NetEnt have made a giant announcement this week, as they’ve publicly revealed they will be creating a Planet of the Apes themed slot. After obtaining the rights from 20th Century Fox, the game is set to be the software developers’ next branded slot game, and it will launch in October this year. The Planet of the Apes franchise started out almost fifty years ago, with the first film coming out in 1968. With such a huge history (and dedicated fan-base) on their hands, NetEnt will surely be feeling the pressure to produce an innovative slot which does justice to the classic movie.
What Can We Expect?
To be perfectly honest with you guys, we’re not quite sure! NetEnt are, unsurprisingly, keeping very secretive about this slot. It’s understandable, as the new game could be one of the biggest releases from the brand yet. The Planet of the Apes franchise spans generations; the first film was release in 1968 and was based around the novel La Planète des Singes, by author Pierre Boulle.
Another reason Planet of the Apes looks set to be one of the biggest releases this year (bear in mind it’s still only February) is that a brand new film from the franchise is coming to cinema’s this summer. ‘War For the Planet of the Apes’ will be released in July, which means there’s almost certainly going to be a buzz when this game is released just months afterwards. By gaining the rights to this title, NetEnt have undoubtedly put their finger right on the pulse of blockbuster culture and could be in with a chance of producing a very highly anticipated game.
Simon Hammon, the chief product officer at NetEnt is well aware of how huge a deal this is. He commented that ‘Planet of the Apes is one of the largest film franchises in the world never to have been applied to gaming before. With such a rich history, the brand resonates with everyone that has grown up with the films, and it will fit perfectly with NetEnt’s wide and divers player base.’
Whilst Planet of the Apes will not be the first NetEnt slot based on a classic movie (in 2013 NetEnt launched Creature from the Black Lagoon, based on the 1954 horror film), it may be the first time they tackle a franchise with such a purist and committed legion of fans. We hope that they manage to bring all the familiar elements of the franchise to life, but could it simply be too big a fandom to please? Will the software developers buckle under the pressure of such a formidable film history?
NetEnt’s Branded Slot History
Long story short, no we don’t think NetEnt will fumble and flop with this game. NetEnt have produced many branded slots before and have always managed to pull it off with style, innovation and exemplary attention to detail.
The brand’s roster already sports classic movie adaptations, including The Creature from The Black Lagoon, Dracula and The Invisible Man, and their last movie based release came in the form of Aliens, which continues to be one of the most popular slots at any casino. In each of these games they’ve provided players with not only stunning graphics, but with groundbreaking mechanics and features too.
It can be argued that those films don’t have the same fandom as Planet of the Apes, and whilst that may be true, what if we consider the NetEnt Rocks Trilogy the brand released last year. All three bands featured (Jimi Hendrix, Motorhead and Guns N’Roses) have millions of fans all over the world, and music fans are notoriously some of the hardest to please. The trilogy managed to do justice to the musical legends it represented, and it even won NetEnt a Game of the Year award, which they took home for their outstanding work on the Guns n’Roses slot.
Battle Of The Blockbusters
NetEnt’s announcement comes at a time when two of their major competitors have also revealed new partnerships with blockbuster titles. Playtech are teaming up with Warner Bros this year, which means they can produce slots like Suicide Squad and the Justice League. Moreover, Microgaming have also announced that they’ve won the rights to The Phantom of the Opera and they’ll also be producing a second Jurassic Park themed title this year too.
It seems like all three brands are in competition to score the biggest names around, yet none of this really matters if they can’t produce the games to back it up. We’ll be watching all of these releases closely, and you can be certain we’ll be giving them a thorough test-drive too! The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and we’re hoping Planet of the Apes is a sweet success.