Playtech, one of the world’s leading online gaming content providers, is pulling all of its Marvel content from its offering starting today as its existing deal with the comic giant expires.
The move will affect games that include popular Marvel characters such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America and Daredevil. Popular superhero groups such as the X-Men, Fantastic Four and the Avengers will also be stripped out of Playtech’s content offerings.
The industry was tipped off to the move earlier this month when affiliates began receiving notifications from online gaming providers that utilize the Playtech suite of games indicating that the company would be “removing their Marvel-branded games on March 31st.”
The notice went on to explain that beginning April 1, affiliates will no longer be able to advertise Marvel content and games and they need to “replace all promotional materials containing Marvel characters.” Affiliates working with several Playtech partners including William Hill reported receiving the notice.
Moving Marvel Away From Gambling
Marvel was acquired by media and entertainment giant Disney in 2009 for a reported $4 billion. In 2013 Disney announced that gambling related connections to its Marvel characters and brands as well as its properties related to the iconic science fiction Star Wars films would be coming to an end.
“Marvel discontinued plans to initiate or renew slot machine licensing arrangements as part of its integration with Disney,” a company spokesperson told The New York Times. “The handful of remaining license agreements have expiration dates within the next few years,” the representative added.
Disney has been a vocal opponent of gambling in places such as Florida, home of its landmark resort Walt Disney World. The company often positions gambling as a force that diminishes the family-friendly image of the company; however, many in the gambling industry believe that the opposition is a way to try to protect the company’s share of entertainment dollars by quashing potential competition in that space.
Replacement Superhero Content
Following Disney’s comments in 2015, Playtech undoubtedly saw the writing on the wall and moved quickly to find some new superhero characters to replace those from Marvel.
In February of last year, the online gaming content provider announced a multi-year deal with Marvel competitor DC Comics. A wide variety of the DC-themed games can be found on various casino sites and casino review sites such as www.bestukcasino.org.uk.
Owned by Warner Bros. Consumer Products, DC Entertainment moved to fill the void for consumers that had grown up as fans of comic book characters and were now interested in seeing their childhood heros integrated into their favorite gambling activities.
The deal began with games based on the DC Comics 1960’s classic TV series Batman, as well as feature films by Warner Bros. Pictures that included famous DC Comic characters including Man of Steel (2013), Green Lantern (2011), and Superman I (1978) and Superman II (1980).
The companies expanded their agreement this year to include new titles to base games on including popular films such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Dark Knight Trilogy and Suicide Squad.
“This is a hugely significant deal for Playtech and we’re delighted to have a wider-reaching exclusive DC film- and TV-branded content licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products,” Mor Weizer, CEO of Playtech, said. “We’ve had phenomenal feedback from our licensees based on the high-quality and calibre of the DC-branded games we rolled out in 2016,” he continued.