The online gambling industry is expanding at a rapid rate. It currently has a market size of $46 billion, and Statista estimates that this figure will double to $94 billion by 2024. A big reason for why this type of online gaming has been so successful is its ability to combine interactive entertainment with pop culture. One gaming genre that has become increasingly popular is online slot games that pay tribute to music legends.
Music and the gambling industry has always had a close link with Las Vegas being the Entertainment Capital of the World. This strong connection has been seized upon by gaming companies, such as NetEnt and Playtech, to create online slot games that feature the profile, music, and iconography of music’s biggest stars.
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Rock royalty Ozzy Osbourne is one of the most recent additions to online slots. In February, The Prince of Darkness signed a deal with NetEnt. The Swedish gaming brand will develop a music-themed slot based on Osbourne and it will feature imagery and vocals from the former Black Sabbath front man. The game will also be the latest addition to the company’s portfolio of music-themed online slots. Already NetEnd has developed the eponymously titled Guns n’ Roses, Jimi Hendrix, and Mötorhead slot games.
NetEnt director of game products Bryan Upton explained why the company chose Osbourne. “Rock stars don’t come much bigger, better known, or charismatic than Ozzy Osbourne,” he said. “Thanks to his larger-than-life personality and outstanding contribution to music, Ozzy has developed a loyal and passionate following over the past 50 years — we can’t wait to bring this to the reels for players to enjoy.”
Another band with a strong presence in the world of online slots are KISS. That they have taken advantage of this trend is no surprise. The band have a long and colorful history of self-promotion, and have taken advantage of the gaming industry before. They developed a mobile game called KISS Rock City that allowed fans to interact with the band through their mobile devices. The online slot game KISS Slots also featured the band’s iconic costumes and music from their extensive catalogue. With the band retiring in the near future these tributes by online gaming companies will soon be one of the few ways fans can interact with the band.
This type of homage is seen across all online slots that feature famous bands and singers. Digital gaming provider Sandlot Games does all this with various tributes to rock legends like Guns N’ Roses, Mötorhead, and Jimi Hendrix. Each of these games honors the musicians through using a back catalogue of their music as well as famous imagery from their albums. The games also focus on iconic moments from the careers of the music legends. The Jimi Hendrix game for example uses famous imagery from his Woodstock performance, while the Guns N’ Roses game heavily leans towards their original Appetite of Destruction album as it features the classic song “Sweet Child of Mine” in the intro. This allows the musicians and their estate to keep the legacy of the band/singer alive and ensure a new generation of fans are able to discover them through online gaming.
Games have long been a way for fans to pay tribute to their favorite pop culture references, whether it be a band or a superhero like Spider-Man. As more people embrace online gaming, expect more gaming companies to use online slots to pay tribute to the world’s biggest bands.