ozzy Osbourne: a guide to slot game themes

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In 2020, a multi-billion dollar software industry has arisen around the creation of casino games for the online market. Hundreds of premium titles are released each year in an effort to keep the content fresh and appealing to players. Today, a typical casino might have over 500, perhaps even 1000, games. And, as you might expect, developers must strive to create games that are markedly different from each other; otherwise, there would be no point in a casino hosting so many titles.

While games will differ in terms of gameplay, prizes, special features, and so on, perhaps the most important aspect a developer must decide upon is a theme for the game. As we shall see below, they can take their own spin on a thematic concept that has been tried and tested, or they can come up with something completely novel. Getting it right isn’t always easy, and, for the software developers, a dull theme can mean your game lies idle in the online casino untouched by players.

A typical example of a popular slot theme is that of Ancient Egypt. This has been a staple of the casino for many years, going all the way back to the golden age of Las Vegas, and players automatically associate the games’ symbols like scarabs, tombs, cats, pharaohs, etc., with winning prizes. Some of the most popular casino games, like Cleopatra and Anubis Wild, have been created with Ancient Egypt as a theme, and a steady stream of new releases are still coming out today.

Irish games are incredibly popular

Another thematic stalwart is the idea of Irish luck and leprechauns, which tends to veer into a stereotype of the Emerald Isle. However, while anyone living in Ireland will know that the old saying, “The Luck O’ The Irish” is meaningless, the concept resonates with players from Ireland and beyond. Games like Rainbow Riches, Lucky Leprechaun and Irish Eyes are among the most prominent globally at online casinos. 

Of course, slots can be themed on elements that were created within the casino industry itself. Most people will be aware that classic slots tended to feature bells, cherries, bars, etc. This is still the case today, but many games have been updated to offer more sophisticated features and bigger payouts. For instance, extra rewards lie hidden with the 9 Masks of Fire slot beyond its classic theme of 7s and fruits. Yet, the game is still able to appeal to players as its theme is recognisably ‘authentic’ to them. In short, it looks like what a slot game is supposed to look like, conceptually.

Those mentioned above join other thematic concepts like Norse and Greek mythology, jungle animals, gold mining, the Wild West, astronomy, and many others as being among the most common ideas on which to build a casino game. But, in more recent years, software developers have been branching out to incorporate elements of pop culture and cash-in on the ready-made branding. For example, heavy rock bands have been keen to licence their imagery and music to create online slot games, with artists like Guns N’ Roses, Motorhead, Twisted Sister, and KISS among those to have officially-branded games released in the last couple of years. Everyone’s favourite Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, released his own slot machine last year.

Movies often get turned into slots

Movies, of course, are an easy platform on which software developers can base games. Warner Bros., in particular, seems keen to cash-in on movie tie-ups, and we have seen big releases like Wonder Woman and Justice League slots at the casino. Popular 80s films, including the childhood cult classic, The Goonies, are ripe for the plucking by games developers. TV shows as diverse as Deal or No Deal and Game of Thrones have also been turned into casino games, and have seen huge success. While none of this might seem particularly important to the average casino player, it does bear thinking about from a commercial standpoint. The online casino industry is booming, and much of it comes down to the creativity of those developers in theming games on appealing subjects. You might not be interested in playing, for example, blackjack, but your head might be turned when seeing the latest game based on Batman or Rick & Morty. Developers know this, and that’s why they are branching out to all areas of fandom. If they didn’t, the online casino would be a far less exciting place than it is today.

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