September 4, 2009 (CAP Newswire) – Type the number 2012 into a search engine and you’ll quickly find thousands of sites and videos exploring the theory that the world will end that year — and in the kind of dramatic, fiery way often threatened in superhero movies. There’s even an upcoming film dedicated to the idea by Independence Day director Roland Emmerich.

Some people believe the end of the world will arrive in 2012 because that's when the famously accurate Mayan calendar abruptly stops. But it's important for a different reason for CryptoLogic, the online gaming software juggernaut who counts a lucrative contract with Marvel Entertainment among its more prized assets.

That’s because the games, starring internationally known icons like Spider-Man and the Hulk, are among the most popular in the CryptoLogic arsenal, load-bearing walls in the structure of the company’s many partnerships with leading online casinos worldwide.

But Marvel has just been purchased by Disney, in a multi-billion dollar deal that will shake up the entire entertainment industry. After all, movies based on Marvel characters like Iron Man and the X-Men have been enormously profitable, and Disney will want to take full advantage of those brands. But to gain complete leverage over its new cash cow, Disney will have to gain control over the many subsidiary contracts still in place, made back when Marvel was an independent company.

And that means either buying the contracts back, or waiting a few years for those contracts to expire. Though not a certainty, this attitude of brand consolidation could spell an end to CryptoLogic’s contract. When does that contract expire? You guessed it: 2012.

It's still too early for predictions in this particular game, but there’s a good chance that CryptoLogic is already at work thinking of how to stay within the Marvel family web. 


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