Playtech is saying goodbye to its line of Marvel superhero branded slot machines as of April 1. It’s a big move that’s going to cause plenty of headaches for affiliates and operators, but its one that comes at the behest of the powerful Disney Corporation and is unlikely to be reversed.
New of the purge began circulating among affiliates last week when Playtech sent out announcement detailing the end of its relationship with Marvel and Spiderman-branded slots.
According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, the company told its affiliates that the machines would be gone by the end of March. The letter was fairly short on details and leads readers to believe that the move was spurred merely by the fact that Playtech’s contract with Marvel had expired.
While that explanation may be accurate, it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Most industry sources agree that Marvel’s failure to renew its contract with Playtech is all about pressure from its parent company, the Disney Corporation.
Disney is the epitome of a family friendly brand and is loathe to have its trademarked images associated with gambling in any way, shape or form. Company officials were never happy about Marvel’s ties to gaming and simply let Playtech’s licensing deal expire without attempting to renew it. (Marvel characters were also used on Amaya Gaming products, but that deal has also expired.)
There’s no word from Playtech officials as to how losing the Marvel Universe impacts their bottom line. As of this writing, the company is pushing its Marvel slots fans to other superhero-style slots such as Age of the Gods. Peter Amsel over at CalvinAyre correctly suggests is like suggesting that Star Wars and Star Trek are pretty much the same thing and probably won’t hold much sway.